GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team fell 86-67 to No. 3 Augustana on Saturday afternoon at Van Noord Arena. The Knights gave the Vikings a battle, but Augustana was strong down the stretch to claim the win.
Calvin drops to 1-2 on the season, both losses coming to nationally-ranked opponents, while Augustana improves to 2-0.
Augustana shot 52.4% from the field, while Calvin shot for a 39% field-goal percentage. Sophomore Thad Shymanski (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) posted a team-high 17 points, while junior Derrick DeVries (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) finished with 15 points. Junior Tony DeWitte (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian) chipped in 11 points and senior Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) collected eight rebounds. Augustana's Nolan Ebel had a game-high 23 points, while Chrishawn Orange and Pierson Wofford added 14 points apiece in the winning effort.
Scoring was evenly balanced early in the contest. With the score tied 11-11, DeWitte hit a three-pointer, but Augustana's Nolan Ebel responded with a triple of his own. DeWitte came back and hit a jumper from the short corner to earn the lead back for the Knights.
The Vikings heated up for five straight points to go up 19-16. Augustana continued to build its lead to eight points, but DeVries answered with a four-point run to narrow the deficit. Late in the half, Augustana stepped up to earn a 35-28 advantage and force a Calvin timeout. Out of the break, DeWitte knocked down a triple, but the Vikings answered with a bucket in the paint. After points on both sides, the Vikings headed into halftime with a 39-33 lead.
Augustana came out of the break strong, taking a 43-36 lead to force a quick Calvin timeout. The Vikings climbed to 10-point lead, but freshman Carson Muelenberg (Grand Rapids, Mich./Covenant Christian) converted on a three-point play to make the score 48-41. Senior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) earned a steal on the other end of the floor and came down to sink a three from the corner to cut Augustana's lead to four.
The Vikings went back up by eight until a triple by Shymanski made it 52-47 with 12 minutes remaining. Augustana responded with a bucket, but Shymanski answered by hitting a jumper. The Vikings continued to push, hitting a three to lead 57-49.
As the midpoint of the half neared, the visitors went up by nine, but Shymanski delivered again, hitting a jump shot. DeVries followed, knocking down a pair of free throws and the Knights trailed by five with 10 minutes left to play. The Knights struggled to contain Augustana's offense as it earned back a nine-point advantage to force a Calvin timeout.
With just under six minutes on the clock, Augustana used a three-point play to take a twelve-point lead. The Vikings controlled to game down the stretch, outscoring the Knights 16-9 to claim the road win.
The Knights are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Wheaton (Ill.). Tip-off is set for 9 p.m.