We were expecting a struggle at (historic) Kresge Gymnasium on Saturday, and that's exactly what we got.
This game was won by the defenses. Both teams’ shooting percentages were well below 40%. The point differential was close the entire way, but, in the end, Calvin’s defense was too much for the Britons.
Calvin held Albion to only 17 second half points, zero of which came in the game’s final 4:50.
Albion's 45 points is the second lowest total by a Calvin opponent this season. Aquinas scored only 44 against the Knights over Thanksgiving weekend. The next lowest total is 50 in the home meeting with Albion. Apparently, the Brits don't much care for Calvin's defense.
Albion's leading scorer, J.C. Cruse, is now 1-14 from the floor in two games against Calvin; he's scored just six total points versus the Knights this year.
Not a whole lot of good numbers outside of Snikkers and Schuster. They combined for 26 points. The rest of the team combined for 25.
But the game wasn't about pretty offenses and wide open shots. It was about grit and determination and everything else I usually eschew.
Calvin gets Trine at home on Wednesday in the first round of the MIAA tournament. The Knights need to reach the MIAA championship game to reach 16 wins, which would match their lowest win total since at least 1995-1996 (that's as far back as I can find on the interwebs).
Calvin will need to win the MIAA tournament to get into the NCAA tournament.