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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Bench key in victory

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Led by Tianen Chen (So./Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora Township), who poured in a game-high 18 points, the reserves for the Knights provided a boost as the Carleton College men’s basketball team rallied for a come-from-behind 51-49 victory over Concordia College. Chen was 7-of-10 from the field, 4-of-6 at the charity stripe, and pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.

“I was very pleased with our defensive effort and intensity again tonight,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “Concordia presents a number of challenges defensively, and our guys were up to the task tonight. We were able to manufacture just enough offense throughout the game and were able to hold on down the stretch for a satisfying team win.”

The Carleton (10-13, 7-11 MIAC) bench outscored its counterparts, 23-2, providing nearly half the team’s points as the Knights played their seventh game this season decided by three points or less.

The first half featured three ties, 10 lead changes and saw Carleton trailing 27-23 at the break. The Knights shot 50 percent in the second half while holding Concordia (14-9, 10-8 MIAC) to 38 percent after intermission.

Early in the second period Concordia matched its largest lead of the evening, 33-27, with 16:00 remaining.

At that point, the Carleton defense took over, and the offense started to finally put points on the scoreboard. The Knights went on a 15-0 run spanning six minutes. Chen and fellow reserve post player Ryan Casperson (Fy./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) combined to score the game’s next 13 points, giving Carleton a 42-33 advantage, a lead the hosts would not relinquish.

The Cobbers, in pursuit of a playoff berth, would not go away and edged to within 51-49 in the closing seconds, but the team’s leading scorer this season, Jordan Bolger, missed two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining. Concordia was awarded a last-second opportunity to go for the tie, but that shot was off the mark, giving Carleton a hard-earned victory.

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