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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Grow finishes season on a high note

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Saturday’s season finale loss at Bethel University closed one chapter for the Carleton College men’s basketball team and gave a further glimpse into the program’s future. Senior Shane McSparron (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) capped his collegiate career with a 17-point effort in the 64-60 setback, while rookie Kevin Grow (Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) posted his eighth double-double of the year as he recorded career – and game-highs of 20 points and 16 rebounds.

This was just another close contest in a season’s worth of such games for Carleton (11-14, 8-12 MIAC) as the team played 13 games this year decided by six points or less, including 12 of the last 18 conference tilts. This also continued a pattern of tight tussles between the Knights and Royals (17-8, 13-7 MIAC) as the last eight meetings between the two sides have been decided by a total of 31 points, an average margin of only 3.9 points.

Today, Bethel got off to a hot start, shooting 63 percent in the first half and 67 percent from beyond the arc. Carleton trailed by as many as 19 points late in the first period and still faced a 41-25 deficit at intermission. The Knights closed the gap by opening the second half on a 16-3 run and pulled to within 44-41 with 10:50 remaining.

Following steal a and layup by Bridgeport Tussler, Bethel extended the advantage back to double digits at 59-48 with 4:45 still to play. Grow and McSparron scored the game’s next six points, but Carleton got no closer than three points the rest of the way.

Due to injuries, McSparron missed 17 games during his tenure with the Knights but still finished with 896 career points, an average of 10.5 points per contest.

Grow became the first Carleton player to score 20 points and collect at least 15 rebounds in a game since Taylor Hanson achieved the feat at Aurora University on Nov. 26, 2011. Grow is also the first Knight to accumulate eight double-doubles in a campaign in a span of at least 19 seasons.

Kyle Zimmerman paced a trio of Bethel player in double figures, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Tussler and Wojta finished with 11 apiece. The Knights begin spring ball next term.

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