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by Kaylee Noborikawa, staff writer

The Nov. 25 game began evenly with both teams tied 7-7, but the Knights pulled away with a 10-point run in the first half. The Sea Warriors struggled with fouls and poor shots, while Carleton seemed to weave through HPU’s defense effortlessly and ran up a 15 point lead. HPU cut it by three points to finish the half 30-42.

“ We made some defense adjustments to get (the Knights) off the free throw line, because I think that’s where they hurt us,” said Head Coach Darren Vorderbruegge. The Knights shot for 13-15 at the free throw line in the first half.

HPU opened the second half with a renewed energy and a 7-2 surge to cut the Knights lead to seven. Carleton maintained a dominant lead for most of the half, but back-to-back three-pointers by HPU’s Kamron Alborz and Rishi Kakad, forced Knights Head Coach Guy Kalland to call two quick timeouts as the lead was cut to six.

With three minutes left on the scoreboard, HPU’s intense defense forced a turnover that led to HPU’s Jarrod Davis sinking a basket and drawing a foul to come within four points of the lead. With the game clock ticking and pressure rising, Alborz’s fourth three-pointer of the game ignited the audience and HPU bench, to bring the Sea Warriors within two.

Alborz, fouled by Carleton’s Mike Kootsikas, sank two crucial free throws to tie the game at 69, with 19.7 seconds left to play. With the crowd chanting “defense,” Carleton’s Bryan Rosett was called on an offensive foul to give HPU’s Kevin Schneider a one-and-one free throw shot and the opportunity to win the game. The ball bounced off the back of the rim and the Knights shot a desperate three-point attempt to no avail, bringing the teams into overtime.

The Sea Warriors continued to use the momentum to their advantage, scoring the first four points in overtime, but saw their lead shrink when Carleton’s Jake Phillips sank his fifth three-pointer of the game.

The game was brought to a halt when Alborz fell to the ground because of a cramp in his calf, but it quickly resumed. Carleton tied it at 75-75 off a lay up and a free throw following an HPU foul. Rosett committed another offensive foul and fouled out of the game, with 42.1 seconds left to play, giving HPU possession of the ball and the chance to regain the lead.

Brandon Lee scored a jumper to give HPU a 77-75 advantage with 15.8 seconds left on the clock. HPU’s Adam Snyder fouled out on the next play with five seconds left in the game, giving Carleton’s Jay Melson two free throw attempts. Melson missed the first, but made the second, leaving the Sea Warriors with a one-point lead.

Desperate to tie up the game, Carleton quickly fouled Mickey Wheeler. Wheeler sank both free throws, which gave HPU a 79-76 lead and the win. Carleton had one last chance to tie the game, but Phillips, who finished the game with 27 points and five steals, missed a desperation three-pointer in the final seconds.

Alborz led the Sea Warriors with 18 points and three rebounds, followed by Wheeler, who had a career-best 6-6 for the night, racking up 15 points, including two crucial free throws in overtime.
Tommy Drake lead the Knights with 22 points.

“ It was one of those games that didn’t flow too well, and it was kind of ugly at times,” said Vorderbruegge. “But we didn’t quit, and I’m really proud,” he added.


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