Northfield, Minn. -- Zach Johnson (Fy./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) scored 25 points, including two late free throws to force overtime and a key three-pointer in the extra session, as Carleton College won its 10th straight MIAC contest, 67-65, over visiting St. John's University.
The Knights (13-5, 10-3 MIAC) broke the school record for most consecutive MIAC wins in a row, set by the 1995-96 squad. Carleton has won nine consecutive games overall, tied for the second-longest winning streak in the modern era. The win allowed the Knights to remain one game back of league-leading St. Thomas.
Dan Forkrud (Sr./Rosemount, Minn.) added 15 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists for the Knights, who made 4-of-5 from the field in the extra session after rallying from down five with five minutes left. Jake Phillips (Jr./Brainerd, Minn.) added nine points, four rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 45 minutes of action.
Tyler Westman paced SJU (9-9, 7-6 MIAC) with 21 points, including five 3-pointers. Craig Shafer added 13 points and 10 rebounds and Matt Ohme had 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
SJU took a 32-30 lead at the break and extended the lead as Brady Brink and Westman drilled consecutive triples to boost the Johnnies to a 45-38 lead with 12 minutes left. Jay Melson (Fy./Cottage Grove, Minn./Park) scored off a dribble drive and made two free throw and Phillips followed a Schafer put-back with a three-pointer. Johnson sank two free throws on Carleton’s next possession, leaving the game tied. The team’s exchanged interior baskets, but Westman’s steal and lay-up pushed the Johnnies back in front by two with less than four minutes left.
Johnson’s two free throws with under two minutes remaining in regulation was the only scoring in the final three minutes, as Phillips’ potential game winning three was off the mark with eight seconds left, forcing overtime.
The Knights scored eight straight points two minutes into the overtime, as Phillips and Johnson nailed consecutive three-pointers, Forkrud scored inside off a beautiful feed from Melson and Carleton led 64-58. Westman kept things interesting with a long three-pointer, but Melson made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 23 seconds for the win.
Neither team shot it well, as the Johnnies were 43.3 percent from the floor compared to 42.6 percent for the Knights. The Johnnies outrebounded the Knights 39-29 and held a 16-6 edge in second-chance points, but Carleton had a 15-7 advantage in points off turnovers, as the Johnnies had 18 turnovers to Carleton’s nine.
Carleton is back in action on Monday, Jan. 30, hosting Augsburg College at 8 p.m. as part of a men’s/women’s doubleheader at West Gym. The Johnnies host Bethel University at 7:30 p.m.