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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men’s basketball: Another week, two more wins

< piling up for the Carleton men's basketball team, but the Knights can't look back now.

Carleton notched two more tough victories this week, holding off an annoying St. Olaf squad on Saturday 72-69, a win which will keep the Goat Trophy on the right side of town for another year, before locking down on Concordia on Wednesday night for a 60-51 triumph.

Wednesday’s win, coupled with a Gustavus loss to those same irksome Oles, bumps the Knights (11-6, 10-2 MIAC) into sole possession of second place in the conference heading into a big four-game stretch over the next two weeks in which the team will hit the road for games against Augsburg and Saint Johns then return home to host huge contests against the Gusties and St. Thomas.

With reigning MIAC Player of the Week Jeremy Sutherland ’11 hampered by illness and a shoulder injury, fellow all-conference stud Seth Jonker ’11 took matters into his own hands on Wednesday night, scoring 22 points 15 of them in the second half to lead the Knights over the visiting Cobbers, 60-51.

Doing his best to imitate former teammate Zach Johnson ’09, Jonker dominated both inside and out, sinking 7-of-10 field goal attempts, including a career-best 4-of-5 performance from three-point range. After dropping 25 on the Oles on Saturday, the Dutch Crunch is proving that his early-season knee injury is a thing of the past while transforming back into the go-to weapon that led the Knights playoff run last year.

The senior forward was particularly potent in the games final ten minutes, scoring eight straight points, including back-to-back crowd-igniting rainmakers, during a 13-4 Carleton run that put the victory on ice.

Wednesdays game was largely a tale of two defenses, as both squads struggled on the offensive end for long stretches of play. It was Carleton who clamped down more decisively down the stretch, however, as the Knights held the Cobbers to just 27.3 percent shooting in the second half. Carleton utterly dominated Concordias perimeter game, as the visitors missed all 13 long-range attempts after the break.

The trademark Guy Kalland defense, coupled with Jonker’s clutch play on the offensive end was enough to deliver the victory and improve the Knights to 8-0 at home on the year. Carleton has now won 14 straight contests at West Gym dating back to last season, the program’s longest home win streak in over 50 years.

The Knights proved that they can win anywhere in Northfield on Saturday, however, as they survived a scare from their neighbors to beat the Oles on their side of town, 72-69. Jonker delivered a season-high 25 points as Carleton ensured that the Goat Trophy will remain securely stationed in its West Gym home for yet another year (the Knights held the trophy entering the season, so they needed to win only one of the two games against St. Olaf to keep it).

Despite St. Olaf’s dry campus policies, this one looked like it would be a Carleton party early on, as the Knights stormed out of the gates, shooting over 60 percent in the first half, including a ridiculous 7-of-9 from three-point land. The Knights led 31-6 midway through the period and took a 49-26 advantage into the locker room.

The Oles overcame the embarrassment of their atrocious start in the second half, however, and methodically chipped away at the Knights’ lead, outscoring Carleton 43-23 over the course of the period. The final margin of three points was the closest St. Olaf would get, however, as Jonker put the team on his back down the stretch. Despite playing with four fouls, the senior went into beast mode when his squad needed it most, scoring the Knights final 10 points and totaling 16 in the second half to hold off the pesky Oles.

Jonker also finished with a game-high nine rebounds while Sutherland battled through a 5-of-15 showing for 13 points. Carter Biewen ’11, meanwhile, was deadly efficient, going 3-of-3 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the line for 10 points.

For Sutherland, the performance was good enough to round out the senior’s resume for MIAC Player of the Week, which he was awarded on Monday. Last week was a truly memorable one for the Knights star, as he averaged nearly 20 points per contest and, oh yeah, joined the 1,000-point club before hitting a game-winning three against Hamline.

Be sure to follow the Knights as they hit the road next week. Knights Online will have live broadcasts of Saturdays 3 p.m. contest at Augsburg as well as Wednesday nights 7:30 p.m. tilt at Saint Johns.

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