Calvin 71, Carthage 68 (box score)
I could get used to this whole shooting 50% thing. Apparently getting the ball to go through the little hoop thing helps you win games.
In all seriousness though, the second half of last night's game was certainly the best half of offensive basketball that we've seen from the Knights this season. The first half wasn't pretty at all (actually maybe just the first ten or twelve minutes), but they really got comfortable as the game progressed. I definitely wouldn't say they played a "full 40 minutes", but you have be pleased when looking at the game as a whole.
I really felt like Calvin moved the ball a lot better in the second half. Instead of trying to take their man one-on-one and forcing a tough shot, they got into the routine of not rushing, and making the extra pass.
An absolutely huge stat from the box score was Tom Snikkers' 4-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. Tom still forced up a few too many tough shots, but it did seem that he made an effort to make that late extra pass to get the ball into the hands of an open teammate.
Calvin won each of the 'Four Factors'. The Knights put up a better shooting percentage, they turned the ball over less, they rebounded better, and they got to the free throw line more often. The Knights could have had the game sealed away earlier had they made free throws are their normal rate, but, in the end, they still got the job done.
One area of concern is definitely Tyler Kruis' knee. He played the game with a big bulky brace on it, and it visibly hampered his play. He clearly didn't trust it to pivot and spin, so his resulting offensive post game was much slower and less effective than it has been this season. It would be a huge blow to the Knights if this remains a long-term problem.
Carthage isn't going to be a top-tier D3 team this year, but they'd still be a top-three MIAA team in most years. All-in-all, this was a very nice win for the Calvin Knights.
I'd love for Calvin to top Wheaton this evening, but that would just be gravy. The MIAA got their in-region win (Hope over Wheaton), and Calvin won the game that they needed to. I'm considering the weekend a success, but I wouldn't mind getting greedy either.
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