A three-point play with 2.3 seconds remaining handed the Hope College women's basketball team a 76-74 loss to visiting Calvin in a matchup of nationally ranked MIAA leaders on Saturday.
In front of a DeVos Fieldhouse crowd of 2,570, the Flying Dutch were defeated for just the second time in 16 games this season and only the fifth time in 151 games at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Hope now trails unbeaten Calvin (14-0 overall, 7-0 MIAA) by one game in the MIAA standings. The two teams play again at Calvin on Feb. 18.
Junior forward Maura McAfee led the Flying Dutch with a game-high 19 points.
Senior center Rebekah Llorens of Grayslake, Illinois (Grayslake Central HS), chipped in 16 points for Hope, while sophomore forward Mandy Traversa of Winfield, Illinois (Wheaton North HS), added 15 off the bench, including a team-high four 3-pointers
Senior guard Brittany Berry of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Catholic Central) had 14 points for the Flying Dutch.
Hope entered the game ranked 10th in the USA Today Sports NCAA Division III coaches poll and 11th by d3hoops.com. Calvin was 15th in the coaches poll and 14th by d3hoops.com.
The lead changed twice in the last nine seconds.
Berry's layup and three-point play with nine seconds remaining gave Hope a 74-73 lead.
Hannah Acre responded seven seconds later with a three-point play of her own to put Calvin back ahead. The Flying Dutch could not get a shot off, and Calvin had its first win at DeVos Fieldhouse since a 60-57 win on Jan. 13, 2007.
Calvin leads the all-time series by a 67-44 margin after snapping Hope's five-game win streak against the Knights.
Despite the loss, Hope coach Brian Morehouse was pleased with his team's response to a 39-29 halftime deficit.
"We were down 10 on the glass and they had seven offensive rebounds (in the first half) and you can't sugar-coat that. We were getting whooped on the boards," Morehouse said. "I thought in the second half, we responded and played a lot tougher.
"All year long, we haven't pointed toward this game. We've pointed toward the next game. We're pointed toward Wednesday. I think this team will get better on Monday and better on Tuesday. Fans look ahead to the next rivalry game. Coaches and players look to `the next practice and next game."
Hope returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 21, when the Flying Dutch host Trine at 8 p.m. as part of an Orange Out doubleheader at DeVos Fieldhouse.