Playing their third game in five days, the Carleton College men’s basketball team traveled to Hamline University for a Wednesday night affair and picked up the Knights’ third consecutive win, an 80-69 result.
The conference-leading Knights (14-2, 9-2 MIAC) continued their momentum in 2023, as the victory over the Pipers (10-6, 6-5 MIAC) was their fifth in six games to kick off the new year.
“I was really impressed with our fight in the second half,” said Carleton head coach Ryan Kershaw. “We knew it was going to be a tough, gritty game as Hamline plays very hard and is extremely well-prepared. Our guys were ready for the challenge and made some great adjustments down the stretch. All in all, it was an excellent win, and I am very proud of our group.”
Jeremy Beckler (Sr./Lino Lakes, Minn./White Bear Lake) and Hamline’s Bradley Cimperman were each coming off career games on Monday night. The former led Carleton to a victory at Saint John’s with a career-high 36 points, which would have been good for the highest total in a conference contest this season if not for Cimperman, who exploded for 51 points — one off the MIAC record — in an 85-82 win over Gustavus Adolphus the same evening. Both would play key roles in Wednesday’s contest.
Hamline got off to a good start on its home hardwood and claimed its largest lead of the game, 19-7, thanks to a Cimperman 3-pointer with 13:17 to play in the opening half. Carleton fought back with a 16-4 run over the next six minutes. The score remained close over the remainder of the stanza, and Beck Page‘s (Sr./Longmont, Colo./Longmont) second 3-pointer of the period pulled the Knights back within 34-33 at the halftime break.
Carleton continued its heavy reliance on the outside shot during the second half. Matt Banovetz (Jr./Minneapolis, Minn./Academy of Holy Angels) and Luke Harris (So./Piedmont, Calif./Piedmont) kicked things off to begin the half with a three each, and then Beckler took over. Carleton’s leading scorer this season scored 14 of his 16 points over the final 15 minutes of play, including four triples.
Carleton re-took the lead for the final time with exactly nine minutes left to play thanks to an Alex Gibbens (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) jumper. The junior guard followed that up with a layup on the following possession, and the Knights would never relinquish control of the game.
Gibbens led the visitors in scoring with 17 points. Beckler’s 16 and Harris’ 15 points were next on the list. Chuck Sweat (Jr./Glencoe, Ill./New Trier) made his first career start and tallied 11 points and 11 rebounds en route to his first career double-double. He also contributed a trio of 3-pointers to a team-total 13 on the evening.
Carleton shot 52 percent for the game and 48 percent (13-of-27) from deep, while the Pipers made 43 percent of thier shots and went 7-of-22 (32 percent) from beyond the arc.
Cimperman led the way for the Pipers with 25, as Austin Holt (15 points) and Mick Wherley (14 points), were his only teammates to join him in double figures.
Up Next for the Knights
Carleton returns home to host Gustavus Adolphus College for a men’s-women’s doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 21. The men’s game begins the afternoon with a 1 P.M. tipoff.