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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Basketball loses heartbreaker to Gustavus in Semis

<st to Gustavus in dramatic fashion last night in overtime in the MIAC semi-finals.The Knights led for most of the contest and the entire second half until Gustavus’ Jesse Van Sickle hit a three pointer with five seconds left in regulation. Gustavus then won in overtime 71-70.
Jeremy Sutherland ‘10 had an outstanding game with a career high 25 points. He got off to a fast start scoring ten of Carleton’s first twelve points. He ended the first half with ten points.
Behind Sutherland’s hot shooting, the Knights pulled out to an early 19-11 lead,but Gustavus worked their way back and were only down by 31-29 at the half.

The Knights came out strong in the second half building a nine point lead and controlling the temp on both ends of the floor.

With under two minutes to play the Knights had a comfortable four point lead and then had a defensive stop as Bryan Rosett ‘10 came up with a huge block with 1:03 left to play.

It appeared that the Knights had the game under contol as Zach Johnson sank two free throws with 22 seconds left to increase the lead to six points.But the Gusties came down the court and nailed a three with 13 seconds left to play. They immediatly fouled Tommy Drake ‘08 who missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving the ball back to Gustavus and Van Sickle who hit the three pointer to tie up the score.

Carleton still had time on the clock and inbounded the ball to Johnson who dribbled down the court and put up a three as time expried, but the ball went in and out of the net, taking the game to overtime.

Sutherland started off the overtime session by sinking a three pointer, but Gustavus had a quick answer with a three of their own and then took the lead.
Just like regulation, the overtime came down to the final minute. With a minute to go, Carleton was down two with Rosett at the line to shoot two. He converted the first free throw but missed the second.

Down by one, the Knights continued their great defense and got the ball back with 35 seconds. Rosett drove hard to the basket, but got his shot blocked with 4 seconds left. The Knights inbounded the ball to Johnson who threw up a shot that hit off the rim. The Knights grabbed the rebound but the putback did not go and the Gustavus comeback was complete.

In the quarterfinal round of action last Tuesday night, the Knights welcomed the St. John’s Johnnies (14-13, 11-9 MIAC) to West Gym and earned a easy victory, 65-49. Behind a conference-MVP caliber performance from junior captain Zach Johnson, who poured in 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and a near-record setting team defensive effort, the Knights were able to dominate the Johnnies on both ends of the floor throughout the game. Despite lackluster offensive showings in the first half by both teams resulting in a 25-21 halftime score, the Knights were able to knock down some open looks in the second half and improve their shooting to 51% for the game, while holding St. Johns to only 35% shooting on the night. In what turned out to be the last game of his career, St. John’s senior star Brady Brink was the only Johnnie to find any sort of an offensive rhythm, finishing the game with 23 points, but more than a few “Brady Bricks,” along the way.

Senior captain Tommy Drake and Sophomore point guard Jeremy Sutherland both added twelve points for Knights, but it was their play on the defensive end of the floor, holding St. Johns second and third leading scorers, wingman Ryan Leiser and sharpshooter Chris Schwartz, to a combined 12 points on 5-23 shooting, that sparked the Knights to victory. Ultimately, the 2007-2008 Knights will be remembered as a team that peaked at the right time, with the return of point guard Jeremy Sutherland from a hand injury spurring them to six straight wins before last night’s stunning loss. Next year’s team will miss the scoring, toughness, leadership, and strong defensive play of Tommy Drake ’08, who graduates as Carleton’s 10th leading scorer alltime with 1,268 career points. However, the future looks bright for the Knights, who will return nine players next year, including starters Johnson, Rosett, Sutherland, and Carter Biewin ‘11, as well as key reserves Morris Nwogwugwu ’10, Jason Weischedel ’11, and Seth Jonker ’11.

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