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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Knights top Auggies in overtime

<ow (Sr./Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) came up with a crucial block at the end of regulation, and the Carleton College men’s basketball team grabbed the early advantage in overtime to defeat Augsburg University, 77-74. Leading the scoring attack for the Knights was Kent Hanson (So./St. Paul, Minn./St. Paul Academy), who matched his career-best with a 30-point effort, and Matthew Stritzel (Fy./Chicago, Ill./Niles Notre Dame), who chipped in 20 points.

“To say that these two team were evenly matched is an understatement,” said Carleton head coach Guy Kalland. “We were crisp on both ends of the floor and earned a nice MIAC road win.”

Despite slow offensive starts by both teams, Carleton (10-7, 8-4 MIAC) worked its way out to an early 10-5 lead. Augsburg (13-5, 8-5 MIAC) fought back, however, and pulled within one before the Knights extended their lead again. Gradually adding to their advantage over the course of the half, Carleton held a 43-29 lead with 50 seconds remaining in the first half.

Augsburg would score the game’s next 18 points and took a 47-43 lead nearly eight minutes into the second half.
The two teams traded buckets for the remainder of the stanza before Augsburg went up 67-64 courtesy of free throws by Collin Olmscheid with 43 seconds remaining in regulation.

Hanson answered for the visitors, however, finishing at the rim and converting his foul for an traditional three-point play that knotted the score at 67-67 with with half a minute to go.

On Augsburg’s final possession, Harry Sonie beat his defender and followed a beeline to the basket for the potential game-winning layup, but Grow came out of nowhere to send the shot back and push the game into overtime.

It was all Carleton in the first few minutes of the overtime period. Hanson scored the first five points of the extra time, punctuated by a putback slam on a fast break, which gave Carleton a 72-67 lead with three minutes left. Augsburg finally got on the board at the 1:50 mark on a second-chance opportunity by Olmscheid that cut the deficit to three. On the other end, Grow quickly converted on a layup to push the lead back to five.

With 16 seconds left and the Auggies trailing by five, Kevin McKiernan drove in, nailed a shot, and was fouled to put him at the free throw line. He knocked down the shot to pull Augsburg within 76-74. Grow was immediately fouled and hit one of his two free throws, and the defense came up with a pair of stops in the closing seconds to seal the victory.

Hanson tallied 30 points for the second time this season—also Dec. 9 at Macalester—and pulled down 13 rebounds for his sixth career double-double. Stritzel dropped 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the effort, while Grow added 12 points and 15 boards, good for another double-double, to go along with being credited with three blocks.

Olmscheid paced the Auggies with 19 points as four starters reached double figures, but the Carleton defense limited Augsburg to a season-low 36.6 percent shooting effort overall.

The victory moves Carleton into a three-way tie for third place in the crowded MIAC standings. The Knights have eight conference games remaining in the regular season, and spots two through seven in the playoff race are separated by only 1.5 games.

Up next for Carleton is a visit to rival St. Olaf College on Monday, Jan. 29 at 7:00 p.m. That game was rescheduled from January 22 due to blizzard conditions. A live audio broadcast will be available on KDHL 920AM in the Northfield/Faribault area and worldwide via Knights Online.

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