ANDERSON — In a game that was really a tale of two halves, Calvin College kept Anderson University at arm’s length for a 72-58 triumph here Tuesday night.
The Knights defeated AU 98-56 a year ago. “That was just a wasted game for us last season,” said Ravens coach Owen Handy. “We were just overwhelmed.”
The first half of this season’s matchup was a little bit the same way. The Ravens trailed 36-20 at intermission.
“We played fearful,” said Handy. “We shied away from them because of their size.” Calvin started a front line that was 6-foot-7, 6-8 and 6-9 compared to AU’s 6-6, 6-3, 6-3. After 20 minutes, the Ravens had seven total rebounds, none on the offensive end, and Calvin had 10 offensive boards.
In the second half, it was a different story. Calvin only won the rebound battle 15-14 over the final 20 minutes. The Ravens went at the visitors’ defense and hit 45 percent from the field compared to 35 percent in the opening half.
“In the second half we were aggressive at boxing out,” said Handy. “Before the game I told them we had to box out and we had to play like us and not like some other team. We did those things in the second half. We won the second half.” AU outscored the guests 38-36 in the second half.
Much of the reason that the Ravens (0-3) had an extra spark offensively was the play of junior Max Mollaun. After getting just five points before intermission, he filled it up by getting 15 more points, hitting 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
Brett Anderson scored nine points to be AU’s second-high scorer. Frankton’s Carson Breckenridge scored seven points and added three rebounds.
Jordan Brink topped the Knights (ranked No. 17 pre-season and now 1-0) with 14 points, Tyler Kruis added 13 and Mickey DeVries scored 11 and contributed 10 rebounds.
“We did some great, consistent things we wanted to do defensively,” said Handy. “Half of our players have only played our defense for a year and a month. The other half have played it a month. But they believe in what we’re doing and they are working hard.”
The Ravens played without 6-7 freshman Cody Schwieterman and 6-1 senior Cody Jackson. “Both of them are going to see the doctor (today),” said Handy. “Hopefully we will have an answer on when they will be back after that.”
AU is on the road to play Evansville Saturday at 3 p.m.