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Highlights of a Storied Rivalry
Updated through 2012-13 regular season
Hope versus Calvin -- There is no other college basketball rivalry like it.
Two like-minded institutions who uphold the same philosophy about education, values and collegiate athletics.
Two respected adversaries.
Quality people -- coaches, players, fans.
The Hope-Calvin basketball rivalry has never lacked for interest. Since it began in 1917, fans throughout western Michigan and alumni of both colleges across the country have eagerly anticipated this roundball competition. The teams have played 184 times. Hope leads by eight games, 96-88.
The first "official" game was won by the Flying Dutchmen, 31-13. Later that season the first junior varsity game between the schools was played with Calvin winning, 22-19.
Hope defeated Calvin 26-11. This was the last game between the teams until 1929. Calvin historians in the centennial history of the MIAA noted: "One of the first intercollegiate games with Hope College was followed by such a dramatic destruction -- defacing of property, verbal abuse and fistfights -- that competition was temporarily abandoned."
The series resumed and according to reports, Calvin "insisted" on certain conditions. Calvin's gym on its Franklin Street campus in Grand Rapids was too small to accommodate spectators. Calvin officials felt it lost the so-called home court advantage as they were obliged to play their home games in the comparatively spacious Burton Junior High School Gym. The Anchor reported on February 27, 1929 that "after many years of separation, the Calvin College team ventured down to Hope, to play on a neutral floor by their request and drew a crowd that filled every corner of the gym. The "neutral floor" was the Holland Armory and Calvin rewarded loyal followers with their first victory over Hope, 31-30. About this time, the term "arch rival" began to appear as each school referred to the other in the context of sports. The teams met again that year at the Burton Junior High School gym before a reported crowd of 2,000 fans. Calvin won again, 25-20.
Hope came back to sweep Calvin twice, 31-21 in Grand Rapids and 34-17 in Holland. Watson "Waddy" Spoelstra, who would go on to be a prominent sportswriter at the Detroit News, became the first Hope basketball player to achieve All-MIAA first team recognition.
Holland started playing its home games at the Holland Armory. Clarence Becker was a standout player for the Flying Dutchmen. He scored nine points in a 31-26 triumph over Calvin at the Armory. This was Jack Schouten's final season as Hope's basketball coach. His final game was appropriately a 31-25 victory over Calvin in Grand Rapids.
Milton "Bud" Hinga joined the Hope faculty and became the football and basketball coach. His first basketball victory as coach was a 25-15 victory over Calvin on December 11, 1931 at the Holland Armory. The second meeting of the teams was postponed due to illness of several Calvin players. The regular season was already over when the teams met on March 14th, Hope prevailing 34-26 as brothers Andy and Howard Dalman scored 12 and 11 points respectively.
Hope won its first MIAA basketball championship. Calvin was not yet a member of the MIAA. In two non- league encounters, Calvin prevailed, 29-20 in Grand Rapids and 29-25 in Holland. "Calvin's boast of two wins over an MIAA champion was not an empty one, but did not noticeably detract from Hope's signal accomplishment," according to news accounts.
For the first time since the 1928-29 season, there would be no games with Calvin. The series had been interrupted for three years in the mid-twenties, but in general, Hope's season was seen to include the regular MIAA campaign and a so-called "second season" made up of the two games with Calvin. Now the popular, but intense rivalry would go on a six-year hiatus for reasons not fully explained. Players on both sides enjoyed the sometimes frenzied competition, but it was known that the relationship between coaches Hinga and (Albert) Muyskens was strained at times. Fan behavior before, during, and after the games was often less than exemplary, and there was a tendency to use game results to bolster denominational positions on Sunday mornings, according to Calvin historians in the centennial publication of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1988).
Hope replaced Calvin on its schedule with Michigan State University and the Flying Dutchmen prevailed in East Lansing, 25-21. And Hope would go on to win its first undisputed MIAA championship.
