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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

A Legendary Knight: Sutherland joins 1,000-point club, nails game-winner as men’s hoops tops Hamline

<om rim-rocking dunks to jaw-dropping blocks, Jeremy Sutherland '11 has produced many a highlight reel performance during his time at Carleton, but Wednesday night's may have topped them all.

Sutherland scored the 1,000th point of his storied career in the first half, then went on to drop 25 for the game. The performance included­ a three-pointer with 5.3 seconds remaining that lifted his team to a 70-67 victory at Hamline University in a rematch of last season’s playoff quarterfinal.

With the win, the Knights (9-6, 8-2 MIAC) remain tied with Gustavus for second place in the conference, one game behind St. Thomas, whom Hamline had just upset on Monday night for the Tommies’ first loss of the year.

It was all Knights early in this one, however, as a Sutherland rainmaker at the 9:12 mark put Carleton up 23-11. But Hamline clawed back with a 9-0 run and cut the Knight lead to 36-32 at halftime.

The historic moment for Sutherland came from the free throw line four minutes before intermission. Having entered the contest with 990 career points, the All-MIAC senior became the 24th member of Carleton’s illustrious 1,000-point club, joining the ranks of stars like Tommy Drake ’08, Zach Johnson ’09, and Bryan Rosett ’10.

Sutherland quickly put the milestone behind him, however, and turned his focus to putting away a Piper squad that had entered the game averaging an NBA-like 86.3 points per game and had scored at least 80 in seven consecutive contests.

It would take all the Knights had to eke out a win in this one, as the second half went back-and-forth with eight ties and neither team pulling ahead by more than five points.

Hamline went ahead 65-64 with 2:14 still remaining, but on the next play, a pair of young Knights came up huge and turned the tide. After a Seth Jonker ’11 miss, Danny Geiger ’14 swooped in for an offensive rebound then found Tom Sawatzke ’13 wide-open beyond the arc. The sophomore rewarded the freshman’s efforts, draining the triple to put the Knights back on top.

The Pipers evened the score on their next possession, but after both teams got stops, Carleton put the ball in the hands of its ace, and Sutherland didn’t disappoint, draining the deciding triple from the left wing and sending Knight Nation home happy.

The win was a huge one for Carleton, with Hamline coming in hotter than any squad in the conference and the Knights in danger of their first two-loss week in conference play after a tough 56-51 setback at Gustavus on Saturday.

Carleton began to recover from the Gustie defeat at home on Monday night, however, when the squad put the hurt on hapless Macalester, 86-55. The Knights made the West Gym nets sing all night, shooting 56 percent from the field and 54 percent from downtown. Sutherland led five Carls in double figures with 21 points, including five three-pointers. Scott Theisen ’13 posted a career-high 14 and Jonker matched him, while Sawatzke netted 12 and Geiger continued to make the folks in New Prague proud, going a perfect 5-of-5 for 10 points.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the Knights looked to be on track for another win, leading 27-22 at halftime, but the Gusties came out hot in the second half, using an 18-4 run to propel themselves to victory and avenge their home loss to Carleton in last year’s playoff championship. Sutherland scored 18 points in the losing effort, as the Knights fell to a conference opponent not named St. Thomas for the first time in just under a year. The squad will get another crack at the Gusties on its home hardwood Feb. 5.

However, the Knights have neighbors to put in their place tomorrow afternoon when they travel across town to St. Olaf College for the second half of a men’s-women’s doubleheader. Carleton currently holds the basketball version of the Goat Trophy as it has for 20 of the last 21 seasons, so the Knights need only a win tomorrow to secure the caprine keepsake for another year.

Action is set to tip off from the Tostrud Center around 3 p.m. with the women’s contest first at 1 p.m.

Put down your books and brave the cold, Knights fans. Let’s show those Oles whose town this really is.

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