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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Knights basketball falls in heartbreaker, Goat Trophy in jeopardy

<ite their superior record, the Carleton Men’s basketball team (10-3, 5-3 MIAC) came up inches short on a freezing Wednesday night, falling to cross-town rival St. Olaf (6-8, 4-5 MIAC), 61-60 and putting the famed Goat Trophy up for grabs on February 20th in the next meeting between the two teams. After a well-played first half it looked like Carleton was going to dominate wire-to-wire, but uncharacteristic turnovers and defensive lapses by the Knights allowed the Oles back into the game with three minutes left. St. Olaf took their first lead since early in the game with 47 seconds left, 59-57, on a deep Chad Norberg three-pointer with less than a minute left, and Knights coach Guy Kalland promptly called a timeout to rally the troops. As the shot clock wound down on the next possession, Sophomore forward Brian Rosett hoisted an elbow jumper that rimmed out, but captain Tommy Drake ‘08 tipped the ball in for the tie and was fouled as ran back down the court, giving him the opportunity for an “unconventional” four-point play. Unfortunately, he was only able to make one of two shots from the charity stripe, giving the Knights the slimmest of leads and giving the Oles a chance to win the game with 18 seconds left. On the final possession, the Olies tried to set up a shot for sharpshooter Chad Norberg, but he was shut down by Knights sophomore Morris Nwogwugwu and was forced to pass. Olaf guard Steve “Santa’s Helper” Banick ended up with the ball, and squeezed his pint-sized frame down the lane for a off-balance lay-up with 4.9 seconds left. The Knight’s last-ditch effort resulted in a contested runner by Drake, but the shot wouldn’t fall and a silenced Carleton Student section filed out into the night.

The Oles were led by the outside shooting of senior townie and Northfield legend Norberg, who had a game-high 18 points and went a ridiculous 5-7 from 3-point range. The Knights were paced by Zach Johnson ‘09 with 14 points and five rebounds, but Johnson only shot 5-17 and struggled throughout the game. Rosett had 10 points and 9 rebounds, and Knights first-years Seth Jonker, Jason Weischedel, and Carter Biewin each scored eight points in the loss. The Knights offense seemed to stagnate down the stretch, possibly due to their sometimes overly methodical style. Superfan Evan Sander ’10 quipped, “I’d really like to see Coach Kalland let the players loose and run a fast-break offense to utilize our speed and three-point shooting.”

The Knights will be back in action when they travel to Macalester on Saturday to take on the Scots at 3pm.

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