On a milestone night, the Hope College women’s basketball team also celebrated an outright Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship.
The third-ranked and unbeaten Flying Dutch secured the league title all to themselves Wednesday with an 83-47 win at Kalamazoo.
During the game, senior forward Maura McAfee of Midland, Michigan (Midland HS) became the first Flying Dutch player to reach 1,000 rebounds for her career and the second Hope College basketball player ever. Floyd Brady achieved the feat with 1,143 rebounds for the Flying Dutchmen between 1964-68.
Hope (24-0 overall) head into Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. game at Calvin undefeated in MIAA play with 15 wins.
“We don’t have to share that with anybody,” Hope coach Brian Morehouse said. “That was a big thing for me coming into tonight’s game, coming into this year. I wrote on the whiteboard in my office “RTC2H” – Return The Championship 2 Hope. That’s been a big thing for me, waking up each morning thinking about how could we make this team better, what we can demand out of our players, things we can change.
“Championships are important for this program. There’s no gray area. You either got them or you don’t. We did it the hard way.”
The Flying Dutch are outright champs for the 12th time in their history and 15th overall. They have won 13 MIAA titles since 2000, all under Morehouse’s guidance.
Against Kalamazoo, Hope broke open the game with a 35-9 second quarter for a 57-28 halftime lead.
The Flying Dutch finished the first half with eight of their 10 3-pointers.
McAfee and junior Allison Hedrick of Naperville, Illinois (Neuqua Valley HS) shared team-high scoring honors with 10 points apiece.
McAfee also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season. She now has 1,003 career rebounds.
Thirteen different players scored for Hope. Juniors Angelique Gaddy of Caledonia, Michigan (Grand Rapids South Christian HS) and Mandy Traversa of Winfield, Illinois (Wheaton North HS) chipped in nine points apiece, as did freshman Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta HS).