Men's Basketball Falls to Calvin in NCAA Opener

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weatherford-ncaaTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Hot-shooting Calvin College made 81.8 percent of its second-half field goals to earn a 72-52 victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in a first-round matchup of ranked teams in the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 2 in Hulbert Arena.

Calvin, 25-3 and ranked No. 12 in this week’s d3hoops.com national poll, advances to the second round against No. 14 Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  Rose-Hulman concludes the season with a school-record tying 24-4 mark after winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s regular season and postseason tournament championship titles.

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions made nine of their first 10 shots in the opening 9:41 of the second half to push a 25-23 halftime edge to a 45-34 advantage. The hot shooting continued as the Knights concluded with 18-of-22 (81.8%) second-half shooting against the Engineers.

The offensive display was commendable as it came against a Rose-Hulman team that had led the nation during the regular season in scoring defense (51 ppg) and had held opponents to 39.4 percent shooting for the season.

The first half was filled with offensive spurts for both teams. Calvin scored nine straight points to take a 23-15 lead with 4:49 left in the period. However, Rose-Hulman responded with an 8-0 run of its own to tie the game, 23-23, with 42 seconds before halftime. Tyler Kruis’ jump shot from the left corner gave the visitors the 25-23 halftime edge.

Senior forward Tim Snikkers led Calvin with a game-high 20 points, while reserve senior guard Bryan Powell came off the bench to score 16 points and junior reserve forward Mickey DeVries had 11 points, making all four of his field goals.

Junior guard Julian Strickland tried to keep Rose-Hulman, ranked No. 19 nationally, in the game with 17 points, 11 coming in the first half. Senior forward Jon Gerken also collected 12 points for the Engineers, playing in the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.

TOURNAMENT TIDBITS: Calvin was playing in its first NCAA appearance since 2007 and now has a 31-18 record in tournament action . . . The Knights captured Division III national championships in 2000 and 1992, and also reached the Final Four in 2005 and 1990 . . . Rose-Hulman now has a 5-10 record in NCAA tournament play . . . The Engineers were hosting their first NCAA tournament game since 1997 . . . The team’s 24 wins match the record by the 1976-77 Rose-Hulman squad for most wins in a season in school history . . . Engineers playing their final game were seniors starters Austin Weatherford (six points; six assists; three steals), Jon Gerken and Brenton Balsbuagh (six points), senior reserve Nate Gissentanner (nine points; three assists), and graduate student Jordan Nielson.