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Schedule and Results

Result: W 72-48

Men's Basketball hosts Concordia College

Saturday, February 10th, 2018 – 1:00 p.m. at Northfield, Minn. - West Gym

Knights clinch playoff berth with Senior Day win over Cobbers

By Oliver Wolyniec '19
Kevin Grow
Kevin Grow finshed a rebound shy of a double-double.
Photo: JP Beaty '19

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s basketball team clinched a spot in the upcoming MIAC Playoffs after dispatching Concordia College, 72-48, on Senior Day at West Gymnasium.

Only two games remain in the regular season, but thanks to a season sweep of Gustavus Adolphus College, the Knights (13-10, 11-7 MIAC) own the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Gusties, which is the worst-case playoff scenario at this point. Carleton sits 1.5 games ahead of Gustavus in the conference standings.

Shortly before the opening tip, seniors Malekai Mischke (Beijing, China/International School of Beijing), Ryan Casperson (Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong), and Kevin Grow (Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) were honored for their four years in the program. All three are in the midst of career years for the Knights.

Mischke has scored 87 points this season, almost quadrupling the combined total from his first three seasons (22). The wing is shooting a stellar 39.1 percent from beyond the arc. Casperson has already corralled 86 rebounds and scored 141 points this season, 19 more points than his previous three seasons combined.

Grow—one of only two NCAA men’s basketball players (D-I, II, and III) averaging at least 17.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 1.0 assists per game this season—continues to re-write the Carleton record book. Earlier this week, he became the third player in MIAC history to total at least 1,000 career points, 900 rebounds, and 200 blocks. Additionally, the senior ranks ninth in MIAC history with 975 career rebounds, the most by a MIAC player in 39 years. He is on pace to become the first MIAC player since 2010-11 to average a double-double. He fell one rebound short of accomplishing the feat in 2015-16.

"There are few senior classes that have impacted our basketball program the way Ryan, Malekai, and Kevin have during their four years," said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. "They are talented, hard-working, competitive, and very team-oriented individuals, who have carried themselves with a tremendous amount of class in all situations on and off the court.

"They are team players, and they should feel great, not only about what they have accomplished the past four years, but how they have gone about doing it. They have made their mark on our program. They will be missed, and I am thankful to them and their families for all they have done for us."

What began as a competitive first half of play on Saturday, ended in a blowout as Carleton turned in a dominant all-around performance. Concordia (6-17, 4-14 MIAC) held a 10-7 lead five minutes into the contest, but the Knights erased the deficit quickly and reeled off an impressive 18-0 run over the next eight minutes to seize control of the game. The visitors found themselves facing a 42-18 deficit at the break and trailed by as many as 37 points in the second half.

The home squad forced 19 Cobber miscues leading to Carleton’s 26-0 edge in points off turnovers.

In addition to Grow’s big performance, Matthew Stritzel (Fy./Chicago, Ill./Niles Notre Dame) added 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Kent Hanson (So./Saint Paul, Minn./Saint Paul Academy) add 12 points to go with four boards.

Mischke knocked down two three-pointers and totaled eight points. Casperson was second on the team with six rebounds along with four points.

In the penultimate game of the regular season, the Knights will host crosstown rival St. Olaf College on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 8:00 p.m. The winner of that game will control the storied Goat Trophy. A live audio and video broadcast will be provided via Knights Online.

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