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Knights’ Playoff Hopes Dashed with Loss at Augsburg

February 19, 2014 at 10:51 pm
By Andrew Harvey '15

MINNEAPOLIS--Despite Taylor Hanson’s (Sr./St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) 20-point performance—the eighth of his career with the Knights—the Carleton College men’s basketball team was eliminated from postseason contention with a 75-67 loss at Augsburg College.

Carleton (9-15, 7-12 MIAC) faced a challenging—yet attainable—path to the playoffs. The journey required a victory over Augsburg tonight plus a Knight triumph against Macalester on Saturday as well as a Bethel loss to St. Olaf in the regular-season finale. Tonight’s result, however, removes the potential for drama on Saturday as all six spots in the conference tournament have now been clinched.

Just as they did in their first meeting earlier this season, both squads were efficient on offense in the first half. Augsburg (17-7, 13-6 MIAC) went 13-of-26 (.500) from the field in the first half, while Carleton shot a blistering 74 percent (17-of-23) over the first period. Both sides shot better than 70 percent from beyond the three-point line.

The Knights’ superior shooting granted them a 41-35 advantage at the break as both Hanson and Shane McSparron (Jr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) were already in double figures. Augsburg’s Andy Seidlitz tallied 15 of his game-high 29 points in the first half.

The Auggies reversed their fortune in the second half, opening the stanza with a 17-2 run to swing the game their way. Carleton struggled to keep pace, converting just six field goals during the second period en route to the loss.

In addition to Hanson’s 20, the Knights had three other players put up double digits on the night. McSparron and Tianen Chen (Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora Township) each contributed 12. Mitchell Biewen (Fy./Golden Valley, Minn./Armstrong) added 10 points to the effort. Carleton also benefitted from a jack-of-all-trades performance by Peter Bakker-Arkema (Fy./Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline), who scored nine points, grabbed eight boards, and doled out five assists.

Hanson and company limited Dan Kornbaum, the MIAC’s leading scorer, to just eight points, but Seidlitz was able to pick up the slack, finishing 11-of-16 overall including 5-of-6 from long range. The victory clinched the No. 3 for Augsburg in next week’s MIAC Playoffs.

Senior Day will provide one final opportunity for Hanson and Cameron Webb (Sr./Portland, Ore./Lincoln) to don the maize and blue on Saturday, Feb. 22. Carleton hosts Macalester College for a women’s/men’s doubleheader at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. Live stats and video will be available on Knights Online.