The October 9, 1942 issue of the Grand Rapids Herald published a letter from a Calvin student challenging Hope to renew the basketball rivalry. Hope officials objected to this indirect approach via the media and considerable haggling ensued. Gordon Brewer reports in his book of the history of Hope athletics that "old bones of contention were revived and used to justify the six seasons of great competition that had been lost. Fortunately for all, perceptive Dutchmen at both schools recognized a good thing when they saw it and seized the opportunity to bring the rivalry back. The series was renewed on January 8, 1943 in Holland. "The players on both sides set a high standard of sportsmanship, but as always, it was difficult for spectators to do the like," according to Brewer's account. Hope prevailed 42-40 thanks in part of the play of one Russ DeVette.
In only his second year of college, Don Mulder had become a household word in the Holland community. Fewer than 500 students graced the campus in 1942-43, but all were aware of the "Duke". It was then, with some dismay that the campus was advised of Don's orders to report for active duty with the Army Air Corps. His departure date was set for February 24th, which happened to be the day after the Hope at Calvin game. "Little remained but to give the Duke a grand send-off. Students and townspeople offered their gasoline ration of four gallons per week, and a sizeable caravan made its way to the Burton Gym in Grand Rapids. The Hope following found itself in a state of shock when Mulder fouled out with 13 minutes left in the game. As he made his way to the bench, in an otherwise routine occurrence, Hope fans realized that they might be seeing him for the last time. The next day he accepted a new challenge as an Air Corps Cadet and subsequently piloted a P-51 Mustang in photo reconnaissance missions over Europe. He would return.
These players would be known as the "Blitz Kids." Hope's trademark was fast-break basketball. At this time the University of Illinois was dominating the Big Ten conference with the famous "Whiz Kids." Borrowing perhaps from this group and adding wartime terminology, the terms "Blitz Kids" was coined to describe the Hope squad. The name stuck and became increasingly appropriate as the season progressed.
1943-44 / 1944-45
The series was interrupted by World War II.
On Tuesday, December 14, 1945 Hope's intercollegiate athletics program resumed. It was a non-league game, but a January 22nd contest in Grand Rapids against the Calvin Knights produced the usual excitement. Townspeople remembered, and a student body that had never witnessed a Hope-Calvin game was soon apprised of the emotional history of the series. This time the large Hope following didn't have to contend with gasoline rationing as it journeyed eastward to the Burton Gym. Back on the floor for the Flying Dutchmen were some familiar faces -- Bob "Gabby" Van Dis, George Dalman, Art Slager AND Don Mulder. Missing were Ets Kleinjans, captain of the '43 team, who had graduated, and Russ DeVette, who remained on active duty in the Marines. His assignment was touring the Pacific with a U.S. Marine basketball team that boasted six All- Americans. Hope was not to be denied this time as the Dutchmen prevailed , 60-52, as Van Dis scored 24 points, Mulder added 13 and hometown product Ken Zuverink scored 12 points.
The MIAA champion Flying Dutchmen won the second meeting, 58-37, at the Armory. A victory celebration was held after the game in Carnegie Gym with co-ed Bobby Bilkert in charge of entertainment. She would one day be Mrs. Donald Mulder. The following morning the grand tradition known as Glory Day was revived.
One of Hope's most convincing victories in this rivalry occurred January 30, 1947 when the Flying Dutchmen prevailed 71-38 at the Armory. Harold "Herk" Buter scored 25 points in the win. In the second meeting, on February 18th at Burton Gym, Hope trailed 31-20 at halftime and by 10 points midway through the second half. Mulder put Hope ahead 49-48 with three minutes left and the Dutchmen went on to win, 56-53. Mulder finished with 25 points.
