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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men’s Basketball extends win streak to three

<ott Theisen ’13 led the Knights with 20 points and dished out three assists, while Tom Sawatzke ’13 added 18 points as the Carleton College men’s basketball team notched its third consecutive victory. The Knights held off the Concordia College Cobbers this past Saturday by a final score of 72-64.

In addition to strong play from Theisen and Sawatzke, Carleton received exceptional efforts from two of its big men inside. Caleb Rosenow ’12 tallied 15 points and five rebounds, and senior Michael Grinnell supplied eight points on perfect 4-4 shooting in addition to his seven rebounds.

For Grinnell, all that came in only 15 minutes of play. Said Rosenow of his teammate, “the stats show, he is just a continual fighter, and it’s great to see him have a game like that.”

The Knights parlayed their balanced attack, which also included seven points, five assists and two blocks from first-year Shane McSparron into their best first half in quite some time.

Although the opening five minutes saw the sluggish Knights fall behind Concordia 13-5, Carleton quickly flipped the switch. Over the next 11 minutes of play, the Knights went on a dominating 26-6 run.

A pair of Sawatzke buckets, including a layup sparked by a big McSparron block, helped pull Carleton within one at the 13:17 mark. And then, with 11:15 to play in the first period, Kyle Mileusnic ’15 hit a transition layup to give the Knights their first lead of the game at 16-15.

But the Carleton run did not stop there. After the Knights pushed their lead up to four with 7:56 to play in the half, Carleton really started to heat up. Consecutive triples by Sawatzke and Theisen gave the Knights a ten point, 29-19 advantage with 5:05 left on the first-half clock.

Then, with 4:12 to go, a strong Rosenow layup provided Carleton with its largest lead of the half at 31-19. The half ended with the Knights shooting a blistering 62.5% and holding a 36-27 lead.

Although Carleton seemed to have all the momentum at the break, the Cobbers came out strong in the second period. A 9-2 Concordia run over the opening 4:10 of the half cut the Carleton lead down to two at 38-36. But that was as close as the Cobbers would get for the rest of the game.

Carleton immediately responded with an 8-2 run of their own, capped by a Theisen triple that put the Knights back up 46-38. Just a few minutes later, a beautiful Theisen assist on a Grinnell layup and a Danny Geiger ’14 free throw gave the Knights back their original nine-point cushion at 51-43 with 9:53 left to play. About a minute later, Carleton tied its game-high lead of 12 on a Theisen and-one layup that put the Knights up 57-45.

Over the next few minutes, Carleton oscillated between seemingly comfortable ten and 12 point advantages. But the Cobbers still had some fight.

A 6-0 Concordia burst starting at the 4:03 mark suddenly brought the Cobbers to within six points. A strong put-back by Jason Huus, who had a game-high 21 points and 12 boards, cut the Carleton lead to 63-57 with 2:07 remaining.

The Knights, however, bounced back. After Theisen knocked down a pair of free throws, Sawatzke nailed a deep three-pointer from the left wing to push the lead back up to nine with only 41 seconds left.

Although Concordia pulled to within six points at 70-64 with 26 seconds remaining, it was too late for a comeback. Sawatzke put the final nail in the coffin with a layup following a Theisen steal and no-look assist, and Carleton held on to win 72-64.

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