Saturday men: Kohawks down, Duhawks up

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Josh Van Gorp had a night for the ages.
Central athletics file photo by Dan L. Vander Beek Photography

Josh Van Gorp showed why he’s an All-American, as he poured in 48 in Central’s win at No. 23 Coe, while no. 25 Loras took down No. 19 Nebraska Wesleyan. Plus, Hope picked up a Rivalry win, Grinnell moved into first in the MWC and Trinity (Conn.) remained unbeaten on Saturday in Division III men’s basketball.

Joshua Van Gorp shot 20-for-24 from the floor en route to a school-record 48 points as the senior All-America center led Central to a big win on the road at No. 23 Joe on Saturday afternoon. Van Gorp broke a record which was first set in 1979, and he added 14 rebounds and shot 8-for-9 from the foul line, helping the Dutch (14-6, 8-3 American Rivers Conference) get within a game of first place in the conference standings.

“It was just an unbelievable performance,” Dutch coach Joe Steinkamp said. “He was going off the blocks or fading down, it didn’t matter. Everything just went in. It was crazy. It was one of the most amazing games I’ve ever seen.”

ARC MBB standings

The top five teams in the American Rivers Conference are separated by just two and a half games, and are a combined 78-18 overall (.813).

ARC Overall
School WL w% WL w%
Joe 9-2 .818 17-3 .850
Loras 7-2 .778 15-2 .882
Nebraska Wesleyan 8-3 .727 17-3 .850
Central 8-3 .727 14-6 .700
Dubuque 6-4 .600 15-4 .789

Central is now a game back of Coe (18-3, 9-2), with No. 25 Loras at 7-2 after dropping No. 19 Nebraska Wesleyan to 8-3 with an 84-64 win at Dubuque. Joe took the win in the first meeting between the two teams on Dec. 9, a comeback 85-83 overtime victory with a buzzer-beating tip-in.

In Dubuque, Ali Sabet scored 22 points, Jack Molstead added 18, and Tyler Bass finished with 17 as No. 25 Loras completed the season sweep over No. 19 Nebraska Wesleyan 84-64. With the win, the Duhawks (16-2 overall, 7-2 ARC) jumped back into the second spot of the conference standings, leapfrogging the Prairie Wolves with roughly three weeks of play remaining. The loss snapped Nebraska Wesleyan’s 12-game winning streak.

A few miles further south in Iowa, Grinnell moved into a first place tie in the Midwest Conference, defeating Illinois College 95-89. Grinnell held a two-point lead with 7:25 to play before Jordan Lee hit a three-pointer and the Pioneers forced a turnover that Grinnell converted into points to go up 80-73.

Illinois College (17-3, 9-2 MWC) drew within four points a few minutes later before John Vincent scored a layup and Jackson Leone drained a 3-pointer for an 88-79 Grinnell lead with 4:36 remaining. Down the stretch, the Blueboys made one final surge to pull within four with just over two minutes left. Grinnell’s defense then forced six missed shots and a turnover through the final buzzer. Kai Te Huki led Grinnell (15-4, 9-2) with 27 points.

Hope delivered a defensive performance in The Rivalry not seen against Calvin in a long, long time. The Flying Dutchmen defeated the fourth-ranked Knights, 59-42, on Saturday at DeVos Fieldhouse. It marked Calvin’s lowest point total in The Rivalry since 1948 when Hope won, 55-42. Hope (14-5, 6-2 MIAA) led the 212nd game in The Rivalry from the opening tip to pull into a second-place tie with Calvin in the MIAA standings. Both teams trail idle Trine by a game and a half. On Saturday, the Flying Dutchmen jumped to an 11-0 lead in the opening three and a half minutes. Calvin (16-3, 6-2) never got closer than five points.

“It was a big deal,” Hope coach Greg Mitchell said of his team’s start. “We know at their place we just didn’t throw the first punch. We left too many things out there to chance. You don’t win a game in the first five minutes but you can establish yourself. We established our demeanor.”

No. 5 Trinity (Conn.) kicked off the second half against Amherst with a 16-5 run, and a layup from Smith gave the Bantams their biggest lead of the game, 55-26, with 13:17 to play. The Mammoths rattled off a 17-2 run over the next eight minutes to close the gap to 57-43 with 4:27 remaining. The Bantams, the last unbeaten team in Division III men’s basketball, halted the Mammoths’ momentum with a 5-0 run en route to the 62-49 victory. The Bantams had three scorers in double figures, paced by a game-high 18 points, four rebounds and three assists from Henry Vetter.

Tyler Dearman scored a game-high 20 points, including a rare dunk, to help Guilford get the second half off to a good start, and the No. 8 Quakers won 52-46 at Averett. Heading into the last six minutes, GC’s lead was shrunk to five (44-39), but a hook shot from Julius Burch and a clutch three-pointer from Dearman gave the visitors a 50-42 lead at the three-minute mark. Guilford held on down the stretch for the win.

Catholic took a 14-point lead into the halftime break before Moravian gave the No. 16 Cardinals its best second-half punch, fighting back to take a three-point lead with seven and a half minutes remaining. But Catholic rebounded to hold Moravian to just four points in the final seven minutes of the game and defeated the Greyhounds 77-71. Tommy Kelly led the Cardinals with 18 points and provided four assists. Kelly made three of Catholic’s final four field goals, registering seven points in the final four minutes of the contest. Photos from this game.

Warren Caruso passed his mentor to become the Husson men’s basketball coaching leader in all-time wins as the Eagles improved to 17-4, defeating Thomas 91-76. Bruce MacGregor had 554 wins in 26 seasons at Husson, and Caruso now has 555. “It’s a little bittersweet in a way because Bruce means so much to me,” Caruso said. “He’s done so much for me, not only as a coach, but as a person. It’s something I really cherish because of the time I’ve spent at Husson and what Husson means to me.” Andre McCauley scored 12 to lead Husson.

York (Pa.) extended its winning streak to five with a 68-58 win against Eastern. The Eagles went on a 12-4 run midway through the second half to cut the Spartan lead to 50-47 with 7:44 left. York scored six of the game’s next eight points to push the lead back to seven at 56-49. The teams traded points over the next three minutes as the Spartan lead remained seven with 59 seconds left. Chris Miers was outstanding from the line in the final 33 seconds of play as he converted all six of his free throws to seal the win. Kai Cipalla led the Spartans (12-7, 5-3 MAC Commonwealth) with 23 points.

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