Several prominent players were no longer on the team. Holland High School had won the state championship a year before and Hope had the good fortune to snare freshman Edwin "Bud" Vande Wege. Hope posted a come- from-behind win over the Knights, 55-42, on February 4th, as Don Mulder scored 13 points. Another Holland High product, Bob Van Dyke joined the team during the second semester. Affectionately known as "Shorty," Van Dyke stood six feet, seven inches tall. It was fitting indeed that Don Mulder and Harv Buter, the last of the "Blitz Kids,' would play their last game against Calvin, but the real "big" news was that Milton "Bud" Hinga would be coaching his last game. After 17 years of coaching eight MIAA championship teams in three different sports, Hinga announced that he would step down and devote full time to his administrative duties. The desire of the fans to see these people in action for the last time made for a long line waiting outside the Armory. In typical Hope-Calvin fashion, the game was tightly contested. Hope led 30-29 at halftime. Herk Buter's basket with three minutes left gave Hope a 61-60 lead. This triggered an 11-point Dutch run that resulted in a 72-61 Hope victory. Nick Yonker, known for his football prowess as a Hope undergrad, scored a game-high 20 points. Bud Hinga finished with his career with a brilliant record of 178 wins and just 71 losses. Freshman Bud Vande Wege led the MIAA in scoring with 158 points while teammate Don Mulder was second with 149.
On March 11, 1948, 24-year-old Russ DeVette was named Hope's basketball mentor.
The word was out that slow-down basketball was an effective measure against the Flying Dutchmen. Playing at the Armory, the score was tied three-all after 10 minutes of play as Hope fans expressed their disapproval. The Flying Dutchmen responded by picking up the tempo to go ahead 25-18 at halftime. Hope's fast break was in synch the second half as Hope gained a 65-43 win. Calvin was led by Holland-native Duane Rosendahl's 14 point performance.
Calvin prevailed in Grand Rapids 49-45. The focus in this game was on two freshmen -- both Holland High products -- as Hope's Jun Bremer and Calvin's Duane Rosendahl each scored 13 points.
Calvin defeated Hope twice enroute to a 13-3 record, best of any Michigan college that season.
A year later Calvin was sporting a 12-1 record when the Knights came to the Armory. Again a long waiting line formed on Ninth Street well before the Armory doors were scheduled to open. Hope came into the game with a 3-9 record. Hope led 43-32 at halftime. Calvin came within three points in the second half before Hope prevailed, 75-70. Ron Bos -- a junior out for basketball for the first time -- led Hope with 18 points. Rosendahl prevailed for Calvin with 27 points.
The final game of the season was to be Hope versus Calvin at the Burton Gym. The limited seating prompted Calvin officials to move the game downtown to the Grand Rapids Civic Auditorium. The rivalry was fast assuming the proportions of a West Michigan classic. The teams were tied 33-all at intermission, but Calvin prevailed in the second half en route to a convincing 74-63 victory.
John Visser succeeded Russ DeVette as basketball coach when DeVette was recalled to active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps. His teams in 51-52 and 52-53 won MIAA championships. He had the distinction of coaching his younger brother, Bob. The team included two homegrown prospects -- Zeke Piersma and Dave Kempker.
John Visser had never really experienced a Calvin game. In his playing days at Hope, Calvin was not on the schedule. His baptism came on January 11, 1951 when 4,400 fans descended on the Grand Rapids Civic Auditorium. From the opening whistle it was a Calvin show. Hope trailed at halftime 39-25 and ended up losing, 85-43. Calvin historical accounts view this game "as one of Calvin's great moments in sports."
Hope went on to win the MIAA championship and incentives were not lacking in the season finale against Calvin on February 26th in Holland. The Calvin student body descended upon Holland in the late afternoon and lined up along ninth street waiting for the Armory doors to open. Hope students and townspeople joined the scramble for the 1,200 precious seats. Six weeks before the Flying Dutchmen had been humbled by the Knights in Hope's worst defeat in the long series. Now, riding on an eight-game winning streak, the Dutchmen felt the need to prove themselves one more time. From the start, the ingredients of fast break basketball were in place as Hope dominated the defensive boards and the outlet pass was quickly affected. Hope led 46-30 at halftime. Midway through the second half the Hope crowd's attention shifted to the individual performance of Ron Bos, who was well on his way to a new Hope scoring record. Sensing this, his teammates fed him the ball, but Bos, not a selfish player, often passed it back. This Alphone-Gaston routine (as Gord Brewer describes it in his book) resulted in several missed opportunities, but nonetheless Bos scored 36 points, a new Hope record, and Hope went on to win, 93-67. That's a reversal of 68 points in two games, from losing by 42 to winning by 26!
