NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- Senior Taylor Hanson’s (St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) game-high 17 points—14 of them coming in the second half—helped put the Knights in front, but the Carleton College men’s basketball team was unable to emerge victorious in a back-and-forth tilt against cross-town rival St. Olaf College that ended, 52-47, in favor of the visitors.
“Taylor’s always a warrior at both ends of the floor. Totally consumed, very talented, very hard-working, and a good man to have,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland after the game, “St. Olaf is a nice club. I thought we guarded really well and were pretty organized from that standpoint.”
Carleton (7-4, 5-6 MIAC) played neck-and-neck with St. Olaf (12-4, 9-2 MIAC) out of the starting gates, and strung together a five-point lead before heading into intermission with the score knotted up at 23-23.
The Knights came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, opening the period with a 10-4 run. The Oles responded later in the period with an 11-0 run to give the visitors a 42-37 lead with 9:19 to play.
Hanson scored Carleton’s next eight points, including a pair of free throws that the Knights back on top 45-44 with 4:25 remaining. The upset was not to be as St. Olaf pulled off an 8-2 run to end the game.
In addition to his game-high 17 points, Hanson also contributed nine boards for the Knights. Carleton also benefitted from a 10-rebound performance by John Eckert (So./North Judson, Ind./North Judson) and nine points from first-year guard Beau Smit (White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake).
Connor Gunderson totaled 14 points to lead the Oles, who shot 54 percent in the second half to overcome a 37-21 disadvatnage.
“I thought we sustained a good level of play,” said Kalland, “I think we’re playing at a solid level that we need to continue to play at to try to grab a playoff spot.”
The Knights next travel to St. Paul, Minn., to square off against Hamline University on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. Live audio will be available on KDHL 920 AM and Knights Online.