ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s basketball team broke the school record for field-goal percentage in a game and had five players in double figures as the Knights picked up a 76-74 road victory over Bethel University. Carleton (3-4, 2-1 MIAC) won its third straight game and snapped the Royals’ (6-2, 3-1 MIAC) six-game win streak.
“All road wins are nice. To face a quality opponent that is playing with lots of confidence and to go in there, play well, and get a ‘W’ is pretty special,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “We defended really well in the first half. Offensively, we executed well and got some good looks. Down the stretch we made some plays, got some stops, and took care of business at the free throw line. Great win for the fellas.”
The Knights made 30-of-48 shots (.625) from the field, only the ninth time in recorded team history that the squad shot better than .600 for a game. The effective shooting performance helped Carleton overcome 18 turnovers.
Rookie point guard Peter Bakker-Arkema (Fy./Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline) was a perfect 6-for-6 and posted a season-best 12 points to go along with a pair of blocks. Classmate Tianen Chen (Fy./Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora Township) made his first six shots and added a dozen points off the bench.
Mitchell Biewen (Fy./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) and Shane McSparron (Jr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) were both 6-of-10 from the floor, finishing with 18 and 15 points, respectively. Taylor Hanson (Sr./Saint Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) overcame a slow start in the scoring column to post his third double-double of the campaign with 10 points and 16 rebounds, one off his career best. He also added a game-high and career-best seven assists.
Carleton clung to two-point lead with less than a minute remaining in the first half before Biewen drained a triple from the corner and McSparron converted a backdoor layup to carry a 36-29 advantage into intermission.
Carleton led by as many as 10 points in the second half, only to watch Bethel whittle that away and build a 68-64 lead with 3:21 remaining. The next two-and-a-half minutes belonged to the Knights, who scored on four straight possessions and forced Bethel to miss three straight shots. That 8-0 spurt proved to be the game-changing run, and Biewen made all four of his free throws over the final 10 seconds to seal the victory.
Brycen Wojta scored 21 points to lead Bethel, which saw Kyle Zimmerman add 20 points and 13 boards. The Royals owned a 28-6 advantage in points off turnovers but had 11 fewer rebounds and could not overcome the Knights’ hot shooting.
Carleton puts its three-game win streak on the line on Saturday, Dec. 14 when the Knights host Crown College for a non-conference affair at 3 p.m. Live video will be available via Knights Online.