The attention of Holland sports fans during the winter of 1953 was the fact that world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano would be coming to Holland to train for his upcoming bout with Joe Walcott. The Marciano entourage set up camp at the Holland Furnace Recreation Grounds (now known as Leisure Acres) and Holland was suddenly on the nation's` sports map. Hope and Calvin split that year, Hope winning in Grand Rapids (70-66) and Calvin in Holland (91-81).
Calvin entered the MIAA, thanks in large part to Hope College. Calvin's application for league membership was sponsored by Hope with a strong endorsement from Milton "Bud" Hinga.
Hope and Calvin met amidst the usual hype on January 12th, but now the stakes were even higher because the Knights had joined the MIAA under new coach Barney Steen. The capacity Civic Auditorium crowd got its money's worth. With 1:09 remaining in the game, Bob Hendrickson's free throw put Hope ahead, 65-64. But with 32 seconds on the clock, Jim Kok scored on a layup to give Calvin the lead, 66-65. At this point, the Knights were in a position to ice the game as Hope fouled four times. But the pressure began to tell and all four free throw attempts were missed. Hope's Harold "Hal" Molenaar stole the ball with :07 on the clock. Teammate Johnny Adams had possession with four seconds left and arched a long one. The ball took an agonizing roll off the rim as time ran out for the one-point Calvin victory. Tony Diekema, who would become president of Calvin College, led the Knights with 18 points.
Calvin had already clinched the MIAA championship and the Dutchmen were going to be second when the Knights came to Holland in the season finale. It was a high-scoring, see-saw affair with the Dutchmen prevailing, 100-90. It marked the first time that either team had eclipsed the century mark in the series.
The big news for the year was the completion of the Holland Civic Center. The first game, on October 26, 1954, featured the Harlem Globetrotters with the likes of "Goose" Tatum and Marcus Haynes. Nine hundred and ninety-four theatre-type seats graced the balcony. Hope played its first game in the Civic Center on November 27, 1995 against RCA sister college Central of Iowa. Hope prevailed, 65-56.
The first Hope-Calvin game at the Civic Center was played on January 13, 1955. Calvin prevailed 93-82. The Sentinel reported that a "serious" snowball fight ensued in the parking lot, but there was no record of the outcome.
On February 18th in Grand Rapids, Hope extended the game into overtime. Don Vroon, who would later coach the Knights, sank a basket with three seconds left to force the extra period. "The drama continued in the extra period as the din from the crowd reduced the coaches to hand signals," according to Gord Brewer's account. The Dutchmen again appeared to be on the verge of victory, leading 89-87 with nine seconds remaining, but this time Ed Start not only put in the game-tying basket, but was fouled and Dutch hopes faded. Was it heavenly intervention in what was now being called "the battle of the denominations"? Start's free throw bounced back to Hope's Bill "Willie" Rink who passed quickly to Harold "Hal" Molenaar. Molenaar in turn went cross court to teammate Johnny Adams who, for the second year in-a- row, took the final shot. Adams' shot in 1954 had rimmed the hoop and dropped off, leaving Hope with a heartbreaking 66-65 loss. This night the fates were kinder and Adams' shot parted the net to give Hope a 91-89 victory! Molenaar scored 26 points in the game.
Calvin was in the unusual role of MIAA spoiler as a 64-61 Knight victory on January 9th at the Civic Center turned out to be the game that would force the Flying Dutchmen to share the MIAA championship with Albion.
Russ DeVette coached 550 Hope basketball games between 1948 and 1977. He views his "most satisfying win" as being a February 13, 1957 triumph over Calvin at the Grand Rapids Civic Auditorium, 89-62. Calvin had beaten Hope earlier in the season. The game matched two of the best "big" men in small college basketball at the time -- 6-10 Paul Benes of Hope and 6-9 Tom Newhof of Calvin. Benes scored 22 points that night and kept Newhof in check. Another emerging standout player, freshman Ray Ritsema, scored 20 points. It was the seventh straight year the teams split their two games.
