ALBION, Mich. – Albion College had 20th-ranked Calvin College on upset alert Wednesday, but it let the visiting Knights off the hook in a 58-53 loss.
Ali Spayde scored the final five points – on a layup with 1:04 left and a 3-point basket with 16 seconds left – as Calvin escaped in a game that was tied at 53.
Albion led by five, 50-45, with 5 ½ minutes left, but it made one field goal from that point. The Britons, who ran the offense faster when harassed by Calvin's trapping defense, turned the ball over twice and missed eight shots down the stretch.
"I thought our defense was great the whole game," Albion Head Coach Doreen Carden said. "We made things hard for them. We gave ourselves a chance to win. We did everything according to the game plan."
Calvin came in as the sixth-highest scoring team in Division III, but the Knights were held 24 points below their season average. The Knights shot 19 percent from 3-point range (4-of-21) and committed 24 turnovers.
Albion led 28-27 at halftime and survived a scoring drought early in the third quarter. Darian Payne produced the Britons' first point when she hit the first of two from the free throw line with 5:42 left in the quarter. Payne produced the Britons' first basket of the quarter with 4 ½ minutes left.
Emily Zgoda scored a layup and Olivia Savage buried a 3-point field goal as Albion forged a 38-33 lead with three minutes left in the third. Albion took a 43-40 lead into the fourth quarter.
Bre Luurtsema produced a pair of layups and Spayde hit a pair from the line as Calvin ripped off a six-point run to take a 51-50 lead with three minutes left. Calvin never trailed again, though the score was tied twice.
Payne led all players with 18 points and she completed her 10th double-double of the season with 17 rebounds. Savage finished with 10 points.
Anna Timmer led Calvin with 16 points, while Spayde chipped in with 11.
Albion, 8-12 overall and 4-7 against Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association rivals, will travel to Alma College on Saturday for a 3 o'clock game.