On Wednesday evening, the Calvin men's basketball team welcomed the Ravens of Anderson University to Van Noord Arena for a nonconference matchup.
The Knights entered the contest at 3-5 overall, looking to bounce back from a 74-65 loss to Wheaton. The Ravens possessed a 5-3 record, having fallen 88-86 in their last game to conference opponent Hanover.
It was Calvin who persevered to earn its fourth victory of the season, defeating Anderson 89-86.
"They were a very good offensive team, which really challenged us defensively," said Calvin men's basketball head coach Kevin Vande Streek. "We have continued to get better all semester, and I thought it was great that we were rewarded with a win."
Calvin jumped out to an early 8-3 advantage behind four points by Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian HS), holding the lead for the first ten minutes of the contest.
With 9:13 left in the first half, the Ravens went on a 5-0 run to tie the score at 22. Anderson's Malik Laffoon knocked down a three-pointer and Stanley Duncan added two points, earning a steal in the next possession that led to a fastbreak layup.
Calvin's Michael Wilks (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) responded, scoring the next eight points of the contest to give the Knights a 30-22 lead. Wilks capitalized on two three-point plays during his scoring run.
Anderson's Cory Kreiger hit a three-point shot to halt the Knights' momentum with 6:53 left in the first.
Behind 16 first half points by Wilks (6-8 FG, 4-4 FT), Calvin held a 47-40 lead at halftime. The Knights outrebounded the Ravens 20-9 in the first half.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Anderson's Brett Anderson hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 49.
With 13:24 left to play, the Knights went on an 11-point run, behind five points from Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian HS), to make the score 71-60.
The Ravens chipped away at the Knights lead, cutting the deficit to one with 4:53 remaining in the contest. Calvin scored the next four points to make the score 83-78.
With just over one minute remaining, the scoreboard read 85-82 in favor of Calvin and Anderson called timeout. Out of the break, Cam Denney (Bluffton, Ind./Norwell HS) dunked to put the Knights up by five.
Anderson's Stanley Duncan knocked down two free throws with 39 seconds left to play, but they would be the Ravens' last points of the contest, as Anderson failed to capitalize on its last possession. Denney snagged the rebound, was fouled, and knocked down a pair of free throws to secure an 89-86 Calvin victory.
Calvin's offense was led in scoring by Michael Wilks who had a career-high 25 points (9-13 FG, 0-1 3PT, 7-7 FT). Cam Denney logged a double-double, finishing with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman Tony DeWitte (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian HS) finished with 14 points, seven points and three steals.
Anderson's Trevor Lucas led the Ravens with 22 points, four assists and six rebounds.
Calvin shot 55.7% (34-61) from the floor and 95% from the line (19-20). The Knights outrebounded the Ravens 39-21 in the victory.
"We made a few mistakes defensively to start the second half, but when they came back, we showed very good mental toughness to grind it out," said Vande Streek.
The Knights are back in next week Thursday when they will travel to Wittenberg where they will face off against Millikin University.