posted March 8, 2009

WBB Regional -- Hope 69, Baldwin-Wallace 53

For the second consecutive year, Hope College has eliminated Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) in the second round of the NCAA Division III women's tournament.

Junior forward Philana Greene and sophomore center Carrie Snikkers scored 15 points apiece to lead a balanced attack Saturday night as the Flying Dutch defeated the Yellow Jackets, 69-53, at Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row and the fourth time in the last seven years. Last year, Hope defeated B-W in a second-round game in Berea, Ohio, 68-48.

The Flying Dutch have now won 49 consecutive games at DeVos, which will host the Division III Final Four in two weeks.

Hope (27-1) advances to meet Thomas More (Ky.) next weekend in the NCAA sectional at a site to be announced. The Saints advanced Saturday by defeating last year's national runnerup, Messiah (Pa.), 57-50.

The Flying Dutch jumped out to a 14-1 lead at the six-minute mark as they harassed Baldwin-Wallace into an 0-for-10 start from the field and six early turnovers. However, the Yellow Jackets scrapped back into the game, taking advantage of Snikkers being on the bench with two early fouls.

Senior Rachael Quiring, who scored a career-high 21 points, hit a 3-point basket to cut the lead to 18-17 with 8:19 left in the first half. However, that would be as close as B-W would get.

Hope extended its lead to 35-28 at halftime, then ran off 10 straight points early in the second half to open up a 49-33 advantage with 14 minutes remaining. The Yellow Jackets never seriously threatened after that.

"When you're playing a good team, you don't have much room for error, and they're a great team," Baldwin-Wallace coach Cheri Harrer said of the Flying Dutch.

Greene had an outstanding all-around game for Hope, adding six rebounds, five assists and four steals to go along with her 15 points.

"She epitomizes what our team is and needs to be," Hope coach Brian Morehouse said of Greene. "She went out and put on a tremendous performance."

Despite her early foul trouble, Snikkers pulled down nine rebounds and blocked three shots in addition to her 15 points. Sophomore Erika Bruinsma provided an offensive spark off the bench when Snikkers went out, scoring 13 points in 20 minutes of play. Senior Courtney Knox had another strong game on the glass with 12 rebounds.

Ariel Brough scored 15 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in a losing cause for Baldwin-Wallace, which had won 18 of its last 20 after a 4-5 start. The Yellow Jackets lost their second-leading scorer, Jessica Butzer, to a head injury in the first half. She did not return. Hope shot 36 percent from the field (23 of 63) and made 6-of-14 from 3-point range. The Flying Dutch also forced 20 turnovers, while committing just 12.

"That gave us 10 more shots on offense than they had," Morehouse said. "We're going to have to play better than that to keep going."