Hope's only loss in an MIAA championship season was to rival Calvin, 66-62 at the Civic Auditorium. Hope had led 62-58 with 1:09 left in the game, but Calvin sophomore Bill Wolterstorff scored six unanswered points to turn the game around. The 20-3 Flying Dutchmen went on to the NCAA quarterfinals that year.
The first live telecast of a Hope-Calvin game occurred on January 11, 1960. It was beamed on WOOD-TV (Channel 8, Grand Rapids) in black-and-white from the Grand Rapids Civic Auditorium. Hope won the game, 80-71.
The first live telecast of a Hope-Calvin game from the Holland Civic Center occurred on February 15, 1961. Calvin won the game, 99-77. Some of the sponsors included Dutch Boy Baking Company, Gil Bussies Sinclair Fuel Products, Tomasma Meat Products, Grand Rapids Travel Company and Bill Pastoor Ford.
Hope College librarian John May arrived at Van Zoeren Library on the morning of the Calvin at Hope game to find all of the library's furniture (first and second floor) piled in the microfilm room. Considering it was the day of the Hope-Calvin game, many suspected Calvin of the plot. It took most of the day to return the furniture to its place. That night Hope defeated Calvin 68-66 in Grand Rapids after trailing 24-7 in the first half. The Anchor reported that a "slippery, newly-waxed floor caused more trouble for Hope's aggressive-type play that Calvin's slow, deliberate style."
Glenn VanWieren captained the 1963-64 Flying Dutchmen.
Hope freshman Don Kronemeyer, a Holland Christian High School product, sank a free throw after the buzzer of a double overtime game at the Holland Civic Center to give the Flying Dutchmen a 104-102 victory. He was fouled by Kim Campbell as the buzzer sounded while attempting to throw a long pass, after gathering in a rebound. Kronemeyer was carried off the court in celebration with the score 103-102 and had to return to put in the bonus half of the one-and-one. Campbell's clutch free throw shooting had sent the game into overtime. Calvin's Ed Douma fouled out in the first overtime. Campbell actually had a chance to be the hero during the second overtime. With 23 seconds remaining and Calvin ahead 102-100, he was at the free throw line with a one-and-one. He made the first free throw, but the referee ruled he was standing on the line and therefore turning the ball over to Hope. Carl Walters' layup tied the score with nine second left. Jim Frederick's shot as time ran out was no good. There was a scramble for the ball, Kronemeyer grabbed it with little chance to take a shot. The buzzer sounded and the game appeared to be going into a third overtime, or so everyone thought. Instead a foul was whistled on Campbell and as it's said, the rest was history.
The MIAA championship was on the line in a season-ending game won at Knollcrest. Barney Steen was coaching his last Calvin game and his Knights responded with a 79-72 victory after having lost to Hope in Holland, 83-78. Ed Douma, now Calvin's coach, was a standout performer for the Knights. Roy Anker, who today is a professor of English at Calvin, led the Flying Dutchmen with a career-high 22 points. "I was hitting my jump hook all afternoon and by the second half, I was being double teamed which was really quite a surprise for me as I wasn't really an offensive player...it was really quite extraordinary."
Mike "Mickey" Phelps, who would later become coach at Holland Christian High School, concluded an outstanding collegiate career by being voted the MIAA's most valuable player in both basketball and baseball. He scored 53 points in a single game, fortunately not against Hope.
With the score tied 64-64, Hope's Mike Riksen took a jump shot from the corner with eight seconds remaining. Calvin freshman Mark Veenstra, who would be the MIAA's most valuable player for four straight years, pulled down the rebound. He threw a long pass to teammate Mark Hoogewind who laid in the winning bucket with no time on the clock.
The March 2, 1977 game between the teams at the Holland Civic Center marked several milestones as both Hope coach Russ DeVette (25 seasons) and Calvin coach Ralph Honderd (7 seasons) were coaching their final game. It was also the final game for Calvin All-American Mark Veenstra whose 33-point performance keyed a 93-60 Knight victory.
February 6, 1980 was a red-letter day for Hope basketball. A 65-57 victory over Calvin at the Civic Center ended a 22-game losing streak with their archrival that had extended over 11 seasons. A key for Hope was the performance of three "super subs" -- Dale Wolfe, Tom VanderStel and John VandeGuchte.
