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Knights open season with 70-61 loss to Bethany Lutheran

November 8, 2018 at 9:05 pm
By Oliver Wolyniec '19
Kent Hanson
Kent Hanson
Photo: Nathan Klok

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s basketball team struggled to find an offensive rhythm and fell to Bethany Lutheran College, 70-61, in the 2018-19 season opener for both squads.

The teams struggled to find the bottom of the net in the early going, perhaps shaking off some first-game rust. Carleton (0-1) got on the board with a fast-break layup by Kent Hanson (Jr./St. Paul, Minn./St. Paul Academy), making it 2-1 at the 18:24 mark.

Bethany Lutheran (1-0), going with near-line changes for their first few substitutions, rode a short 5-0 run just over halfway through the period to take a 14-11 lead. A few possessions later, back-to-back three-pointers by Hanson and Matthew Stritzel (So./Chicago, Ill./Niles Notre Dame) handed the Knights a 21-16 lead, their largest of the half.

From there, the Vikings started to get hot. They went on another run, this time 7-0, to reclaim the lead at 23-21 with under three minutes to play after Cire Mayfield knocked down a three. Stritzel stopped the bleeding with a bucket of his own from behind the arc, but Bethany Lutheran carried a 28-24 lead into the break.

Carleton shot just 26.7 percent (8-of-30) from the field in the first half, while Bethany Lutheran converted at a 40.7 percent (11-of-27) clip. Stritzel paced the Knights with 10 points.

The Knights wasted no time in striking first, as Noah Plewa (Sr./Eau Claire, Wis./Wildlands School) converted on an and-1 to cut the deficit to one at 28-27 Vikings. At the 17:52 mark, starting guard Quinn Johnson (Sr./Roseville, Minn.) picked up his fourth foul, sending him and his much-needed lockdown defense to the bench.

Mayfield hit a high-arching floater with 14:17 to go to give his squad a 42-34 lead, Bethany Lutheran’s largest up to that point. A few minutes later, Alex Battist (Fy./Maple Grove, Minn.) drained back-to-back layups as Carleton battled back and forced a tie at 44-44 with 11:02 remaining.

The Vikings answered by reeling off five straight points to go back up 49-44 with just over eight minutes left to play, and the visitors would not relinquish their lead the rest of the game. Johnson laid it in with 2:48 left to make it a one-point game at 58-57, but consecutive three-pointers by Jared Milinkovich and Daniel Gutzmer gave the Vikings a bit of breathing room.

The Knights got no closer than six points the rest of the way as Bethany Lutheran iced the game at the free-throw line.

Hanson led the Knights offensively with 18 points. He nearly achieved a double-double, finishing with nine rebounds. Stritzel was right behind with 17 points on four made 3-pointers and five boards.

Zac Olmsted (Fy./Pulsbo, Wash./North Kitsap) poured in 10 points in his Carleton debut. Chipping in for Carleton was Joh Farmer (Sr./Roseville, Minn.), who totaled six rebounds and four assists.

Mayfield finished with a game-high 24 points in his first career game for the Vikings. Milinkovich and Gutzmer added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Knights will hit the road for the first time this season on Tuesday, Nov. 13 for a meeting with North Central University at 7:00 p.m. in Minneapolis.