NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Tom Sawatzke (Sr./Monticello, Minn./Monticello) poured in a career-high 27 points as the Carleton College men’s basketball team overcame an early deficit and pulled away for a decisive 83-60 victory over Saint Mary’s University. The win was the 398th in the career of Carleton head coach Guy Kalland, which ranks third among active MIAC coaches.
Saint Mary’s (1-9, 0-5 MIAC) struck first, hitting its first three shots and taking a 7-0 lead only two minutes into the contest. Carleton (6-4, 3-2 MIAC) responded with a 15-4 run, including nine points from senior Scott Theisen (Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park) and Shane McSparron’s (So./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) dunk. The Knights trailed by no more than two points for the remainder of the contest.
With the score tied 26-26 and six minutes left in the first half, Sawatzke knocked down a jumper and added a fastbreak layup to spark the Knights on a 12-6 run to end the half.
Carleton opened the second half on an 11-4 run to pull away and would maintain a double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest.
The 27-point performance was Sawatzke’s 10th career game with 20 or more points, and his sixth this season. He scored 16 points in the second half on 6-of-7 shooting.
The Knights also benefited from a career-high performance from John Eckert (Fy./North Judson, Ind./North Judson) who narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds. Theisen added a 19-point, 8-rebound performance and McSparron finished with 10 points, six rebounds, and a block.
The Cardinals were led by Michael Burfeind and Mark Schumacher, who scored 15 points each.
Carleton travels across the Cannon River to play rival St. Olaf College on Monday, Jan. 7 at 7:45 p.m. The Knights will need to sweep the Oles this season in order to win back the coveted Goat Trophy which slipped away after a pair of overtime setbacks a year ago. Live audio coverage on Monday’s women’s-men’s doubleheader will be available on KDHL 920 AM and Knights Online.