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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Basketball tied for second in MIAC with Olaf

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Rewind to Saturday afternoon when Carleton men’s basketball team is playing a tight game against Gustavus Adolphus College. At the end of 40 minutes, Carleton and Gustavus are tied 51-51, and the two teams are poised to go into overtime. Carleton breaks away in overtime, outscoring Gustavus 13-2, not missing a single basket in the extra period.

This 64-53 victory put Carleton at a 10-4 overall and 7-2 conference record. After 14 games last season, Carleton was 7-7 overall and the year before they had a losing record of 6-8.

“I think a large part of our success this season has been due to our great team defense and balanced scoring on offense,” said Kevin Grow ’18. Saturday’s game against Gustavus yielded “balanced scoring on offense” with six players scoring at least eight or more points. Grow himself had 9 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks on Saturday. Last year Grow became Carleton’s first ever West Region Rookie of the year. So far this season Grow is the second best rebounder in the MIAC, averaging 8.7 rebounds per game (behind R. Saarela of St. Thomas with 9.4 rebounds per game) and is fourth in the conference in terms of field goal percentage, shooting 61.7%.

“We’re a really tight-knit team, and we enjoy the team’s success above individual accomplishments,” said Peter Bakker-Arkema ’17. Bakker-Arkema and classmate Tianen Chen ’17 each put up 14 points to lead Carleton’s offense on Saturday. Chen is Carleton’s leading scorer, averaging 15.9 points per game. Chen is followed by Grow averaging 14.4 points per game and Mitchell Biewen ’17 is averaging 11.8.

Despite early season success, the Knights lost two of their first three games in January. Any resulting worries, however, were assuaged by Saturday’s win over Gustavus. Teams will go through slumps, and two consecutive losses constitute such a slump.

Carleton is currently tied for second in the conference with St. Olaf. Both teams are behind the University of St. Thomas with an overall 13-1 record.

Winter sports like basketball are at a disadvantage in schools with a trimester system like Carleton since much of their season transpires over winter break,. As a result, the student body is largely in the dark about their performance. The Knights’ next game is against the MIAC leader University of St. Thomas on Saturday the 23rd at 1 pm in the West Gym. Students should seize the opportunity to watch Carleton’s men play some great basketball.

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