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Schedule and Results

Result: W 63-60

Men's Basketball at Gustavus Adolphus College

Saturday, February 18th, 2017 – 3:00 p.m. at St. Peter, Minn. - Gus Young Court

Knights edge Gusties, roll into MIAC playoffs

By Oliver Wolyniec '19
Kevin Grow
Kevin Grow
Photo: Hugh O'Connor '20

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s basketball team will haul its 13-game winning streak into the MIAC Playoffs after a thrilling 63-60 victory over host Gustavus Adolphus College at Gus Young Court. Kent Hanson (Fy./Saint Paul, Minn./Saint Paul Academy) scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half to lead the Knights.

“A nice hard-fought MIAC road win for the Knights,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “Both teams’ offenses were flowing in the first half, but in the second half, both defenses took over. We were fortunate to have critical stops down the stretch and to manage a couple of buckets for the win.”

The Gusties’ (5-20, 5-15 MIAC) record is deceiving as Gustavus had taken conference co-leaders St. Thomas and Bethel to the wire earlier this month. The hosts played stellar basketball throughout most of the first half, shooting at a 72 percent clip until late in the period. The home squad put up 38 points on the conference’s premier defense, but thanks to excellent interior play from Kevin Grow (Jr./Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) and Freddie Gillespie (So./Saint Paul, Minn./East Ridge), Carleton (17-8, 14-6 MIAC) only trailed by one point at intermission.

Gustavus shot 58 percent in the first half to Carleton’s 57 percent. The teams combined to go 7-of-8 from beyond the arc over the first 20 minutes.

As soon as the ball was inbounded to start the second half, it marked the first time during the 13-game winning streak that the Knights trailed at any point after intermission. Gustavus led by as many as five points during the second half and played with the lead for nearly 14 minutes after halftime. The teams spent another four minutes with the score tied.

Defense was the story of the second half. The torrid first-half shooting figures cooled off significantly as the Knights converted 38 percent of their attempts after halftime, and Gusties made only 29 percent of their shops. The teams were a combined 1-of-17 from three-point range.

However, the Gusties put their 60th point on the board with 5:23 remaining when Riley Sharbono made 1-of-2 free throws to make it a 60-57 contest in favor of Gustavus. Thanks to the Knights’ stellar defensive effort down the stretch, the Gusties would not find the bottom of the net the rest of the game.

Joh Farmer (So./Roseville, Minn./Roseville) converted twice at the line to pull Carleton within 60-59, and Hanson made both of his free-throw attempts to push the Knights in front with 2:09 remaining. It was Carleton’s first lead since the 1:36 mark of the first half.

Hanson scored again on the next trip down the floor for the Knights and with his team leading by three at 63-60 with less than a minute to go, Gillespie came up with a huge block on Gustavus’ leading scorer Peter Kruize in the paint to preserve the three-point edge.

The Knights came up empty on their possession giving the Gusties one last chance. With the clock winding down Austin Goetz stroked a shot with Mitchell Biewen (Sr./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) bearing down, but the attempt went halfway in and bounced out, giving the Knights a wild win in their last game of the regular season.

The game was hotly contested from wire-to-wire, as Carleton possessed the game’s largest lead at seven points a mere five minutes into the game. The Knights stepped up late on the defensive end, and Gustavus missed its last seven field goals.

Grow tallied 14 points and eight rebounds, most of which came in the first half, to complement Hanson’s effort. Gillespie was all over the stat sheet with 10 points, eight boards, and four second-half blocks. Biewen added nine points in the effort.

Kruize paced the Gusties with a game-best 22 points. Gustavus’ only other scorer in double digits was Sharbono, who bucketed 13.

“With today’s win, our seniors know that they have won a road game in every gym in the MIAC,” noted Kalland. “It was a nice way to close out the regular season, and we are looking forward to the playoffs next week.”

The Knights begin their quest for the MIAC Playoff championship this coming Tuesday, Feb. 21 as the No. 3 seed in the six-team tourney. Carleton hosts No. 6-seeded Augsburg College at 7:00 p.m. at West Gymnasium. When those squads last played on Feb. 4, Carleton prevailed, 76-71, in the only other game of the win streak decided by fewer than 14 points. Knights Online will once again provide live stats and a live video broadcast. The game will also be available on KDHL 920AM in the Northfield/Fariabult area.

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