WAVERLY, Iowa – Tom Sawatzke (Sr./Monticello, Minn./Monticello) matched his career high with 26 points, but the Carleton College basketball team (4-2) was unable to keep pace at Wartburg College, falling to a Division III opponent for the first time this season, 67-53.
Carleton led 6-4 with 17:30 still to play in the first half, but Wartburg responded with a 7-0 spurt and never relinquished the lead thanks in part to a dominating performance on the boards. The hosts pulled down 17 offensive rebounds leading to 19 second-chance points, a baker’s dozen of those coming in the second half.
Tyler Goetz (Sr./Chaska, Minn./Chaska) brought Carleton within a point at 49-48 when he drained a three-pointer with 8:28 remaining in the contest.
Things unraveled for Carleton over the final eight minutes, however. The Knights went only 2-of-8 from the field, were just 1-of-5 at the free-throw line, and committed a pair of turnovers as Wartburg out-scored the visitors 18-5 down the stretch.
Shane McSparron (So./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) reached double figures for the third time this year, finishing second on Carleton with 11 points and seven rebounds. Goetz tallied a team-best nine rebounds to go along with seven points and three assists. Scott Theisen (Sr./Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park) had an off shooting performance but found other ways to contribute, accounting for seven points, five assists, and three rebounds.
Eddie Diemer led the way for Wartburg with an impressive 17-point, 17-rebound showing. Mitchell Murphy and Drew Crawford added 12 points apiece.
Carleton returns to conference action on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and the Knights will stay on the road as they travel to Concordia-Moorhead for a women’s-men’s doubleheader. The early game tips at 5:45 p.m. with the nightcap slated to start at 7:45 p.m. Both games can be heard on KDHL 920 AM in the Northfield/Faribualt area and worldwide on Knights Online.