GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Calvin women's basketball team welcomed the Thunder of Trine University to Van Noord Arena on Saturday afternoon, marking the second meeting this season between the two teams.
Trine took the first contest of the year, defeating Calvin 59-51 in overtime.
Calvin was looking to bounce back from a hard-fought 63-55 overtime defeat to Hope Wednesday night. Trine was back in action for the first time since last Saturday when it defeated Albion 69-45.
The Knights entered the contest with at 18-3 overall with a 9-3 conference record, seated at third place in the league standings. Trine held a 17-2 overall record and was 10-1 in MIAA play at second place in the conference, a half game behind Hope.
In this matchup, it was Trine that was victorious as it outscored Calvin 23-12 in the fourth quarter to earn the win.
The Knights jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind early buckets from junior Ali Spayde (Lewis Center, Ohio/Worthington Christian HS) and senior Lauren Goldthorpe (St. Ignace, Mich./Lasalle HS). However, by the end of the first quarter, the Thunder had tied the score at eight, holding the Knights scoreless for over four minutes while scoring four points.
Neither team would score for the first 1:23 of the second quarter. Trine's Katy Steers knocked down a three-pointer to break the dry spell and give the Thunder the leave. In the next possession, Spayde responded for the Knights, putting in a layup to cut the deficit to one point.
At the midpoint of the quarter, the Knights began to heat up offensively. Rachel Warners (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) scored in the paint to make the score 13-12, still in favor of the Thunder. Trine would respond with a bucket, but a triple by Goldthorpe knotted the score at 15 with 4:26 remaining before halftime. Bre Luurtsema (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian HS) followed, contributing four straight points in the Knights' 7-0 run.
The teams exchanged points in the final minutes of the quarter. At halftime, the Knights held a 23-19 advantage.
The Thunder came out of the break strong, quickly cutting Calvin's lead to one point. Trine remained within one point of the Knights until the six-minute mark when the home team commenced a four-point run. A bucket by Trine's Brandi Dawson would break up the Knights' momentum, but Spayde completed a three-point play in the next possession to put her team up by six with 4:27 left in the quarter.
Trine continued to battle, chipping away at the Knights' lead to make it a one-point game once again. After a late bucket by Spayde, Calvin held a 34-31 advantage that it would carry into the final quarter.
The Thunder reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter, going on a 9-0 run to go ahead 40-34. Calvin scored for the first time in the quarter when senior Anna Timmer (Caledonia, Mich./South Christian HS) knocked down a pair of free throws with 6:07 remaining in the contest.
Five straight points by the Thunder gave the visitors a 45-36 lead. Timmer gave the Knights' offense a spark when she drained a deep three-pointer with 4:40 left to play. However, Calvin was unable to build momentum, as the Thunder used free throws to build an 11-point lead. Trine scored nine of its 10 points from free throws in the fourth quarter.
Although the Knights narrowed the gap to single digits, they were unable to make up for the large deficit as the Thunder cruised to a 54-46 victory. Calvin shot just 20% (2-10) from the floor in the final quarter.
Calvin's offense was led by Spayde who recorded 15 points and three assists. Timmer notched her 16th double-double of the season, finishing with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Trine's Brandi Dawson led all scorers with 18 points.
The Knights are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Olivet to take on the Comets. In the first meeting of the year between the two teams, the Knights claimed a 70-55 win at Van Noord Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.