Alma, Mich. – The Alma College women's basketball team defeated Calvin College in the First Round of the MIAA Tournament Tuesday (Feb. 19) by a score of 68-63. Freshman guard Oretha Humphries (Detroit, Mich. / Detroit Edison Public) set a new career-high with a team-high 24 points on nine-of-15 shooting for the Scots. Junior guard Hannah Thelen (Pewamo, Mich / Pewamo Westphalia) recorded her second double-double of the season with a team-high 11 rebounds, and 15 points that all came in the second half. Calvin's All-MIAA First Team Honoree Gabby Timmer led all players with 28 points on 12-of-21 shooting and 14 rebounds.
The game was a tight affair the entire way with the largest margin being 12 for a few moments with Alma leading early in the fourth quarter. The Knights would fight back, and with the difference at three with less than a minute to go junior guard Madison Hill (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek) found Thelen in the corner with seconds left on the shot clock. The junior pulled a shot from beyond the arc and hit nothing but net to push the lead to six.
Following two missed free throws from the Scots, Calvin made the score 66-63 on a layup with 13 seconds left on the clock. After an Alma timeout, it was Thelen who made the big assist this time, finding Humphries underneath the basket who put it off glass and in to ice the game.
- It was the Scots who came out swinging starting the game on a 10-4 run thanks to two three pointers in opposite corners by Humphries. It was a three-point game heading into the second.
- Calvin had the edge in the second taking their first lead of the night with the score 20-18. Alma would answer almost a minute later when freshman guard Stasha Warchock (Marquette, Mich. / Marquette) earned the steal and got it up to Humphries. The freshman drove through the lane and got the no look pass across the paint to sophomore forward Emily Eldridge (Battle Creek, Mich. / Battle Creek Lakeview) who hit the layup to tie the game at 20 a piece. The Knights would regain the lead and hit their largest of the game with over a minute remaining in the period to make it 29-24. The Scots cut the lead to one just before halftime.
- Alma took back the lead with the first basket of the second half coming on a Humphries jumper. It kick-started a 7-0 run by the Scots as Calvin did not record its first point of the third quarter until over three minutes in. Thelen made her first basket of the night on layup that made it 41-31. With the lead back down to three, the Pewamo native made her first three of the night.
- The Knights were down five towards the end of the third with the shot clock turned off when they attempted a three-point shot from the top of the key with seven seconds remaining. Eldridge grabbed the rebound in the paint, quickly passed it to Thelen who drove down the court and dished it to Humphries. The Detroit native was able to get her shot off just before the buzzer where it went off the glass and rolled in to give the Scots a seven-point lead heading to final quarter.
- Just over two minutes into fourth, Thelen made her second three of the night to make it 52-42. A layup from All-MIAA Second Team Honoree senior forward Madeline Barnauskas (Livonia, Mich. / Dearborn Divine Child) got the Scots to their largest lead of the night at 54-42. The final minutes were an intense atmosphere with both teams making big shots and big stops down the stretch until Thelen's third triple sent the Art Smith Arena crowd into a frenzy in the final minute as Alma earned its third win of the season over the Knights.
- Barnauskas finished in double figures with 13 points on five-of-11 shooting. It's the fifth-straight game the senior has scored at least 12 points in what have all been Alma victories. The current five-game winning streak is the longest for the program since February 2003.
- Thelen and Hill each dished out a team-high four assists.
- The Scots shot 49.1 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc, the highest totals for the team since the win against Kalamazoo College on January 26.
- Alma earned its first postseason win since 2006.
- 15 wins this season is highest mark for the program since the 2002-2003 campaign.
What He Said
"It's never easy to beat a team three times and Calvin came to battle tonight. So proud of how we came out and answered their physicality especially in the second half. We had a lot of different people make a ton of big plays down the stretch and it was enough to get it done. Again, all I can say Is how proud we are of our effort and willingness to buy in from everyone the entire year."
- Head Coach Ryan Clark
The Scots advance to the MIAA Semifinals where they will take on No. 1 Seed Trine University (IN). The game will be at Trine's MTI Center in Angola, Indiana on Friday (Feb. 22). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.