Calvin Men's Basketball Rolls to Win at Olivet

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By Gina de Haan

After failing to make a field goal in the final 4:48 of its previous contest against Albion, the Calvin men's basketball team came into Wednesday evening's contest ready to execute better offensively and come out with a victory.

The Knights travelled to Olivet College for their third MIAA matchup of the season. Calvin came into the contest 6-7 overall, with a 1-1 conference record while the Comets entered 1-12, with a 0-2-conference mark.

Calvin was looking to bounce back from a tough 65-60 loss, while Olivet was also looking to reverse its course after being defeated on Saturday as well, dropping a 79-64 decision to Hope College.

However, it was the Knights who came out on top, rolling to a 91-44 victory over their hosts.

The Comets were the first to strike, earning a quick three points off a triple from Nick Niznak, but Calvin quickly answered. The Knights went on an early 12-0 run, with four of their starters contributing to the scoring effort. A jumper from Olivet's Eric Ewing made the score 12-7, still in Calvin's favor, but junior Mike Siegel drained one from behind the arc to return a double digit lead to the Knights (15-5).

Calvin continued to build on its first half advantage behind a solid shooting effort from junior Nate Drews, who came off the bench to go 4-4 from three-point range. Despite a pair of made threes by Olivet in the final four minutes of the half, the Knights headed into the locker room with a 41-25 lead.

At halftime, Drews had 12 points, followed by Siegel and senior Jordan Daley who had 11 and 8 points, respectively.

Tony Canonie kept the momentum moving in favor of the Knights by hitting back-to-back threes to start the second half.

The Knights outscored Olivet 50-19 in the second half, during which they racked up a 29-point streak, holding the Comets scoreless for over 12 minutes.

All sixteen members of the Calvin squad saw the floor and thirteen contributed points. The Knight bench put forth 47 points to the scoring effort.

Drews led all scorers with a career-high 20 points, capitalizing on 7-10 field goals and 6-8 triples.

"Nate Drews is just an offensive weapon for us that forces teams to guard him on the perimeter," says head coach Kevin Vande Streek. "That helps open up the floor for everyone else."

Daley added 17 points, also contributing seven rebounds, three blocks and three assists. Siegel finished with 13 points and six rebounds and senior Austin Parks chipped in 10 points.

"I'm really proud of our guys," says Vande Streek who was pleased with his team's focus and intensity. "I thought we started well, had a little bit of a lapse later in the first half, but came out of the locker room in the second half well. "

Calvin outrebounded its opponent 55-30. The Knights were 33-70 (47.1%) from the floor and 11-24 (45.8%) from three-point range, while the Comets capitalized on only 18 of their 64 field goals (28.1%) and shot 25% (7-28) from behind the arc.  

The Knights will be back in action Saturday afternoon when they host a hot Alma College team (10-4, 3-0 MIAA) in another conference contest. Tip-off is at 3 p.m.