ALBION, Mich. – Albion College earned a 72-67 victory over Calvin College to pull within a ½ game of the Knights for third place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's basketball standings.
To get the victory, however, Albion had to withstand an 11-0 run as Calvin sprinted to a 13-4 lead. Becca Richards scored five points, Ali Spayde hit from 3-point range and Bre Luurtsema tacked on a 3-point play.
"Rebounding was the key," Albion Head Coach Doreen Carden said. "We gave up so many opportunities that they scored off of.
Albion cut the deficit to three on four occasions in the second quarter, but Calvin was able to repel the Britons every time.
Calvin could not hold off Albion in the third quarter. Sam Carter produced six points, Evelyn Wischmeyer buried a 3-pont basket and Emily Bernas and Rain Hinton tacked on two points apiece as Albion scored the first 13 points of the third quarter for a 43-39 lead.
The lead changed eight times before Albion seized control with an 8-0 run in building a 64-58 lead with four minutes to play.
Once Albion got the lead, it played with a confidence that carried the Britons to their first victory over Calvin since Dec. 13, 2008.
"The whole mindset was we're not losing this game," Carden said. "Everyone believed it and that led to doing the little things like rebounding and transition defense."
Gillum finished with 16 points, the most she's scored against a MIAA rival this season and one shy of her career high. She was efficient, hitting 6-of-11 shots from the field, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range.
"Maija came off the bench and played with a ton of confidence," Carden said. "She gave us good minutes and that definitely helped us today."
Bernas and Hinton led the starting unit with 14 points apiece and Wischmeyer added 11.
Spayde led all players with 28 points.
Albion (15-6 overall, 8-4 MIAA) hits the road for its next three games. Next up for the Britons is a Wednesday trip to Alma College.
Follow the Britons on Twitter: @AlbionWBB