GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Calvin women's basketball team wrapped up its regular season on Wednesday evening when it welcomed the Albion Britons to Van Noord Arena. In the first meeting of the year between the two teams, the Knights took home a 63-58 win at Albion's Kresge Gymnasium.
Both teams had already secured a spot in the postseason MIAA Tournament, but seeding was on the line as the winning team would clinch the third seed.
The Knights earned the win in their final game of the season at Van Noord Arena, defeating Albion 63-50.
With the victory, the Knights finish their regular season 21-4 overall and 12-4 in conference and secure the No. 3 seed for the upcoming MIAA Tournament. Albion falls to 17-7 overall with a 10-5 league mark. The Britons will enter the conference tournament seeded fourth.
The Knights got off to a hot start behind back-to-back three-pointers from junior Ali Spayde (Lewis Center, Ohio/Worthington Christian HS). Albion would get one the board after Spayde's second triple, but Calvin continued to roll, going on another 6-0 run to force a Britons timeout. Calvin outscored the Britons 6-4 to close out the quarter, holding an 18-6 lead over the visitors.
Albion's Emily Bernas knocked down a three early in the second quarter to cut the Knights' lead to single digits. Calvin was held scoreless for over two minutes, until Lauren Goldthorpe (St. Ignace, Mich./Lasalle HS) answered with a three-pointer for her own.
With just over five minutes to play before halftime, the Knights would string together four consecutive points, their momentum interrupted only briefly by a Britons layup. After Albion's scoring possession, Spayde would drain her third three of the evening, a split second before the shot clock expired to give her team a 15-point advantage.
The Britons would hold the home team scoreless for the final 2:33 before halftime, closing out the second quarter with a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to nine points (29-20).
In the first half, the Knights shot 57.1% (4-7) from behind the three-point arc while the Brits converted only one of 13 three-point attempts.
Albion began to chip away at the Knights' lead in the third quarter. The teams exchanged points early, but as the midpoint of the quarter neared, Albion's Evelyn Wischmeyer hit back-to-back jump shots and Olivia Savage capped off the 7-0 run with a three-pointer. The Brits reduced Calvin's lead to 38-34 with just under four minutes remaining in the quarter.
The Knights responded, scoring four straight points before the end of the quarter to earn a 42-34 advantage.
The Brits came out strong in the fourth quarter, claiming a quick four points. However, the Knights' offense pushed back behind the efforts of Spayde and Anna Timmer (Caledonia, Mich./South Christian HS). With just over six minutes left to play, the Knights maintaining a four-point lead, Spayde drained a key three-pointer to make the score 47-40. Albion's Oreyana Curry responded with four straight points, but Calvin responded once again. Timmer capitalized on a three-point play and Spayde hit her fifth three of the contest to make the score 53-44 with 6:14 left on the clock.
Albion would score eight points in the final three minutes of play, but the Knights went 8-10 from the free throw line in the final minutes to roll to a 63-50 victory.
Spayde led all players with 26 points, including five three-point field goals. Bre Luurtsema (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian HS) finished with 12 points and eight boards while Timmer posted eight points and snagged 19 rebounds. Goldthorpe contributed with nine points. Nicole Meyer grabbed 11 rebounds in the winning effort.
Albion was led by Emily Bernas and Oreyana Curry who finished with 18 and 12 points, respectively.
The Knights will compete in the MIAA Tournament as the third seed next week Friday, February 24. The location and opponent will be determined following Saturday league action.