NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Taylor Hanson (Sr./Saint Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) posted his seventh career double-double—a 19-point, 11-rebound performance on an efficient 8-of-13 effort from the field—but it wasn’t enough for the Carleton College men’s basketball team as the Knights fell just short of an upset of the No. 15-ranked University of Saint Thomas, 65-59.
Carleton (7-11, 5-8 MIAC) shot 46 overall and held the Tommies (15-3, 12-1 MIAC) to a season-worst 37 percent shooting overall and only 21 percent from beyond the arc. The Knights also out-rebounded the first-place Tommies by a 37-24 margin.
However, St. Thomas enjoyed a 17-1 advantage in points off turnovers and went 24-of-27 from the charity stripe, two statistics that ultimately proved to be more important than the shooting and rebounding tallies for Carleton.
Benefitting from a 6-0 spurt late in a tightly contested first half, St. Thomas carried a 33-27 lead into halftime.
After Hanson pulled the Knights within 37-33 with 16 minutes remaining, the Tommies used a 7-0 run over the next four minutes to built what might have seemed to be a safe 44-33 advantage.
Down by what would prove to be the largest deficit of the game for either team, Carleton found a way to rally back against the nationally-ranked Tommies. The spark to the rally came on an assist by Hanson, finding John Eckert (So./North Judson, Ind./North Judson) for a layup, good for two of his seven points, which he paired with eight rebounds on the afternoon.
That bucket kickstarted a 10-3 Carleton run capped by Mitchell Biewen’s (Fy./Golden Valley, Minn./Armstrong) three-pointer with 6:44 left to play, pulling the Knights to within 47-43.
The Carleton defense held St. Thomas to only six field goals during the second half—none during the final four minutes—but the Tommies were simply too good from the free-throw stripe, making all 12 attempts down the stretch to hold off the home squad for a 65-59 victory.
Shane McSparron (Jr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) scored 10 points with first-years Peter Bakker-Arkema (Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline), Mitchell Biewen (Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong), and Tianen Chen (Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora Township) chipping in nine, seven, and six points, respectively.
Zach Riedeman tallied a game-high 24 points to pace St. Thomas, which also go 14 points from guard Erik Tengwall as well as 11 points and 10 rebounds from Conner Nord.
Carleton will look to get back in the win column on Monday, Feb. 3, as the Knights play host to Bethel University for a 7:30 pm tipoff. Live stats and live video coverage of the contest can be found on Knights Online.