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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men’s Basketball blows past first-place Gusties

< dropping a hotly contested double-overtime thriller to Augsburg and suffering another setback against Bethel, the Carleton men’s basketball team responded Wednesday with their most impressive win of the season, upsetting conference co-leader Gustavus Adolphus on the road, 60-55.

Although it will be an uphill climb through the conference standings, Wednesday’s convincing win renews hope that the Knights (8-8, 4-7 MIAC) can make a valiant second-half push for one of four coveted playoff berths.

In the iron grip of the Knights’ unrelenting defense, the Gusties crumbled like the St. Peter sandstone for which their town is known (at least by Intro Geology students). Carleton limited Gustavus to a pedestrian 39% success rate from the field, including only 2-of-16 (13%) from three-point range. Coupling their dirty defense with consistent offensive production and only eight turnovers, the Knights never allowed the Gusties to claim a lead in the game.

Head Coach Guy Kalland matter-of-factly summarized the Knights’ playoff chances by saying “if we play like the last 40 minutes, we’ll be a good second-round team.”

Indeed, if the Knights are able to replicate key aspects of their strong wire-to-wire performance against the MIAC elite in a hostile environment, then they certainly could make things interesting in their nine remaining conference games.

The win was truly a team effort, with the starting five all shouldering substantial portions of the scoring load. Though strong stat lines abounded, the best were posted by Seth Jonker and Bryan Rosett, who scored 17 and 14 points respectively. Junior swingman Carter Biewen enjoyed a perfect shooting night from the floor to finish with nine points, while Jeremy Sutherland added eight more. Blaise Davis committed no turnovers at the helm of the offense, and made two free throws in the game’s final seconds to preserve the win.

There were “a lot of good Knights doing a lot of good things,” Kalland concluded. “It was apparent after the first five minutes that we were on our toes defensively and ready to play.”

The Knights will seek to parlay Wednesday’s success into another MIAC win on Saturday, when they host the aptly named Johnnies of St. John’s University at 3:00 pm. An aura of contagious merriment will surely envelop West Gym, as Saturday’s matchup also marks the team’s official celebration of the 100th anniversary of varsity basketball at Carleton. The party will start with the women’s contest against the College of Saint Benedict at 1:00 pm.

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