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Schedule and Results

Result: W 66-63

Men's Basketball hosts MIAC Playoffs vs. Augsburg College

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 – 7:00 p.m. at Northfield, Minn. - West Gym

Knights make it 14 straight wins and open MIAC Playoffs with 66-63 win over Augsburg

By Oliver Wolyniec '19
Kent Hanson
Kent Hanson
Photo: JP Beaty '19

PHOTO GALLERY BY JP BEATY '19 and HUGH O'CONNOR '20

Photo gallery by Ryan Coleman, D3photography.com

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Kevin Grow (Jr./Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) recorded his 11th double-double of the season as he notched 15 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks to lead the Carleton College men’s basketball team past Augsburg College, 66-63, in a thrilling MIAC quarterfinal victory. It was the Knights’ 14th-straight triumph dating back to January 14.

“Tonight was a high-level college basketball game with a great atmosphere,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “Hats off to Augsburg for a terrific battle. I thought our guys made some nice adjustments on both ends during the second half, and we were fortunate to make some plays down the stretch. We are looking forward to what should be another fantastic challenge on Thursday at Bethel.”

Carleton (18-8, 15-6 MIAC) shot only 40.7 percent from the field, but yet another solid team defensive effort forced the Auggies to shoot at a mere 36.1 percent clip for the game and 29 percent from inside three-point range.

The Knights also flipped the script from the charity stripe. Augsburg (12-14) came into the game shooting 79 percent from the line, good for sixth-best in Division III. Even though Carleton entered the contest shooting 65 percent from the same spot on the floor, the Knights went 19-for-24 (79 percent), including a 7-for-7 performance from Kent Hanson (Fy./Saint Paul, Minn./Saint Paul Academy) in this crucial matchup.

The Knights held the Auggies scoreless for the first six minutes of the game as Carleton slowly built a 10-0 lead on a Grow offensive board and put-back. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Collin Olmscheid, the MIAC’s second-leading scorer this season, quickly cut the deficit to four. Carleton then initiated another run, this one of the 13-4 variety. Beau Smit (Sr./White Bear Lake, Minn.) weaved to the basket and laid it in to give the Knights a 23-10 lead with 9:31 left before halftime.  However, Carleton went scoreless over the next seven minutes, missing 11-straight shots during the drought.

Augsburg took advantage of the opportunity to get back into the game and pulled to within 23-20 with 2:40 before intermission. Freddie Gillespie (So./Saint Paul, Minn./East Ridge) rattled in a much-needed bucket for Carleton at the shot-clock buzzer to finally end the dry spell with 2:11 remaining. Nevertheless, Augsburg picked up a huge momentum boost when Chuckie Smith connected on a long fast-break three at the halftime buzzer to tie things up at 28-28.

The visitors took their first lead of the game on the opening possession of the second period courtesy of an Olmscheid turnaround jumper. After battling back and forth for the next eight minutes, sophomore Joh Farmer (Roseville, Minn.) danced his way to the basket to knot the score at 43-43 and electrify the crowd at West Gymnasium.

At the 9:52 mark, Mitchell Biewen (Sr./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) knocked down a huge trey from the right wing to give the Knights a 49-46 edge. Olmscheid responded by draining a 3-pointer on the very next possession.

Two wide-open Richie Perea triples within 30 seconds of each other handed the Auggies a 55-53 advantage with 6:47 left, but not before Carleton reached the double bonus, which proved extremely valuable down the stretch. Grow and Hanson converted on a put-back and two free throws, respectively, to reclaim the lead at 59-57 with 2:46 to go.

Following two misses from the stripe by Grow, Farmer once again dazzled with a contested lefty layup to push Carleton’s lead to 63-60 with just 25 seconds left. Smit hit three of his four free throws in the last 20 seconds, and a desperate 70-foot heave from Augsburg hit the shot clock, handing the Knights a gripping 66-63 win.

Hanson tied for the team lead with 15 points and added seven rebounds in the effort. Smit bucketed 10 to round out Carleton’s double digit scorers. Farmer and Gillespie each totaled eight points, with the latter tacking on nine boards and three blocks.

Olmscheid scored a game-high 18 to captain the Auggies. Perea followed up with 17.

The Knights advance to the MIAC Semifinals and will take on Bethel University in Arden Hills, Minn. on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. The teams split the regular season meetings with the Royals pulling out a 70-63 overtime win in early January and Carleton claiming a 69-51 victory on Bethel’s home court three weeks ago. A live audio broadcast will be provided via Knights Online and can be heard on KDHL 920AM in the Northfield/Faribault area. Information about a fan bus for Carleton students will be distributed on Wednesday.

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