WINONA, Minn. – Kevin Grow (Jr./Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) notched his second straight double-double—tallying game highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds—and Freddie Gillespie (So./Saint Paul, Minn./East Ridge) added a 19-point, nine-rebound effort, but it was not enough to offset hot perimeter shooting by host Saint Mary’s University as the Cardinals topped the Knights, 74-67 in the conference opener for both programs.
Saint Mary’s (3-1, 1-0 MIAC) drained nine shots from beyond the arc in the first half and finished with a dozen three-pointers in the contest, the Cardinals’ highest total since making 13 triples at Bethel University back on Jan. 19, 2008. The hosts finished 12-of-23 from long range, a 52 percent success rate.
Carleton scored the game’s first point on Beau Smit’s (Sr./White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake) early free throw, but the hosts responded with a jumper by Kevin Gleason and led the rest of the way. Saint Mary’s built a 28-14 advantage with six minutes remaining in the first half before Gillespie scored six straight points to spark the Knights’ 13-0 run. The Cardinals answered with a trio of three-pointers and carried a 39-35 lead into intermission.
The contest remained close through the early stages of the second half, and Ryan Casperson (Jr./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) pulled Carleton to within 47-45 midway through the second half. The Cardinals answered once more, this time with a 12-2 burst capped by a pair of three pointers, and they maintained at least a five-point margin the rest of the way.
Five Cardinals finished in double figures, led by Gleason’s 15-point effort, and six players had at least one triple, including a 4-for-5 performance from long range by Bradley Hill.
The Knights will look to bounce-back when they travel to Saint John’s University for a 3 p.m. tipoff on Saturday, Dec. 3.