NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Mitchell Biewen (Fy./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) made a trio of free throws after being fouled on his team’s final field goal attempt of the game, lifting the Carleton College men’s basketball team to a nail-biting 54-53 victory over Concordia College-Moorhead.
Although Carleton (5-5, 3-2 MIAC) led by as many as 11 points in the second half, the visiting Cobbers (6-7, 2-6 MIAC) made the game a tight one down the stretch. In fact, Concordia led 53-51 before Biewen’s clutch performance from the charity stripe saved the day.
“A hard fought game, just like we anticipated,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland.
“I was generally pleased with our defense across the board. Offensively, I thought we started hitting our stride in the second half. Taylor Hanson (Sr./Saint Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) played a huge part of that. Credit to Concordia for cranking up the defense and making it a game down the stretch. It was great to see a freshmen step up and hit the three free throws at the end.
“All and all, I’m pleased with the effort.”
Things started off nicely for the Knights as they opened up a 12-2 lead after a Tianen Chen (Fy./Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora Twp) layup at the 14:08 mark. The Cobbers responded with a 9-0 spurt, and the game remained close throughout the balance of the period. The two teams entered intermission knotted, 24-24.
Carleton scored the first 10 points of the second half and later built its largest lead of the contest, 43-32, on a Hanson layup with 12:12 remaining. Concordia responded with a 21-5 run, first erasing the deficit in four minutes by scoring points on seven consecutive trips down the floor and tying the score at 45-45.
Two minutes later, the Cobbers took their first lead of the evening on a Matt Zimmerman jumper with 6:12 to play. Concordia extended the lead up to five on a Jordan Bolger bucket with 4:08 on the clock.
It was now the Knights that needed the comeback, and in typical Carleton fashion the rally—for all intents and purposes—started on the defensive side of the ball. The Knights held the Cobbers scoreless over the remainder of the contest.
John Eckert (So./North Judson, Ind./North Judson) converted a layup, and Shane McSparron (Jr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) added a free throw bringing Carleton within 53-51. About a minute later, Biewen was fouled taking a shot from the right wing, and the rookie stepped up and swished all three charity attempts.
Concordia came up with a steal on the Knights’ final-possession, and the visitors had one last chance to steal a win. Ryan Rude’s last-second three-point attempt was off the mark, allowing Carleton to move back over .500 in conference play.
Hanson finished with a game-high 14 points for Carleton, with Chen and McSparron contributing 13 points apiece. Bolger was the lone Cobber in double figures, tallying 11 points.
The Knights shot 44 percent for the contest, including 56 percent in the second half while holding Concordia to 34 percent shooting overall, including a 3-of-16 clip from behind the arc.
Carleton travels to Gustavus Adolphus College on Saturday, Jan. 11 for a women’s-men’s doubleheader. The first contest begins at 1:00 p.m. with the men’s game tipping off at 3 p.m. Both tilts can be heard live on KDHL 920AM and Knights Online.