HANCOCK - A polished Calvin College men's basketball team made a quick trip to the Copper Country Saturday afternoon and emerged with a relatively easy win over Finlandia University.
The 103-62 triumph pushed the Calvin record to 7-2 on the season, while the Lions slipped to 1-8.
"They (Knights) are a very good team, no question about that," Lions coach Terry Smith said. "We played pretty well in the first half, but they just overpowered us in the second half."
Dominic Morrow of Finlandia grabs a rebound against Calvin College Saturday. Morrow had a team-high 13 points, but the Lions lost 103-62. (Paul Peterson photo)
Thanks to some solid inside play from Jon Moore and Dominic Morrow, Finlandia was still hanging around at 35-27 with about three minutes left in the opening half.
But a closing 8-0 outburst by the much taller Knights made for a 43-27 lead at the intermission.
"They finished off the half a lot better than we did," Smith noted. "That gave them the edge."
Calvin - Tyler Dykstra 6, Tom Snikkers 21, David Rietema 2, Tyler Kruis 20, Bryan Powell 5, Jordan Mast 9, Matt DeBoer 3, Jordan Daley 7, Daniel Stout 9, Mitch Vallie 5, Ryan Nadeau 2, Mickey DeVries 4. FG: 43-75; FT: 10-17; Rebounds: 47 (Stout 9); Fouls: 17; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Snikkers 2, Brink 2, Vallie 1, Mast 1. Powell 1.
Finlandia Jon Moore 9, Ben Coleman 6, Luke Paul 4, Allante Denson 8, Anthony Crowell 4, Dominic Morrow 13, Charron McCain 3; Dylan Schroeder 12, Drew Covington 3. FG: 20-54; FT: 13-20; Rebounds: 29 (Morrow 6); Fouls: 11; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Schroeder 3, Denson 2, Paul 1, Moore 1 Covington 1, McCain 1.
Halftime score: Calvin 43, FU 27.
Calvin skipper Kevin Vande Streek wasn't surprised that Finlandia made it interesting in the opening half.
"I've coached against Terry (Smith) at three different schools and his teams are always prepared," Vande Streek commented. "They made us play hard."
Senior forward Tom Snikkers best illustrated the big advantage Calvin had in the talent department.
Snikkers bagged a game-high 21 points on a 9-of-11 floor shooting and also handed out seven assists.
"He (Snikkers) is a two-time all-MIAA selection," Vande Streek noted. "He's a very talented player, he's our unquestioned leader out there."
It was Snikkers who put Finlandia in a hole it could not dig out of early in the second half.
He hit a three-point basket, added another hoop and assisted on two other baskets as the downstate team roared out to a 53-30 edge just four minutes into the second portion of the contest at Paavo Nurmi Gym.
Finlandia, which will host College of St. Scholastica on Saturday, was paced by Morrow with 13 points and six rebounds.
Freshman Dylan Schroeder was good for 12 more - making three triples - and Moore chipped in nine points, four rebounds and two assists. Allante Denson had eight points.
In addition to the big game by Snikkers, the Knights received 20 points from 6-foot-9 Tyler Kruis and 10 by Jordan Brink.
Smith said his team continues to make strides.
"We're doing a little better in all aspects. Not just on the floor, but in the classroom and overall," he said. "It's an ongoing process."