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Carleton Men’s Basketball pulls away from St. Olaf for 82-74 win

Kent Hanson (Sr./St. Paul, Minn./St. Paul Academy) and Alex Battist (So./Maple Grove, Minn./Maple Grove) both posted double-doubles as the Carleton College men’s basketball team secured an 82-74 victory at crosstown rival St. Olaf College. This victory means the “Goat Trophy” will be in play when the teams meet again on Feb. 15.

Carleton (7-7, 4-5 MIAC) shot 57 percent overall and 56 percent (9-of-16) from beyond the arc in downing the Oles (6-7, 3-5 MIAC). St. Olaf shot 42 percent for the game and was 12-of-32 (38 percent) from 3-point range.

Hanson continued his ascent up Carleton’s all-time scoring leaderboard With his dunk right before the first half expired, Hanson moved past Ivan Grimm (1,440 points) and into sixth place. With 10:38 remaining in the second half, Hanson drained a 3-pointer to climb over Kyle Beste (1,445 points) and into fifth place. With 26 points on the afternoon, Hanson is now only seven points behind Dan Forkrud (1,467 points).

Hanson also secured 10 rebounds for his 19th career double-double and third on this season. Meanwhile, Battist notched his fourth double-double of the campaign—and his career—by scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with three blocked shots. Jeremy Beckler (Fy./Lino Lakes, Minn./White Bear Lake) also sunk 18 points on the day, including 8-of-9 shots from the foul line.

Carleton did not trail in the first half with Battist tallying 12 points before the break. Beck Page (Fy./Longmont, Colo./Longmont) provided a spark off the bench as he drained three consecutive 3-pointers in helping the Knights open up a 23-10 lead midway through the opening stanza.

St. Olaf looked to hold the ball for the final shot before halftime, but the Oles’ Nate Albers missed his shot, Battist grabbed the rebound, and Henry Bensen (Sr./Roseville, Minn./Roseville) pushed the ball up the floor and found Hanson for a flush 0.6 seconds before halftime. That bucket allowed Carleton to carry a 39-33 lead into the intermission.

St. Olaf scored on its first four possessions of the second half and took its initial lead of the contest at 44-43 with 17:48 still to play. The teams exchanged the lead a handful of times over the next three minutes before Noah Beck’s pullup jumper gave St. Olaf a 50-49 advantage with 14:30 on the clock.

Less than a minute later, Page connected for his fourth 3-pointer of the afternoon and sparked the Knights on a game-changing 11-0 run. That spurt also included a Battist layup and back-to-back triples for Hanson. Carleton held the Oles scoreless for nearly six and a half minutes before Carter Uphus finally scored for St. Olaf at the 8:02 mark of the second half.

The Knights lead swayed between 8-12 points over the next seven minutes, but St. Olaf made one last push. Consecutive 3-pointers by Troy Diggins Jr. and Dominic Bledsoe pulled the hosts to within 77-73 with 0:42 left to play. Beckler and Hanson combined to make 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the Carleton victory.

Hanson scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half, and Beckler tallied 13 of his 18 over the same stretch. The Knights shot 61 percent after halftime, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Bensen and Isaac Tessier (Fy./White Bear Lake, Minn./White Bear Lake) combined for eight points, 12 assists, eight points, four rebounds, and three steals.

Meanwhile the Carleton defense limited Albers, who entered the day leading the Oles in scoring at 16.8 points per game, to only three points thanks to an 1-for-12 shooting day from the field and a 1-for-4 showing at the charity stripe.

Diggins Jr. paced St. Olaf with 20 points, and Jake Weber added a career-high 16 points. Bledsoe was the third Ole in double figures as he was 4-of-6 from long range for his 12 points.

The Knights have now matched their overall win total from a season ago and are now one conference victory shy of last season’s mark.

UP NEXT FOR THE KNIGHTS: Carleton, which began the season with 11 of 14 games away from West Gym, now heads home to play 8-of the next 11 games. That stretch begins with the Knights hosting No. 7-ranked University of St. Thomas on Wednesday, January 15 at 7:00 p.m.

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