Article by Aaron Sagraves, Cornerstone (Mich.) Assistant AD for Communications
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - With 2:09 to play on Wednesday night, senior Kyle Steigenga laid the ball in on a pass from teammate Sam Vander Sluis to become the state of Michigan’s all-time leader in points scored. The bucket was one of 30 points scored by Steigenga in No. 1 ranked Cornerstone’s 75-59 win over rival Aquinas. Kyle now has 2,859 points in his career and will lead the Golden Eagles, 23-3 overall, 16-1 WHAC,
In the renewal of what has become one of the best rivalries in small college basketball, the attention turned to Cornerstone’s Kyle Steigenga, who came into the game needing 30 points to break the all-time state of Michigan scoring record. Aquinas had other plans early as the Saints roared out to a 7-0 lead and increased it to 9-1 just under three minutes into the game. CU slowly chipped away at the lead and after a Sam Vander Sluis layup with 8:28 to play in the first half and the Golden Eagles would never trail again. Steigenga then got going offensively, scoring seven of his 11 first-half points over the final six minutes to help CU go into the locker room leading 35-27.
Needing 19 points to reach the milestone, Kyle got started quickly in the second half, scoring nine points in the first 9:34 to get within 10 of the mark and then scored eight points over the next seven-plus minutes to get him within a bucket. On a possession that started with just under three minutes to play, Kyle missed a jumper from the arc but Sam Vander Sluis came up with the offensive rebound who then hit a cutting Steigenga for a wide open layup and the record.
A timeout was called by coach Kim Elders and the standing ovation from the crowd ensued. Kyle was immediately subbed out of the game to another raucous ovation and the mark stands at 2,859 points and counting with three regular-season games remaining and tournament play to follow.
“I don’t think it is going to sink in for a while. It was just a really special night. I had so many family members and friends here. It was an incredible moment to share with everybody“ – Senior Kyle Steigenga
“He is a once-in-a-lifetime player. To do it at home with the fans was outstanding. There was some pressure there, but he is a poised young man. He is a hard guy to stop. We ran a lot of stuff through him. We went to the playbook and tried to find everything we could for him — we have a bunch of them for him. It happened to be an offensive rebound by Sam Vander Sluis that did it.” – Head coach Kim Elders
“I knew he needed one more basket. It was really special to be able to pass him the ball like that — something I will remember forever. “It has definitely been a special opportunity for me to be with him this whole process.” Junior Sam Vander Sluis
By the Numbers
30/2,859 – Kyle Steigenga had his second highest points total of season
1 – scored his first point against Grace Bible on October 30, 2014
1,000 – scored his 1,000th career point on December 12,
2,000 – scored his 2,000th career point on January 28,
2,500 – scored his 2,500th career point on November 25,
2,773 – broke the CU school record on January 27,
2,859 – broke the state of Michigan record on February 7,
Cornerstone will head to the road for their next two games, starting Saturday when they travel to Rochester for a 3 p.m. tip against the Warriors.