ST. PAUL, Minn. – Tom Sawatzke (Sr./Monticello, Minn./Monticello) and Scott Theisen (Sr./Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park) each tallied 21 points, but it was not enough on this evening. The Carleton College men’s basketball team was unable to topple No. 3 University of St. Thomas as the Knights came out on the wrong end of a 78-69 decision.
This was Theisen’s 10th career contest with 20 or more points and fifth in his last six games. Sawatzke surpassed the 20-point level for the fifth time this season and ninth of his career. This was the first time that two Carleton scored more than 20 points in the same game since Bryan Rosett ’10 (24 points) and Zach Johnson ’09 (22) achieved the feat in a 70-62 win over Saint Mary’s on Jan. 5, 2009.
The Knights jumped out to a 12-4 lead barely four minutes into tonight’s contest, but the Tommies countered with a 22-4 burst over next seven minutes. Carleton was able to erase the double-digit deficit, and Tyler Goetz’s (Sr./Chaska, Minn./Chaska) three pointer allowed the visitors to carry a 37-35 lead into the break.
Sawatzke was hot early, connecting on 6-of his first-8 shots, including a 5-of-6 showing from beyond the arc. He capped the fast start with a three pointer on the Knights’ first possession of the second half to give Carleton a 40-35 advantage. St. Thomas put together another 8-2 spurt early in the second half and moved in front to stay following Will DeBerg’s three pointer with 17:13 remaining.
After shooting 58 percent in the first half, the Knights slipped to only 36 percent over the final period. Meanwhile, the Tommies blistered the nets during the second half, connecting on 63 percent of their attempts.
Theisen continues to fill up the stat sheet as he contributed seven assists, six rebounds, two blocks and a steal. John Eckert (Fy./North Judson, Ind./North Judson) added nine points, six rebounds, and two blocks, while both Goetz and Shane McSparron (So./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) chipped in seven points apiece. Taylor Hanson (Jr./Saint Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) returned to the rotation and logged 23 minutes in his first action since suffering an injury back on Dec. 3.
Zach Riedeman paced St. Thomas with 16 points off the bench, including 12 during the second half.
Carleton hosts Saint Mary’s University for a women’s-men’s doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 5. Knights Online will feature high-definition video of both games, with tipoffs scheduled for 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.