The MIAA standings had ended in a three-way tie between Albion, Calvin and Hope so it was necessary to have a playoff to determine the league's representative to the NCAA playoffs. The games were scheduled for a neutral floor -- Middleville High School. On March 3, 1981 Calvin edged Hope 69-67 on freshman Paul TenBrink's tip-in.
Hope won at Calvin's Knollcrest fieldhouse for the first time since the 1966-67 season, topping the Knights 68- 65. The score was tied 14 times and the lead exchanged hands on 17 occasions before Scott Benson's jump-shot put Hope ahead to stay, 64-63, with 2:42 left. Hope's offense was paced by Todd Schuiling and Matt Neil who each scored 16 points.
The 100th meeting of the teams was a 94-65 Hope victory at the Civic Center.
WOOD-TV (NBC, Grand Rapids) pre-empted the State of the Union address by President Bush in order to televise the Hope-Calvin basketball game.
"Sports Illustrated" featured the Calvin at Hope game on February 15, 1992. The Knights won the game, 77-75. Calvin (22-1) went into the game ranked first in the nation among NCAA Division III teams while Hope was rated eighth (19-3). Calvin went on to win the Division III national championship.
Hope defeated Calvin three times in one season, a first. Calvin beat Hope three times in 1974-75.
The game at Calvin was moved to the new VanAndel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids. It is a sellout seven weeks before the game and the crowd of 11,442 establishes an NCAA Division III men's basketball single game attendance record. Hope wins 70-56 for its sixth consecutive triumph over Calvin. The game was also "broadcast" on the Internet for the first time with Calvin reporting an estimated 88,000 hits from web browsers around the world. The 1996-97 games were televised by WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids marking the end of a long affiliation with WOOD-TV.
The rivalry is featured in "Michigan History" magazine. Click here to view the article.
Hope extended its winning streak over Calvin to ten games, Hope's longest domination of the series. The tradition of the televised games continues, but for the first time by Public Broadcasting Service station WGVU.
The colleges extended their television agreement with WGVU thru the 1999-2000 season. Plans were also developed to telecast the game nationally via satellite. Co-sponsored by the Hope and Calvin alumni associations, the game played in Grand Rapids was viewed by alumni and friends at 24 locations from coast-to-coast and in Canada.
When the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus came to West Michigan, gymnasts donned Hope and Calvin basketball uniforms during their act in tribute to the storied small college rivalry.
The teams entered the 2000 games with the series tied at 71 victories for each school. Calvin won the game in Holland to gain an edge in the rivalry. For the second year in-a-row alumni and friends of the colleges gathered at locations around the United States and Canada to watch a live satellite telecast of the game, this time from the Holland Civic Center. The number of viewing locations increased to 42 and attracted more than 2,000 fans.
For the second time in the history of the series, the rivalry stepped on to the national political stage. (See 1989-90) Prior to the January 15th game, the Republican candidates for President of the United States conducted a nationally televised debate from the Calvin campus. Debate moderator Tim Russert of NBC promised the debate gathering that if they behaved, he would "announce the victory of the Calvin Knights over the Hope Flying Dutchmen" on the nationally televised "Meet the Press" program. The debate crowd behaved, Calvin won the game and Russert kept his promise announcing not only the win of the Calvin men, but also the victory over Hope by the Calvin women.
The teams met for the 50th time at the storied Holland Civic Center with the Knights prevailing, 78-68. After 143 games, the teams were separated by just three points!
After losing twice to Calvin during the regular season, the Flying Dutchmen, behind a second half rally, defeated the Knights 70-63 in the championship game of the MIAA tournament played at Knollcrest. It advanced the Flying Dutchmen to the NCAA Division III tournament while the season was over for Calvin.
Calvin won the 150th meeting of the teams, 74-70.
The mayors of the cities of Holland and Grand Rapids, Albert McGeehan and John Logie, establish a traveling trophy -- a gold plated gavel - for the rivalry. The exchange is based on the outcome of both the men's and women's Hope/Calvin games. Calvin wins the first challenge for Mayor Logie, but Hope claims it in the second meeting for McGeehan after both the men's and women's team defeat Calvin.
