Capital Holds Off Calvin In 79-70 Overtime Thriller

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BEXLEY, Oh. - Calvin came up short in the championship game of the Mariott/Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament Saturday afternoon, falling to host Capital 79-70 in overtime.

The game featured a series of runs and both teams had chances to win the game in the closing seconds of regulation. In overtime, Capital (9-2) had the energy and Calvin (8-3) did not as the Crusaders outscored the Knights 11-2 in overtime to seal the win.

Spurred on by some early three-point shots from sophomore Ali Spayde and senior Tiffany Karger, Calvin took a 15-11 first quarter lead but Capital ended the quarter on an 8-1 run to take a 19-16 lead after one quarter of play.

Calvin outscored the Crusaders 23-16 in the second quarter to take a 39-35 halftime lead. Calvin then built a 48-41 lead midway through the third quarter but then stalled on offense as Capital closed out the quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 51-50 lead heading into the final quarter of play.

Capital connected on three of its first four shots of the fourth quarter to build a 60-54 lead and then led 68-61 with just 2:42 left in regulation.

Calvin rallied as senior Kally Verkaik connected on a triple and Spayde followed with a layup to bring the Knights to within a bucket at 68-66 with 1:35 left. Calvin then got a defensive stop and tied the game on a layup by senior Abby Springer with 54 seconds remaining. Capital had a chance to regain the lead but lost the ball as Calvin junior Anna Timmer came up with a steal on the baseline with 27 seconds remaining. With a chance to take the lead, the Knights called timeout with eight seconds remaining. On the ensuing out of bounds play however, the Knights were called for an offensive ball, turning the ball over to Capital. The Crusaders came up with a good look at the buzzer but a three-point shot from the left wing came up short, sending the contest into overtime.

In overtime, Capital scored on a layup on its opening possession to take a 70-68 lead and then put the clamps on the Knights, converting seven free throws while holding Calvin without a field goal in the overtime session.

"I was very proud of how well we played in a hostile environment," said Calvin women's basketball coach John Ross after the game. "We were learn and get better from this game."

Calvin was led in defeat by Spayde who pumped in 20 points including five three-point field goals while Verkaik had 13 points. Junior Lauren Goldthorpe had nine points off the bench. Junior Bre Luurtsema had six points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Spayde was named to the all-tournament team.

Capital was led by tournament MVP Kristen Thompson who poured in 33 points and snared 19 rebounds. Shelby Sigman had 13 points and Simonne Gage 11.

Rebounding and free throw shooting proved to be crucial factors in the game. Capital outrebounded Calvin 52-34 including 29-18 on the offensive glass. Calvin was just 12 of 23 (.522) at the free throw line while Capital was 23 of 34 (.676).

Calvin will now prepare to swing back into league play next Wednesday when it hosts Trine University at 6 p.m. at Van Noord Arena.