Hope Wins At Alma, Sets Up MIAA Showdown At Olivet

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The Hope College men's basketball team set out to defend and rebound on the road Saturday.

A laser-like focus, head coach Greg Mitchell described, paved the way for the Flying Dutchmen to earn a 95-73 win at Alma College and created an opportunity to play for a share of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship next week.

"When you have a group that's playing well defensively and offensively, that's directly attributed to focus," Mitchell said after his team pushed its season-high win streak to five games. "We started talking at the Calvin game (on February 3). We said we have five championship games left. We've got to win them all to control our destiny.

"We knew the schedule was not going to be easy, but we're talking it 40 minutes at a time."

The Flying Dutchmen (15-8 overall) are tied for first place in the MIAA with Olivet. Both teams are 9-3 in league play and have clinched berths in the February 23-24 MIAA Tournament.

Olivet hosts Hope on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Flying Dutchmen edged Olivet 87-84 on January 20 at DeVos Fieldhouse.

Against Alma, five Hope players scored in double figures, including senior guard Dante Hawkins of Holland, Michigan (Holland HS) with a game-high 20 points.

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