Nathan Kuck shoots a corner three in a 63-52 win over Carleton on Monday night at the Skoglund Center.
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Ole men top Carleton to retain Goat Trophy

Michael Abdella
January 7, 2013

NORTHFIELD, Minn.- Connor Gunderson led the way with 19 points as the St. Olaf men's basketball team picked up its first home win of the season with a 63-52 win over Carleton on Monday night at the Skoglund Center.

The junior forward shot 9-19 from the field and grabbed six rebounds in the win. Sterling Nielsen added 17 points on 7-11 shooting and made three of five threes. Mason Braden and Matthew Hultgren were also in double figures, scoring 11 and 10, respectively.

The win means the Oles retain the Goat trophy for the year. After St. Olaf had the goat from 1958-1989, Carleton had held it since 1989-90 except for '02-03 and the last two seasons.

The Oles (4-7, 3-3 MIAC) held a three-point lead at halftime after a closely-contested first half of play. The score remained close until the middle of the second half when St. Olaf started to pull away.

St. Olaf went on a 20-4 run over a stretch of 8:42 midway through the second half to stretch the lead to 52-33 with 8:03 to play. During the run, the Oles held Carleton to 1-11 shooting from the field. Gunderson, Nielsen, Braden, and Jost Pratt accounted for the 20 St. Olaf points.

Down by 19, the Knights (6-5, 3-3 MIAC) clawed their way to within 10 with 3:30 to play but were unable to get the lead to single digits. The 11-2 Carleton run was stopped by a three from Nielsen as the Oles maintained a comfortable lead.

Tom Sawatzke led the Knights with 19 points on 6-19 shooting. Scott Theisen was the only other Carleton player in double figures as he scored 15 points, collected eight rebounds, and dished out four assists.

St. Olaf shot 45.9 percent (28-61) from the field and held Carleton to just 35.2 percent (19-54). The Oles continued to struggle from behind the arc, going 4-19 (21.1%) and also only made three of eight free throws. St. Olaf held a 43-37 advantage on the boards. Braden had a team-high seven rebounds.

The Oles travel to St. Paul on Wednesday night to face the Pipers at 7:30 p.m. Hamline is 6-5 overall and 3-3 in the MIAC.

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