Each team surpasses 10,000 points in the series in the same game, Hope's 92-76 victory on February 12, 2003. Calvin's 10,000 point is scored by Joel Hoekstra on a three-pointer with 3:37 left in the game and Hope's 10,000th comes with 33 seconds remaining by Greg Immink. After 151 games only 14 points separate these teams!
The teams extend their television agreement with WGVU through the 2005-06 season.
With two victories, Hope extends its winning streak over Calvin to four in-a-row. The Flying Dutchmen won a record 33rd MIAA championship. The Knights went on to win the conference tournament to gain a berth in the NCAA playoffs.
The second game on February 16, 2005 was the final meeting between the teams in the Holland Civic Center. Beginning in 2005-06 Hope would play its home game at college's new Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse. The Flying Dutchmen prevail in the final Civic Center game, posting a 71-68 victory. Hope ends with a 31-24 victory advantage in games played at the Civic Center.
ESPN includes the Hope/Calvin rivalry among the nation's top ten collegiate basketball rivalries . An ESPN crew spent two days recording the leadup to the game and all the excitement at the Holland Civic Center. When the program was aired on ESPN2 in September, 2005 the Hope/Calvin rivalry ranked fourth on ESPN's top ten list behind Duke-North Carolina, Connecticut-Tennessee women, and Lousville-Kentucky and ahead of Xavier-Cincinnati, Indiana-Purdue, Philadelphia's "Big 5", Illinois-Missouri, Penn-Princeton, and Oklahoma-Oklahoma State. The ranking was determined by ESPN staff. In a poll of fans conducted by the television network, Hope-Calvin ranked first by an overwhelming margin.
The opening of the new Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse on the Hope College campus shifted the rivalry game from the Holland Civic Center where the teams had met for more than 50 years to the state-of-the-art facility. The Flying Dutchmen won the inaugural game 79-61 before the traditional sellout and a national television audience (CSTV).
In the season's second meeting Calvin led only once the entire game, but it was the final score of 59-58 after freshman guard Caleb Veldhouse sank a three-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining.
Hope maintained its perfect record against Calvin in MIAA tournament championship games (4-0), winning 68-55 at Calvin. Playing a fourth time, the Flying Dutchmen defeated the Knights 70-67 in an NCAA tournament game played at DeVos Fieldhouse.
The teams extend their television agreement with WGVU through the 2008-09 season. Hope-Calvin regular season games were first telecast in 1961. WGVU became the originator in 1997-98.
The teams met for the first time in the 11-year history of the Select Bank Hall of Fame Classic, a tournament featuring West Michigan small college teams Aquinas, Cornerstone, Calvin and Hope. The Flying Dutchmen prevailed 76-54 in a game played at Calvin.
Hope posted 28 consecutive victories at the college's new DeVos Fieldhouse. That streak was ended by Calvin 77-71 on Feb. 7, 2007.
NCAA President Myles Brand attended the February 7, 2007 game at the DeVos Fieldhouse as Hope marked 50 years of NCAA membership.
The teams met a record five times during the 2006-07 season. During the regular season Hope won twice in games at Calvin and Calvin won twice in games at Hope! The fifth meeting was played on a neutral court in the NCAA championships with Hope prevailing 80-64 in regional play at Aurora, Ill. before an estimated 1,800 fans who made the 190 mile journey.After 166 games, the alltime series is tied at 83 wins apiece!. During the current decade (beginning in 2000), the teams have each won 12 times and over the past two decades (since 1990) the teams are 22-22.
Because of the construction of new athletic facilities at Calvin, the fire marshall orders a reduction in the seating capacity of Knollcrest Fieldhouse for the 2007-08 season from its customary 4,500 to approximately 2,500.
By winning both regular season contests, Hope takes a two-game advantage in the alltime series (85-83). It is Hope's biggest series advantage since 2000-01. In each victory Hope had players with career-high scoring operformances -- Marcus Vanderheide (31 points) and Tyler Wolfe (26 points) in game #1 and Jesse Reimink (25 points) in game #2.
