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Knights return to win column with victory at Saint Mary’s

December 1, 2018 at 7:17 pm
Carlston McKenzie
Carlston McKenzie
Photo: Ryan Coleman / d3photography.com

WINONA, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s basketball team overcame its early-season free-throw shooting woes and got a big game from reserve Carlston McKenzie (Fy./Brooklyn Park, Minn./Champlin Park) as the Knights claimed a 60-55 road victory over Saint Mary’s University.

Carleton (2-3, 1-1 MIAC) entered the day shooting only 52 percent at the charity stripe this season, but the Knights went 15-of-21 at the line in this one, a 71 percent success rate. Meanwhile, the Carleton defense committed only nine fouls all afternoon and limited the Cardinals (3-3, 0-2 MIAC) to only seven free throw attempts.

The Knights led 31-24 at the break, and Kent Hanson’s (Jr./St. Paul, Minn./St. Paul Academy) layup on the first possession of the second half gave Carleton its largest lead of the game. Saint Mary’s answered with a 13-5 run to retake the lead at 37-36 with 13:45 still to play, and the game would stay close the rest of the way.

Caden Freetley knocked down a jumper that gave the Cardinals a 55-54 lead with 2:55 on the clock, but the Carleton defense clamped down and held Saint Mary’s scoreless the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, Hanson and McKenzie scored on back-to-back possessions before Matthew Stritzel (So./Chicago, Ill./Niles Notre Dame) iced the game by draining two free throws and coming up with a steal to clinch the victory.

McKenzie entered the contest averaging 5.3 points and totaled a career-best 14 points on the day. Hanson’s 17-point effort led all scorers, and Quinn Johnson (Sr./Roseville, Minn./Roseville) matched his career-high with 13 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.

Eli Cave notched a double-double off the bench for Saint Mary’s, tallying 15 points and 12 rebounds. Three other Cardinals finished with eight points apiece.

Carleton shot 40 percent from the field and limited Saint Mary’s to 33 percent shooting on the afternoon, including an 8-for-30 showing (27 percent) from beyond the arc.

The Knights return home to host arch-rival St. Olaf College on Wednesday, Dec 5 at 8:00 p.m. Live video and stats will be available via Knights Online.