Knights Prove Royalty Over Pointers
Andy Hesse
Sectionals are out of reach for the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point women’s basketball team after losing to Calvin College 76-71 on Saturday. The game was close, with neither team gaining more than a five-point advantage until Calvin College went on a 9-2 run to close out the game.
The Knights jumped out to a five-point lead within the first four minutes of the game, but Point tied the game at 12-12 11 minutes into the game. The two teams would tie five more times in the first half including the 30-30 score at the halfway mark.
Junior guard Sam Barber canned a three to give Point the 46-45 lead in the second half. They would extend it as high as five points before the Knights charged back.
The two teams would exchange leads over the next few possessions until Calvin College took the final lead of the game with just over two minutes remaining. With just seconds left, the Knights gained a game-high seven-point lead before a couple of Pointer free throws brought the deficit to five as time expired.
The two teams were statistically close, with Calvin just over six percent better than the Pointers from the field. The greatest margin in stats was from the three-point line where Point converted just four of their 20 attempts and Calvin sank six-of-14 attempts.
Both teams pulled down 39 rebounds during the contest, with Point raking in 31 defensive boards and Calvin recording 26. Junior forward Carissa Verkaik led all scorers with 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Knights. Barber, the WIAC Player of the Year, cashed in a double-double in her final game of the season, leading the Pointers with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

The 11th-ranked UW-Stevens Point women’s basketball team fell in the second round of 
the NCAA Division III Tournament 76-71 on Saturday evening. Photo by Jack McLaughlin.
With the win, Calvin College is heading to Chicago for the sectionals where the 27-1 Knights will face off against the undefeated University of Chicago Maroons. The Maroons are coming off of a four-point win over fellow Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member UW-Eau Claire.
Point will be charged with replacing their four seniors during the off-season, guards Cassie Bandow and All-Sportsmanship recipient Whitney Verdegan, as well as post players Brittni Buechel and First Team All-Conference performer Ashley Averkamp. Both Bandow and Averkamp were team captains and each player had been a member of the team their entire collegiate career.