Hope College women's basketball head coach Brian Morehouse likes to always say that having a rebounding advantage moves teams forward in the NCAA tournament. But so does making 28 of 32 free throws. Those two key statistical categories, plus well-balanced scoring led by a freshman with a career-high 25 points, earned Hope one of its most complete wins of the 2017-18 season on Saturday night.
And it came at a very good time. By defeating Washington University in St. Louis, 85-69, in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship in DeVos Fieldhouse, the fourth-ranked Flying Dutch (28-1) advance to the sectional semifinals next weekend at a location to be announced on Monday.
Saturday's effort by the Flying Dutch was a victory befitting of a team advancing to the Sweet Sixteen for the second year in a row. Hope's win against the Bears was a win over a highly efficient offensive team. WashU is sixth in the nation in field goal percentage (46.3%) and sixth in assists per game (19).
Credit then goes to Hope's pesky defense for limiting WashU's offensive production; credit goes to Hope's assistant coaches — Courtney Kust and Colly Carlson — for excellent scouting reports; credit goes to Hope's board crashing and 12-rebound (43-31) advantage.
And credit goes to Hope's Kenedy Schoonveld (pictured) for attacking the basket to earn every one of her career-high 25 points.
And since there's lots of credit going around, Schoonveld's shout-out to senior Jacquelyn Schwark of Fraser, Michigan (Lutheran North) at the post-game press conference signaled that all efforts for the Flying Dutch are team efforts, especially pep talks.
"Yesterday I shot the ball so poorly (2-for-10) so before the game, I talked to Jackie actually, I was like. 'Please give me a pep talk because yesterday was so bad and it carried with me,'" Schoonveld said. "She was like, 'Hey, I believe in you, this team believes in you, and everyone else believes in you and they want you to take that shot. So you just go out there, don't think about it and take it.' So I took that with me and the first couple of (my shots) went in so that was huge for my confidence moving forward."