NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- Despite a career-high 24 points from first-year Peter Bakker-Arkema (Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline), the Carleton College men’s basketball team suffered a 66-63 loss at home to Augsburg College.
“I thought it was the kind of battle that we had anticipated,” said Knights head coach Guy Kalland after the game, “I think we played at a decent level; we had some trouble with ball screens early on. They’re awfully quick and hard to guard off the bounce, but I thought we got quality possessions on offense and we got some good looks down the stretch.”
Carleton (6-7, 4-4 MIAC) hit the court with just eight players dressed. The number disparity was of little importance at the start of the game, however, as the Knights battled back and forth with the Auggies (9-4, 5-3 MIAC) during the opening frame. Bakker-Arkema was 6-of-7 from the field in the first half, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, to help the Knights carve out a 41-37 lead heading into intermission.
Both teams blistered the nets with Augsburg shooting 65.2 percent over the first twenty minutes and Carleton connecting on 62.5 percent of its attempts.
After a jumper by Bakker-Arkema gave Carleton its biggest advantage of the contest, 47-39, with 17:10 remaining, Augsburg respond with a 12-1 run to take a three-point lead with 12:32 still to play.
Seven minutes later, with the score tied at 57-57, Beau Smit (Fy./White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake)—who until then had played the entire game, contributed 11 points, and was Carleton’s best available perimeter defender—fouled out.
Bakker-Arkema notched the game’s next points with a layup, giving the Knights a two-point lead with 4:25 left. The Auggies put together a 7-0 run capped by Parker Hines’ three pointer with the shot clock winding down. That shot proved to be the dagger, putting the visitors in front 64-59 with 23 ticks remaining.
Carleton committed a season-low five turnovers, but a 33 percent shooting effort in the second half proved to be the difference.
In addition to Bakker-Arkema and Smit, Carleton benefitted from a 13-point, nine-rebound effort from Taylor Hanson (Sr./St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy), who joined Mitchell Biewen (Fy./Golden Valley, Minn./Armstrong) in playing the full 40 minutes for the Knights.
Andy Seidlitz and Dan Kornbaum led the way for the Auggies, scoring 19 and 18 points, respectively.
“All in all I thought we played at a solid level. You always want to put yourself in a position where you can win a contest, and I thought we did that. It didn’t work out this time, but it wasn’t for lack of effort or execution. It was a good day for the Knights” Coach Kalland concluded.
Carleton next travels to Collegeville, Minn. for a game against Saint John’s University on Saturday, January 18 at 3:00 p.m. Live audio will be available on KDHL 920 AM and Knights Online.