ST. PAUL, Minn. – In the first 103 years of men’s basketball at Carleton College, there was not a single triple-double. Now, in the span of only 17 days, senior Scott Theisen (Sr./Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park) has achieved the feat not once, but twice. He cemented himself in Knights’ lore with a 21-point, 10-rebound, and 10-assist effort that propelled his squad to an 84-71 road victory over Macalester College. The triumph inched Carleton closer to clinching a playoff berth.
Back on Jan. 23, Theisen posted the third recorded triple-double over the last 20 seasons of MIAC men’s basketball. That night in a win over second-place Concordia, he finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. After today’s stat-stuffing accomplishment, Theisen became just the second player in all of men’s college basketball to record multiple triple-double performances this season. The other is Cameron LeFear of Oakland City University, a NCAA Division II program from Indiana. There have been a total of 18 triple-doubles in men’s college basketball this season across NCAA Division I, II, and III.
But Theisen wasn’t done achieving milestones. The senior’s 10 rebounds gave him 500 for his career. That mark means Theisen joins Zach Johnson ’09 as the only players in program history to tally 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists, and 100 steals.
In addition to Theisen’s phenomenal all-around performance, the Knights (14-9, 11-7 MIAC) also received big games today from Tom Sawatzke (Sr./Monticello, Minn,/Monticello) and Shane McSparron (So./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview).
Sawatzke scored 26 points on the afternoon, one shy of his career best. This day included seven 3-pointers—which came on only 12 attempts—to tie his single-game career-high established in a win over Hawaii Pacific (D-II) back in November. The seven long-range baskets also equaled the fifth-highest single-game total in program history.
McSparron, who tied his career-high with 21 points during Carleton’s win on Wednesday, bettered that figure by one thanks to his red-hot shooting. He was 9-of-12 from the floor, a season-best 75 percent success rate.
The Knights opened up an early lead against Macalester (4-19, 1-17 MIAC), and remained in the drivers-seat for the rest of the contest. Carleton raced to a 23-8 lead over the first eight-plus minutes and never looked back.
The first half featured not only five of Sawatzke’s seven 3-point baskets but also tremendous shooting from Carleton as a whole. The Knights made 19-of their-31 first-period shots, good for a scorching 61 percent. In comparison, Carleton’s defense limited the Scots to a 33-percent first-half shooting performance.
After Macalester began the second half with an 11-4 run, Carleton responded with a 15-5 push to up its lead to a game high 23 points with 8:41 left in the half. With the Knights leading by a tally of 66-43, the game looked out of hand, but the Scots did not go away quietly.
Macalester cobbled together a 26-12 stretch to whittle the Carleton lead down to single-digits at 78-69 with just 1:05 remaining in the contest. Sawatzke and Theisen made all their free throws down the stretch to complete the season series sweep, 84-71.
Sam Marshall finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Scots, who also received a 20-point effort from Dylan Kilgour.
Carleton, which retains its fourth-place standing in the MIAC, has just two games left on the regular-season docket. The Knights will host Gustavus Adolphus College on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Live video and live stats will be available vis Knights Online.