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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Knights edge Gusties as Grow breaks rebounding record

< trailing most of the game, the Carleton College men’s basketball team outlasted host Gustavus Adolphus College, 68-67, on Wednesday evening to keep the Knights’ pristine MIAC record intact. Senior standout Kevin Grow (Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) broke Carleton’s career-rebounding record in the winning effort.

“A real MIAC battle tonight, and a nice win for the Knights,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “Solid play on both ends of the floor by our guys, and some nice defensive stops in the second half enabled us to escape with the win.

“Also a very special night for Kevin. Setting a record like this is a testament not only to his talent, but also his work ethic and consistency.”

Grow came into the game needing a mere five rebounds to tie Mark Wandmacher’s program record of 838, which the latter established 34 years ago. With nine boards on Wednesday, Grow broke the record and still has the bulk of the season left to add to his total.
The senior now sits in 18th place (842) on the MIAC’s all-time rebounding list. He also contributed a game-high 22 points and climbed past Jim Tolf ’82 and Tom Sawatzke ’13 to take over 15th place on Carleton’s all-time scoring list.

Carleton (7-3, 5-0 MIAC) and Gustavus entered play with a combined 8-1 conference record, and this one seemed destined to go down to the final possession.

The Gusties (6-5, 4-2 MIAC) got off to a hot start, surging out to a 10-2 lead early in the game. The hosts maintained their advantage throughout the opening stanza, building an early eight-point margin before carrying a 40-36 lead into the break. Both teams shot well from the field in the first half; Carleton at 56 percent and Gustavus at 52 percent. However, the Gusties converted on 7-of-11 shots (64 percent) from beyond the arc.

Gustavus came out strong again after the break, quickly extending its lead back to eight at 48-40 with 17 minutes remaining. Carleton gradually chipped away, and with 9:33 left to play in the game, took the lead for the very first time.

The Knights and Gusties exchanged leads over the next few minutes before Malekai Mischke (Sr./Beijing, China/International School of Beijing) knocked down a deep, timely trey to put the visitors up 65-63 at the five-minute mark.

The hosts knotted things back up at 66-66 before Matthew Stritzel (Fy./Chicago, Ill./Niles Notre Dame) pulled off an impressive baseline baby hook to give the Knights the lead for good with two minutes remaining.

The Carleton defense clamped down and held Gustavus without a field goal over the final 2:55 of the contest. With the Knights clinging to a 68-67 lead, the defense came up with one final stop as  Kent Hanson (So./St. Paul, Minn./St. Paul Academy) blocked the potential game-winning shot at the buzzer, allowing the Knights to claim their 18th consecutive MIAC regular-season triumph.

Hanson totaled 14 points and eight boards, and Stritzel came off the bench to score 14 as well.

Kelsey Thomas led the Gusties with 21 points, and Riley Sharbono added 18 points.

The Knights return home on Saturday to face the University of St. Thomas at 1:00 p.m. A live video broadcast will be made available via Knights Online.

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