posted March 14, 2006

Flying Dutch Final Four Game Notes

Tipoff Chatter
Flying Dutch Basketball
NCAA Championship Tournament

Probable Hope College Starting Lineup
12         Bria Ebels, 5-7 senior from Holland, Mich. (Holland HS)
14         Julie Henderson, 5-11 junior from Grand Haven, Mich. (Grand Haven HS)
22         Jordyn Boles, 5-10 soph.from Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Central HS)24         Stacey Warsen, 5-10 sophomore from Cutlerville, Mich. (South Christian HS)33         Linda Ebels, 6-1 senior from Falmouth, Mich. (N. Michigan Christian HS)

Game Notes

The Flying Dutch are appearing in the NCAA tournament for the eighth time since their first appearance in 1990.  The 1990 team won the national championship.  Hope's all-time NCAA tournament record is 12-6.

Hope's 1990 national championship team accomplished the fete without ever leaving Holland, Michigan.  The Flying Dutch won three games in their on-campus facility (the Dow Center) and then hosted the semi-final and championship games at the Holland Civic Center.  The national championship game was one of the most amazing in NCAA women's basketball history.  The Flying Dutch rallied from a 20-point second half deficit to defeat St. John Fisher 65-63 on a pair of free throws by Dina Disney with less than a second on the clock.

Scranton (50) and Southern Maine (40) rank one-two in the number of Division III tournament victories.  Hope and Hardin-Simmons each have 12.

Hope is seeking to become just the fifth Division III team to win the national women's basketball championship more than once.  Washington, Mo., who Hope defeated in the Sectional semi-finals last weekend, has four national championships while Capital, Ohio, Elizabethtown, Ky. and Wisconsin-Stevens Point each have two.  Hope and Scranton are among 14 colleges with one national championship.

The Flying Dutch are bidding for the third national women's basketball championship for their conference, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).  Hope won the championship in 1990 and two years later conference member Alma captured the top prize.  Founded in 1888, the MIAA is the oldest collegiate athletic conference in America.  Women's basketball started as an MIAA sport in 1978-79, three years before the sport was recognized by the NCAA.

The Flying Dutch have no previous history with any of the other Final Four qualifiers.

Coach Brian Morehouse entered the 2005-06 season ranked eighth by winning percentage among current Division III coaches.  His 10-year record entering the Final Four is 232-51 (.820).  The Flying Dutch the past four seasons have been 106-10 (.914).

The Flying Dutch are riding a 28-game winning streak, second longest in school history.  The 2002-03 team won 31 in-a-row before bowing in the NCAA Sectional finals.

Speaking of 28-game winning streaks. In the Sectional championship game Hope snapped DePauw's 28-game winning streak.  And semi-final opponent Scranton has a 28-game winning streak.

Seniors Linda Ebels and Bria Ebels are not sisters.  They had not met each other until they arrived on the Hope campus and are described as "distant" cousins.

Sophomore Jordyn Boles and senior Bria Ebels were voted to the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) all-conference first team while junior Julie Henderson received second team recognition.  A three-time All-MIAA honoree, Bria Ebels was also voted the MIAA's co-most valuable player and the league's defensive player of the year.  Bria Ebels was recently voted to this year's All-Region team.

Sophomore Jordyn Boles was named the Sectional tournament's most outstanding player and senior Linda Ebels joined her on the all-tournament team.

Senior Linda Ebels has played in every varsity game (117) since her freshman year and has been a starter for the last 85 games.

Julie Henderson is averaging 15.3 points a game in the NCAA tournament after averaging 6.9 points a game in the regular season.

Nine Flying Dutch averaged 10-or-more minutes a game this season.  Six players were the leading scorer in a game this season -- Bria Ebels 15 times, Jordyn Boles 10, Linda Ebels 5, Ellen Wood 4, Julie Henderson 1 and Sarah Jurik 1.

Of Hope's 31 victories, only six have been by fewer than 10 points.  Four of the victories have been decided by more than 40 points, seven between 30-40 points, seven by 20-30 points and seven by 10-20 points.  The team's winning scoring margin of 23.7 points per game ranked third in NCAA Division III entering the Sectionals.

The Flying Dutch are shooting .482 in the NCAA tournament compared to their regular season field goal average of .433. Hope has stepped to the free throw line 55 more times than their NCAA opponents, but are shooting only .655 (76/116) compared to the opposition's .770 (47/61).

Assistant coaches Becky Klinger Sutton, Colleen Corey and Colly Carlson each had NCAA tournament experience as Hope players.  Sutton (99-01-02) and Corey (01-02-03) each appeared as a member of the Flying Dutch three times while Carlson played four consecutive years (89-90-91-92) for the Flying Dutchmen.

Assistant coach Dean Morehouse is head coach Brian Morehouse's father.  He joined the staff in 200-01 after a distinguished high school coaching career.  Most every day during the season he makes a 62 mile commute from Fremont, Mich. to Holland, Mich.

Hope was the only MIAA women's basketball team to receive the conference GPA Award in 2004-05.  The Flying Dutch maintained a cumulative 3.32 grade point average the entire academic year.

This season the Flying Dutch averaged 1,329 fans per home game in the college's new  DeVos Fieldhouse. Hope's teams (men and women) posted a perfect 32-0 on their new home court - 14-0 by the Dutch and 18-0 by the Dutchmen.  Prior to the 2005-06 season, the highest average DIII women's basketball home attendance was 1,294 fans per game by UW-Eau Claire in 2003.