Game Notes: Flying Dutch at NCAA Regional (3/4/11)
NCAA Women's Basketball Regional
at Hope College - March 4-5, 2011
The Hope College Flying Dutch (26-2) are playing in the NCAA Division III tournament for the sixth consecutive year and for the 13th time in school history. The Flying Dutch were national champions in 1990 and 2006 and a year ago (2010) finished second in the nation. The team has advanced to the Elite Eight each of the past three seasons (2008, 2009 and 2010). Hope has an all-time record of 25-10 (.714) in NCAA games.
Hope has the distinction of having both its men's and women's teams in the NCAA tournament for a sixth consecutive year. No other Division III program can match that accomplishment. The Flying Dutchmen are playing in a Regional tournament at Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill. this weekend.
The two losses suffered by the Flying Dutch this season have been to rival Calvin on the road, 46-45 during the regular season and 67-65 in the conference tournament championship game this past weekend. Hope and Calvin were co-champions of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Calvin, which is also hosting a Regional this weekend, received the MIAA's automatic berth in the tournament while Hope received an at-large spot.
Three of the teams in this Regional have been national champions in the past five years - Hope 2006, DePauw 2007 and Washington-St. Louis 2010. Washington has a total of five national championships (1998-1999-2000-2001-2010).
The Quality of this Regional is unlike any other in the country with all four teams ranked among the nation's top 15 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll - #6 Hope (26-2), #8 Denison (28-0), #9 DePauw (25-3) and #15 Washington-St. Louis (20-5).
This is the third straight year that Hope is hosting the Regional tournament. Two teams in this year's Regional, DePauw and Denison, played in last year's Regional at Hope, both losing to the Flying Dutch. Later in the tournament Washington-St. Louis defeated Hope in the national championship game, 65-59. Earlier this season Hope edged Washington 49-47 on a neutral court at Ohio Wesleyan.
The Flying Dutch bring a 76-game home floor winning streak into the Regional. Since moving to DeVos in 2005, the Flying Dutch have a 95-1 home floor record.
Hope versus Regional Field: The Flying Dutch have a long history with the other teams in the Regional. The series with both Denison and DePauw started in 1983 and play against Washington-St. Louis began in 1991. Hope leads the DePauw series 6-1 and the Denison series 3-1. Hope and Washington-St. Louis are tied at two victories apiece.
Brian Morehouse is in his 15th season as Hope's coach. He entered the 2010-11 season ranked second among NCAA Division III coaches by winning percentage. His career record is 374-62 (.858). The Flying Dutch have won 20-or-more games for 13 straight years. Eentering 2010-11 Washington-St. Louis coach Nancy Fahey ranked #3 among the winningest coaches in Division III (now 591-105, .849) and DePauw's Kris Huffman ranked #9 (405-99, .804).
Flying Dutch Seniors Carrie Snikkers (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian HS) and Erika Bruinsma (Grand Rapids, Mich./GR Christian HS) have been named to the all-conference first team of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Sophomore Liz Ellis of Grand Rapids, Mich. (East Grand Rapids HS) has been named the MIAA's Defensive Player of the Year and to the all-conference second team.
Hope's five seniors have all appeared in NCAA tournament games four straight years - Erika Bruinsma (Grand Rapids, Mich./GR Christian HS), Miranda DeKuiper (Ludington, Mich./Ludington HS), Lauren Geers (Scottville/Mason County Central HS), Rachael Kutney (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Lake Shore HS), and Carrie Snikkers (Jenison/Unity Christian HS).
Team Approach: Ten Hope players have averaged 13-or-more minutes of playing time per game this season and no player has averaged more than 21 minutes.
National Stat Rankings: Hope has a top-ten ranking in several NCAA Division III statistical categories -- #3 in margin of victory (26.6 points per game), #4 in scoring defense (47.6 ppg), #5 in field percentage defense (.309 by opponents), and #9 in field goal percentage (.452 by Hope). Among the Regional teams, DePauw leads Division III in rebounding margin (13.7 per game) and Denison is the leader in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.32).
Stat Watch: Carrie Snikkers (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian HS) ranks second all-time at Hope in scoring with 1,386 points. The career leader is Amanda Kerkstra with 1,568 from 1999-2003...Snikkers is Hope's all-time leader in blocked shots with 210 (73 more than #2 Lisa Timmer, 1993-97). She also ranks in the top ten career-wise in several other categories - #3 in field goals (540), #8 in three-pointers (91), #9 in free throws (215), #5 in rebounds (770), and #10 in steals (168).
Looking Ahead: The Division III Women's Basketball Final Four will be coming to Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse in 2012 and 2013.