Scots Fall Just Short in Tight Battle with Hope

Scots Fall Just Short in Tight Battle with Hope

Holland, Mich. - The Alma College men's basketball team dropped a 94-92 decision to Hope College on Saturday (Feb. 9) afternoon. Kyle Woodruff (Grand Blanc, Mich. / Holly) led the Scots (5-18, 4-8 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) with 25 points and 10 rebounds; he made seven of his ten three-point attempts. Cole Kleiver (Williamston, Mich. / Williamston) tallied 23 points while Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) scored 19.

Jason Beckman led all scorers with 38 points, going 14-of-23 from the field. Preston Granger added 20 points, and Teddy Ray scored eight and pulled down 13 rebounds.

Alma was on fire from three-point range, hitting 56-percent (15-of-27), its best percentage of the season. It squandered an eight-point lead late in the first half and led briefly in the second, but never fully regained control. There were 11 ties and 14 lead changes in the game, though the Scots trailed for the final 2:20.

Alma is now tied with Kalamazoo for sixth place in the conference with two games remaining. Both teams close the regular season against last-place Adrian and first-place Trine.

How it Happened

  • Neither team had more than a four-point lead until Kleiver sank a three-pointer more than 10 minutes into the game. That put the Scots up 30-25. Shortly thereafter, Scott Maki (Grand Blanc, Mich. / Holly) made a layup to push the lead to seven, and later still, Woodruff hit a three to give Alma an eight-point at 41-33, the largest of either team in the game.
  • Hope responded with a 12-0 run in which Beckman scored eight straight points to regain the lead. The Flying Dutchmen led by four at the half.
  • Alma came out of the locker room hot, hitting its first four shots from the field while Brandon Rake (Whitehall, Mich. / Whitehall) blocked two shots at the rim in the first two minutes. Hope continued to convert, though, and took a six-point lead as Dennis Towns hit jumpers on two straight possessions.
  • The Scots would regain the lead briefly after a three from Isaiah Williamson (Sebewaing, Mich. / Unionville-Sebewaing Area) and a layup from Kleiver. A jumper from Stevens put Alma up three, but Beckman answered with his own three to tie the game at 72 with 8:53 left.
  • Hope maintained a small advantage for the next few minutes, ultimately pushing the lead to five with 3:16 remaining. Alma would tie the game at 86 after two free throws from Stevens and a three from Matt Lark (Middleville, Mich. / Thornapple Kellogg), but it was Beckman again who scored on the next possession to give Hope the lead for good.
  • With 1:07 remaining, Stevens had what would have been a go-ahead three-pointer blocked by Ray. After a Hope miss, Stevens drove into the lane with 30 seconds left but was forced into a turnover by Granger. The Flying Dutchmen would seal the win from the free throw line.

Notables

  • This is the third time this season Alma has made at least 15 three-pointers in a game, the others being 15 at Calvin on Jan. 5 and 18 at No. 12 Wisconsin-Whitewater on Dec. 8.
  • The team's 92 points are the second-most it has scored all year, coming up five short of its total against No. 12 Wisconsin-Whitewater on Dec. 8.
  • This is the second time Kyle Woodruff has made seven threes in a game, the first being against No. 19 Illinois Wesleyan on Nov. 17. He did, however, set a new career-high in three-point percentage (70-percent).
  • Woodruff also posted his first career double-double in the game.
  • Alma had just nine turnovers in the game, tied for the fewest its had in its last nine games.
  • Hope shot 28-of-33 from the free-throw line, led by Jason Beckman who was 8-for-8 and Preston Granger who was 8-for-12.

Up Next

The Scots host Adrian on Wednesday (Feb. 13) evening in the team's final home game of the season. The program will honor its three-member senior class: Kevin Gamble (Mt. Pleasant, Mich. / Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart), Scott Maki and Doug Bradfield, who was injured prior to the season.