Hope expanded its advantage in the series to three games by defeating the Knights 88-72 before a record DeVos Fieldhouse crowd of 3,653 fans. Trailing by 13 points in the first half, the Flying Dutchmen rallied behind the 25-point scoring performance of senior Tyler Wolfe who averaged 21 points in Hope/Calvin games this season.
The season's two conference games were decided by a total of just three points. Hope avenged those losses by defeating Calvin in the championship game of the conference tournament.
In the first game, played at DeVos Fieldhouse, the Flying Dutchmen just came up short in their come-from-behind effort. Trailing by 10 points with less than five minutes to play, the Dutchmen were in a position in the closing seconds of the game to win it. But it wasn't to be as the Knights won the 170th game in the storied rivalry 66-64 before a sellout crowd. Twice in the second half Hope rallied from a double-digit deficit. The second time Hope went from trailing 63-53 to leading 64-63 with 1:47 left in the game. Free throws by Calvin's John Mantel put the Knights ahead 65-64 with 1:17 to go. The teams exchanged missed shots before Hope had possession with nine seconds remaining. Jesse Reimink's jumper at :05 missed, Calvin rebounded and the outcome was determined, 66-64.
Hope's first trip to Calvin's new basketball arena ended in a heartbreaking 63-62 loss. With one minute left in the game, Hope's Peter Bunn scored to give the Flying Dutchmen a four-point lead, 62-58. Calvin's Caleb Veldhouse answered with a cluth three-pointer with 54 seconds remaining. Hope brought the shot clock down to a second, but Jesse Reimink's jump shot failed to drop at :18. It was Calvin's turn to run the clock. Matt Veltema's baseline layup with three seconds left provided the margin of victory. Peter Bunn led Hope with 21 points while Jesse Reimink had a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds. The Flying Dutchmen made six more baskets, but Calvin was 15-for-23 on free throws compared to just 4-for-7 by Hope.
For the third time in four years, ESPN in February, 2009, highlighted the rivalry by including it with a photo from DeVos Fieldhouse in the Rivalry Week feature in ESPN The Magazine. It was the only small college rivalry featured in the article.
In the third meeting of the 2008-09 season, the underdog Flying Dutchmen pulled off an upset topping the regular season MIAA champion Knights 69-59 at Calvin's new Van Noord Arena. More than 4,000 fans packed the gym to watch the game. Hope reeled off 18 straight points over a six-minute span in the second half, then held off a furious late rally to knockoff the Knights and win the MIAA tournament crown for a fourth consecutive year. Since the MIAA tournament was initiated in 1992, Hope and Calvin have each won the title eight times. Jesse Reimink, who led the MIAA in scoring this season, fired in 25 points, including 5-of-6 on 3-point tries. John Mantel led the Knights with 13 points.
For the second year in-a-row the Flying Dutchmen gained an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs by defeating the Knights in the championship game of the conference tournament. In both 2008-09 and 2009-10 Calvin was the regular season champion while Hope was the tournament winner.
The 2009-10 season was the final one for Hope coach Glenn Van Wieren who over a 33-year career posted a 46-41 record in games against rival Calvin.
The teams split their regular season games, each winning on the other's court. Calvin totally dominated Hope in the first game at DeVos Fieldhouse, 95-81. The Flying Dutchmen came back to win at Van Noord Arena, rallying from an 18-point deficit to claim a 76-70 victory.
The Flying Dutchmen swept the regular season series enroute to winning an outright MIAA championship. In one of the more notable comebacks in the alltime series, Hope in the first meeting rallied for an eight-point halftime deficit to win by 16 points, 81-65. The Flying Dutchmen entered the second game at Calvin ranked #1 in the nation D3hoops.com and emerged an 83-70 victor. It marked the fourth time in the series history that one of the teams entered the ranked #1. In each case the top-ranked team won the game -- Hope in 1983-84 (twice), Calvin in 1991-92, and now Hope (2011-12).
The team each won their home court, the Knights by the lopsided score of 75-49 and the Flying Dutchmen in a nail-biter 73-70.