NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Shane McSparron (Jr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Carleton College men’s basketball team to its second straight victory, this one a 62-53 non-conference victory over University of Minnesota-Morris.
“It was the battle we expected it to be between two evenly-matched teams,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “They are a tough, experienced and deep team that is predicted to win their conference this season. I though our guys battled hard and made some big plays down the stretch to help preserve the win. We didn't shoot it particularly well tonight, but we controlled the boards and got to the free-throw line.”
Neither team shot better than 36 percent from the floor, but Carleton’s scoring advantage came at charity stripe where the Knights went 22-of-25 compared to 12-of-18 for the Cougars.
The Cougars (5-2 overall) scored the game’s first basket at the 18:41 mark, but that would prove to be Minnesota-Morris’ only lead of the contest. Carleton’s (2-4 overall) post players went on a 13-1 run over the next six minutes.
The Knights later carried a 30-21 lead into intermission, thanks in part to McSparron scoring 10 of the squad’s last dozen points of the first half.
Minnesota-Morris chipped away at the deficit in the second period, eventually knotting the score at 47-47 on a Cody Emrick layup with 5:58 still to go. Carleton responded with the next four points, but the Cougars pulled back within a point at 51-50 with 2:00 remaining,
Rookie guards Peter Bakker-Arkema (Fy./Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline), Mitchell Biewen (Fy./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong), and Beau Smit (Fy./White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake) combined for nine of Carleton’s 11 points down the stretch, while the defense limited Minnesota-Morris to 1-of-6 shooting down the stretch.
A fourth rookie, Tianen Chen (Fy./Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora Township), provided a spark off the bench as he finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Carleton’s other two post players, John Eckert (So./North Judson, Ind./North Judson) and Taylor Hanson (Sr./Saint Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy), combined for 25 rebounds and 15 points.
The Knights hit the road for a MIAC contest at Bethel University on Wednesday, Dec. 11. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. and live audio will be available via Knights Online and KDHL 920AM in the Northfield/Faribault area.