ST. PAUL, Minn. – Despite a well-rounded nine-point, seven-assist, five-rebound, and three-steal performance from senior forward Taylor Hanson (St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy), the Carleton College men’s basketball team could not withstand a strong second-half run by the Hamline University Pipers. In addition to Hanson, Carleton received 10-point performances from first-years Tianen Chen (Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora Twp) and Mitchell Biewen (Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong), but the double-digit contributions went for naught in the 62-58 defeat.
Hamline (8-9, 5-7 MIAC) never trailed—though the game was tied eight times—as the Pipers came out of the gates red-hot, knocking down five of their first six attempts and registering 60 percent from the field for the entire opening half.
Hamline built up a six-point cushion with 2:12 left in the opening twenty, but the Knights executed well down the stretch. Carleton (8-9, 5-7 MIAC) used one of Hanson’s four first-half assists to find Shane McSparron (Jr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview)—who logged minutes for the first time since Jan. 8 due to injury—on a backdoor-cut that served as the final basket in a half that ended with a slim 34-32 Hamline lead.
A jumper by Hanson at the 13:27 mark of the second period brought the Knights within a single point at 44-43. That’s when an extended 16-5 run by the Pipers proved to be the difference. That spurt allowed the hosts to build a game-high 12-point advantage. The run, which began at the 12:53 mark of the second period with a jumper worth two of Dior Ford’s game-high 22 points, culminated with an Austin Johnson jump shot at the 2:55 mark that pushed the Hamline lead up to 60-48.
Although the situation at that stage in the game looked fairly grim for Carleton, there was no quit in the Knights who, despite being outshot 57 percent to 47 percent over the course of the afternoon, made it a tight contest in the final half-minute of play. A quick 8-0 burst for Carleton, capped by a Biewen three-pointer, pulled the Knights to within four points, 60-56, with 18 seconds to play.
The rally came too late as Hamline knocked down a pair of free throws and held on for the win.
The loss sends Carleton into its bye-week, which means the Knights’ next contest will not come until Saturday, Feb. 1 when Carleton hosts national No. 10 University of St. Thomas in the second half of a women’s/men’s doubleheader. The ladies tipoff at 1 p.m. followed by the gentlemen at 3 p.m. Live stats and both video and audio broadcasts of the contest can be found on Knights Online.