Time runs out on Tiger Comeback, Kuyper prevails 97-86Nick Van Loo dribbles up the court to begin the game. The Tiger guard had a season-high 13 points and 4 assists.
Grand Rapids, MI – The anticipation for last night’s rivalry game between Kuyper College and Grace Bible College was high. The Cougars took down the Tigers way back on November 9th at Aldrich Athletic Center, and the Tigers were able to knock off the Cougars in the Calvin tournament back on November 23rd and also at Kuyper’s gym last month on January 21st. For the fourth game, as expected, both schools brought in their fan bases, and the Aldrich Athletic Center was completely filled.
Right out of the gate you could see that the game was going to be very fast paced, with consistent matching baskets from each team to start off the first couple minutes. Approaching the 11:00 mark in the first half, the Tigers were able to momentarily break away from the Cougars with an 8 point lead after an 8-0 run that included three-pointers from freshman Jared Bradford and Sophomore Paul Tenharmsel and a breakaway two-handed slam by Tenharmsel. The Grace lead was extended to as much as 11 in the first half, on a basket by senior Nick Mascorro at around the 8:00 mark. For the remainder of the half the Cougars chipped away at the lead, backed by strong play from junior forward Kyle Hoek and senior Sal Hermiz. Kuyper was able to cut the lead to 1 with seconds remaining, before Mascorro was able to make the score 40-37 on a coast-to-coast runner at the sound of the buzzer.
The second half started in Grace’s favor, with a quick basket from junior Brad Rosenzweig to extend their lead to 5. For the next 11:00, Kuyper caught fire and hit jump shot after jump shot in a 43-14 run that would result in an 80-56 lead with under 7:00 remaining in the game. At this point, the Tigers were not ready to quit anytime soon and looked determined to somehow find a way to put themselves in a position to have a chance to win the game despite the large deficit. Strong shooting and defensive stops led to Grace cutting the lead all the way to 7 (82-89) with 1:20 remaining. That 1:20 turned out to be too short of time to complete the comeback, as Hermiz was able to knock down free throw after free throw for the Cougars to seal the win, 97-86.
Bradford led the Tigers with 20 points on 7-11 shooting (4-6 from 3-point range). Mascorro and junior guard Nick Van Loo put together great performances on their final game on the home floor, with 15 and 13 points respectively. Mascorro also led the team with 5 assists and 4 steals, while Van Loo chipped in 4 assists. Rosenzweig led the squad with 9 boards on the night.
The Tigers will not have much time for rest, as they will be traveling to Wisconsin for three upcoming games, the first being at Finlandia University at 7:00 PM on Thursday.