Engelhard nets 37 as No. 5 Calvin takes down No. 18 Thomas More
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. -- Traveling to Crestview Hills, Kentucky to face Thomas More in the first round of the Julie Costello Memorial Classic, Calvin played against host and in-region foe Thomas More. The Knights came into the match at 2-1 overall and ranked No. 5 in the nation, while the Saints were 18th nationally and 3-0 overall.
The Knights jumped out to an 8-3 lead with four points apiece from senior Ally Wolffis and sophomore Kayla Engelhard.
The Saints recovered with a 14-7 run to take the lead 17-15 with just eight minutes left in the opening half.
Calvin retook the lead on a pair of Engelhard field goals and held the lead for the remainder of the half, taking a 30-25 advantage into the intermission.
Engelhard had 14 points at half, while Wolffis had six and senior Carissa Verkaik had five points and nine rebounds.
Out of the break, Calvin pushed its lead to as much as twelve points at 44-32 before the Saints mounted a comeback.
Thomas More then went on a 22-3 run, led by Devin Beasley who scored 10 points during the run, to take the lead 54-47.
Calvin cut the Saints advantage to 58-54 before Thomas More opened up its lead to 65-54 with three minutes remaining.
With the game seemingly in the hands of the Saints, Calvin mounted a furious comeback. Down 69-60 with 1:31 remaining, the Knights scored nine consecutive points capped by a Kelsey Irwin 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
Entering overtime, Calvin held all the momentum and responded with a 9-3 run to take the 78-72 lead.
The Knights then did what the Saints could not and held the lead for the remainder of the period, fending off Thomas More and earning the thrilling 84-75 come-from-behind victory. Calvin outscored the Saints 15-6 in the extra period.
The Knights were led on offense by Engelhard, who scored a career-high 37 points and grabbed seven rebounds, shattering her previous high of 21 points. Verkaik chipped in a near triple-double with 16 points, 17 rebounds and eight blocks. The double-double was the 40th of Verkaik’s career. Irwin added 11 points off the bench including the game-tying triple with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Saints were led by Beasley who scored 27 points. Guards Allison Long and Katie Kitchen added 18 points and 15 points, respectively.
“I think both teams came out very sluggish in the first half. We got a good lead in the second half, and before you know it, we’re down by 10,” head coach John Ross said. “We couldn’t get the ball inside, we weren’t hitting shots, and we weren’t defending. Then, we went to a press, picked up a little energy, and Kelsey Irwin hit a big three at the end. Kayla had a career game from an offensive scoring point, it was good to see her do that. Give our team a lot of credit for battling and battling.”