Mitchell Biewen (So./Golden Valley, Minn./Armstrong) drained a quartet of three-pointers and finished with a game-high 12 points, but the Carleton College men’s basketball team could not completely erase a late 13-point deficit in falling, 57-55, at Gustavus Adolphus.
Tonight’s result continues the Knights’ (8-11, 5-9 MIAC) pattern of playing in close games. Carleton has now participated in 10 games decided by six points or less with two other contests going to overtime.
“Solid outing on the road against one of the better teams in our league tonight,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “Our defense was stellar once again for us, and we did a nice job on the boards. We had a tough three-minute stretch midway through the second half where we could have
put us in a hole. Our guys really battled hard to get us back into, but unfortunately we came up a couple of plays short.”
After seven consecutive points by Beau Smit (So./White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake), the Knights led 40-39 with 10:30 remaining in the contest. Gustavus (record overall, record MIAC) put together a 14-0 run over the next five minutes, a stretch that saw Carleton go 0-for-4 from the field and commit five turnovers, four of which were converted into points.
The Knights responded with a 10-0 run of their own, a spurt capped by three-pointers by Biewen and Peter Bakker-Arkema (So./ Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline) sandwiched around a 35-second shot clock violation for Gustavus. That spurt pulled Carleton to within 53- 50, but Gustavus kept Carleton at bay by making all four free throws in the final minute.
Led by Kevin Grow’s (Fy./ Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) game-high 11 rebounds, the Knights enjoyed a 34-26 advantage on the boards. Grow added 11 points for his fifth double-double of the season. Smit finished with 10 points.
Brody Ziegler had 10 points and six rebounds to pace Gustavus, which notched its third consecutive victory.
Costly shooting errors plagued the Knights as the team shot forty-one percent from the field and forty-seven percent from beyond the arc. Late game steals also proved costly as the Knights drew within three points of the lead but were unable to capitalize due to three consecutive steals.
The Knights face another tough challenge as they travel to national No. 2 University of St. Thomas on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. The Knights have six games remaining and have not been eliminated from playoff contention. Live audio of that game can be heard on KDHL 920AM in the Northfield/ Faribualt area.