NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Tianen Chen (Fy./Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora Township) and Taylor Hanson (Sr./Saint Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) had 21 points apiece to lead the Carleton College men’s basketball team to a 77-61 victory over Saint Mary’s University. This is the Knights’ sixth triumph in the last eight games.
“We hit the floor real hard. It was very determined Carleton team,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “I was really happy with our offensive efficiency and defensive effort. We did a nice job handling the ball screens tonight.”
The Knights (6-6, 4-3 MIAC) never trailed, opening the game with a 17-2 burst en route to the win. Carleton shot 57 percent from the field—its third-highest field-goal percentage of the season. The hosts also posted season-best totals in rebounds (45) and assists (23).
After Carleton carried a 39-27 lead into intermission, the Cardinals (2-10, 1-6 MIAC) opened the second period on an 8-0 spurt. Following a Knights timeout, the hosts went back to their senior post as back-to-back buckets by Hanson sparked a 22-9 run that put Carleton back in command of the game.
Saint Mary’s tried to keep pace via the long-range shot, making 10 three pointers, but the Cardinals had no answer for the Carlton posts.
Hanson was 10-for-12 from the floor and corralled 14 rebounds for his sixth career double-double. Chen made 10-of his-13 field-goal attempts. John Eckert (So./North Judson, Ind./North Judson) added six points, nine rebounds and a career-high tying seven assists.
Guards Mitchell Biewen (Fy./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) and Beau Smit (Fy./White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake) contributed 15 and 10 points, giving Carleton three rookies in double figures.
“First-year kids are way different in November than they are in January. There is a lot more playing and less thinking as they get into a more instinctive phase.”
Ronnie Ortiz tallied a career-best 18 points to pace the Cardinals.
Carleton hosts Augsburg College at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Live video of that contest will be available via Knights Online.