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Schedule and Results

Result: L 66-71

Men's Basketball at Bethel University (MIAC Playoffs - Quarterfinals)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. at Arden Hills, Minn. - Robertston Center

Knights lead late but fall to Bethel in playoffs

By Oliver Wolyniec '19
Kevin Grow
Kevin Grow closed his career with a 15-point 13-rebound, four-block performance.
Photo: Hugh O'Connor '20

ARDEN HILLS, Minn -- After leading by nine late in the contest, the Carleton College men’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking defeat at Bethel University, 71-66, in the MIAC Playoff Quarterfinals, ending the Knights’ 2017-18 campaign.

Despite the defeat, one bright spot came early in the second half for Carleton. Senior Kevin Grow (Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) pulled down the 1,000th rebound of his career, which put him in more elite company. He is just the eighth player in MIAC history to amass 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. The forward wrapped up his time wearing a Carleton uniform in fitting fashion; he totaled 15 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks in the game for the 48th double-double of his decorated career.

The first half of play saw the Knights (14-12) start and end well, while the bulk of the period belonged to the Royals (20-6). Carleton got off to a quick start, as Kent Hanson (So./Saint Paul, Minn./Saint Paul Academy) scored back-to-back buckets to give his team a 4-0 advantage. Bethel responded with a 7-0 run to shift the early momentum.

After some back-and-forth play, Bethel junior Matt Ambriz converted on his fourth three-pointer of the half to put the Royals up 22-13 with 8:50 remaining. From there, the Knights initiated a run of their own, taking advantage of some key Bethel players in foul trouble. A 9-2 streak cut the deficit to two at 24-22 with 5:49 to play courtesy of a contested fast break layup from Matthew Stritzel (Fy./Chicago, Ill./Niles Notre Dame).

Carleton eventually retook the lead and carried 36-34 advantage into the break. Hanson poured in 15 points in the period to lead Carleton, while Ambriz scored 12 for Bethel.

In the second half, the Knights picked up right where they left off, building their lead to 67-56 after a pair of Ryan Casperson (Sr./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) free throws with 10:07 to go. As they did in the previous two meetings, the Royals began to claw back from a double-digit deficit.

Grow netted a crucial bucket and converted the old-fashioned three-point play to keep Carleton ahead 66-60 with 2:40 still to play. Unfortunately, those would be the Knights’ final points of the season.

Back-to-back Bethel buckets, including Ambriz’s seventh 3-pointer of the contest brought Bethel within one at the 1:41 mark. A free throw knotted things up with 1:20 remaining. Granger Kingland pushed the Royals in front with a layup and the hosts add three free throws in the closing moments to seal the victory. Bethel ended the game on an 18-4 run that spanned just under five minutes.

Hanson led the Knights in scoring with 23 points, and he added seven rebounds. Stritzel was the third Knight in double figures with 11 points. Casperson and Malekai Mischke (Sr./Beijing, China/International School of Beijing) bucketed seven and four points, respectively, as the curtain closed on their careers.

Carleton’s season ends with a cumulative record of 14-12 after the Knights went 12-8 in MIAC regular season play. The season included a second consecutive MIAC Playoffs appearance and a late-season victory over St. Olaf to maintain possession of the famed Goat Trophy.

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