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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men’s Basketball Wins Big, Back-to-Back Games

<ong>Fast start nets Knights a victory at home over the Bethel Royals

Prior to each contest, Carleton College head men’s basketball coach Guy Kalland gives his team a key to winning that evening’s game. Since the last five meetings between the Knights and Bethel University had been decided by a grand total of only 12 total points, tonight’s key message read, “Get off to a quick start.”
Apparently his squad listened.

Carleton raced out to a 19-0 lead and never looked back in cruising to a 63-51 victory over the visiting Royals. Taylor Hanson ‘14 posted his second straight double-double and point guard Peter Bakker-Arkema ‘17 fell just a rebound shy of one himself. Hanson finished 16 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and three steals. All four figures represented game highs. Bakker-Arkema tallied 13 points, his third-highest total of the season, to go along with a career-best nine rebounds.

All five starters scored during the game-opening and deciding offensive outburst. Mitchell Biewen ‘17 drained a three pointer on the opening possession. Shane McSparron ‘15 knocked down a pair of free throws and added a jumper. Beau Smit ‘17 and Hanson each converted a layup in transition, but it was Bakker-Arkema that got the Knights rolling early.

After converting an early aggressive drive to the basket, Bakker-Arkema added consecutive three pointers to make the score 19-0.

In the opening stretch Bethel committed three turnovers and missed its first seven shots. The visitors finally got on the scoreboard when Brycen Wojta hit a jumpshot with 12:22 remaining in the first half, but by that point the damage was done. The Royals faced a double-digit deficit the rest of the contest. Wotja finished with a team-best 15 points with a 5-of-19 shooting line.

This was the second straight game in which the Knights held an opponent to a season-worst shooting performance with Carleton’s defense limited Bethel to a .313 field-goal percentage.

Carleton meanwhile finished shooting 48 percent for the night. In addition to double-digit scoring lines from Hanson and Bakker-Arkema, McSparron added 12 points, while Biewen, Smit and Tianen Chen ‘17 each contributed at least seven tallies.

Balanced attack against St. Mary’s keeps Carleton in the Playoff hunt

For the second consecutive game, the Carleton College men’s basketball team got off to a big lead. This time, however, the Knights needed to make some clutch plays down the stretch to secure a 62-51 road victory over Saint Mary’s University.

“The guys had a solid effort on the road,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “Saint Mary’s played very determined in the second half and made us work on both ends. We are very pleased to have come away with a double-digit road win as those are hard to come by in our league.”

The victory moves Carleton (9-11, 7-8 MIAC) to within a half-game of Bethel for the sixth spot in the standings and the final playoff berth. There are five games remaining for the Knights in the regular season.

Carleton made 10-of its first-14 shots in racing out to a 22-5 lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half. The Knights shot 61 percent in the first half and carried a 35-16 advantage into intermission as Saint Mary’s (3-18, 2-14 MIAC) was just 5-of-29 from the field over the opening period.

With the Knights still leading by 19 points with 11:20 remaining in the contest, the Cardinals’ Will Swiggum converted an old-fashioned three-point play, which sparked an eight-minute 18-4 Saint Mary’s run that brought the hosts to within 49-44. All four Carleton points during that stretch came on free-throws from Tianen Chen ‘17.

Another pair of free throws by John Eckert ‘16 at the three-minute mark further slowed Saint Mary’s momentum, and Taylor Hanson ‘14 came up with a pair of critical buckets in traffic to help Carleton re-exert control over the contest. The Knights then iced the game at the free-throw line

Hanson, Shane McSparron ‘15, and Peter Bakker-Arkema ‘17 had 12 points apiece for Carleton.

Evan Pederson tallied 13 points and Swiggum added 11 for the hosts, who shot 50 percent in the second half.

The Knights will continue their push towards the playoffs at home against Gustavus Adolphus Saturday at 3 PM.

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