ST. PETER, Minn. – Sometimes the adage, “It’s now how you start, it’s how you finish,” is a good thing… and sometimes it’s not. The Carleton College men’s basketball team found the latter to be true as the Knights suffered a 57-39 setback at Gustavus Adolphus College.
The Knights (5-6, 3-3 MIAC) jumped out to a 9-2 lead over the first five minutes of the contest, but then Carleton—a team that broke the program’s all-time record for field-goal percentage in a game twice during a scorching three-day stretch in December—inexplicably went stone cold. The squad missed 10 consecutive and 13 of its final 14 shots of the opening half.
That cold spell helped Gustavus (9-4, 6-2 MIAC) put together a 26-3 run, before John Eckert (So./North Judson, Ind./North Judson) slowed the momentum with a pair of free throws shortly before intermission.
The second half, however, started much the same way that the first half ended, with the Gusties putting together a 13-3 spurt. Carleton trailed by at least 20 points the rest of the way until Beau Smit (Fy./White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake) converted a tough layup at the final buzzer.
The Knights shot only 24 percent in the first half and just 33 percent for the contest compared to 48 percent overall for Gustavus. On the positive side, Carleton limited the opposition to less than 60 points for the fourth time in the last six games.
Eckert led the Knights with nine points and three assists. Smit and Tianen Chen (Fy./Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora Township) contributed eight points apiece. Brian Jacobs scored a game-high 18 points to pace the Gusties.
Carleton will look to get back on track this coming Monday, Jan. 13, when the Knights host Saint Mary’s University for a 7:30 p.m. contest. Live video and live stats will be available via Knights Online.