The Dante Hawkins lob floated perfectly to Cody Stuive for an emphatic alley-oop slam that punctuated a perfect start to the second half for the Hope College men's basketball team.
The 15th-ranked Flying Dutchmen charged out of halftime with eight consecutive points en route to a 79-51 win over Spalding, Kentucky on Monday in the opening round of the Russ DeVette/Holland Sentinel Classic at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Hope (6-2 overall) went on to score 18 of the second half's first 20 points after taking an 11-point halftime lead.
The Flying Dutchmen earned an opportunity to play for their 20th Devette Classic championship and 12th Holland Sentinel title. They tip off tonight at 8 p.m. against first-time opponent Johnson & Wales, R.I. — a NCAA Division III sectional semifinalist a year ago.
Johnson & Wales (2-6) was edged by Olivet 79-78 in Monday's first game. Boxscore
Olivet (3-6) faces Spalding (1-9) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Hawkins came off the bench to lead Hope with a game-high 23 points and four steals. The junior from Holland, Michigan (Holland HS) finished one point of his career-high by shooting 9-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and sinking both free-throw attempts.
Senior forward Harrison Blackledge of Canton, Ohio (Hoover HS) scored 16 points.
Stuive, a senior from Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville), chipped in eight points on three dunks and an acrobatic reverse layup.
Sophomore forward Dennis Towns of Flint, Michigan (Flint Powers Catholic HS) grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.