GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin men's basketball team defeated Cornerstone University 70-62 in its first game of the 23rd annual Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Basketball Tournament. The Knights jumped out to an early lead that they would never give up, holding off a second-half comeback effort by the Golden Eagles.
Calvin snapped a four-game losing streak with Friday's win to move to 2-3 early in the season. Cornerstone falls to 7-3 overall.
The Knights used a well-balanced scoring effort to secure the win. Junior Derrick DeVries led Calvin with a double-double, posting 14 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez (Wyoming, Mich./Wyoming) added ten points, while the trio of senior Alex Bos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian), senior Austin Bykerk (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian) and sophomore Thad Shymanski (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) contributed eight points apiece. Bos also collected eight boards while Bykerk had seven. Calvin's bench chipped in 25 points.
The Knights took an early 9-2 lead in the first five minutes of play. After two scoreless minutes, junior Tony DeWitte (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian) sunk a three-point field goal to give Calvin a ten-point lead before Hope called its first timeout. Out of the break, senior Carlos Amoros-Gutierrez continued to Calvin run, hitting another triple.
Calvin built a 17-3 advantage while the Golden Eagle's offense struggled to convert on offense, shooting one-for-ten from the field as the eight-minute mark passed. The Knights held a double-digit lead for the next six minutes, leading by as much as sixteen.
Both teams heated up from behind the arc in the final five minutes of the first half as the Golden Eagles shot two-for-three from three-point range and Calvin converted on three of four chances. A last-second shot by Bos gave the Knights a 38-22 lead heading into the break.
The two teams exchanged points to start the second half before Cornerstone's offense heated up for a nine-point run to cut the deficit to 46-38. After points on both ends, Cornerstone's Sam VanderSluis converted on a three-point play to bring the Golden Eagles with five points of Calvin.
Cornerstone used strong three-point shooting to shave the Knights' lead to three with just under nine minutes left to play. After two scoreless minutes, Bos knocked down a timely three to put Calvin up 57-51. Amoros-Gutierrez and Bykerk added buckets to give the Knights a ten-point lead with five minutes remaining before Cornerstone called timeout.
After back-and-forth scoring, Calvin called a timeout with just over two minutes left on the clock, hanging on to a 66-58 lead. The Golden Eagles used six straight points to make it a four-point game, but Bykerk earned an offensive board and a put-back to make the score 68-62 with under a minute to play. Cornerstone's comeback effort came up short as it failed to convert on its two final scoring attempts, and Calvin rolled to an eight-point victory.
The Knights are back in action on Saturday night in day two of the Grand Rapids Hall of Fame Tournament. Calvin will tip off against Aquinas at 8 p.m. at Van Noord Arena.