It was like trudging up a hill all night for the Carleton Knights, but the men's basketball team prevailed in a 61-57 win over the St. Mary's University Cardinals in Winona on Monday night. Carleton trailed most of the first half before taking a 34-31 lead into halftime, then saw St. Mary's go on a spurt to start the second half and resume the lead. Carleton would have its biggest lead of the game at eight points with about 10:30 to go in the game, but the pesky Cardinals would not go away during a Coaches vs. Cancer event where a moment of silence was held at the start of the game to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Carleton continued its struggles at the free throw line, going seven of 15 in the game. The Knights outrebounded the Cardinals 37-27 and tallied 15 offensive rebounds in the contest. Junior John Eckert of North Judson, Ind., had 11 rebounds and freshman Kevin Grow had six. Carleton shot 47 percent from the field and had six threes while St. Mary's collected seven threes and shot 42 percent from the field. Carleton's only senior, Shane McSparron of Apple Valley, and sophomore Tianen Chen of Germantown Hills, Ill., led the way in scoring with 14 points each and sophomore Mitchell Biewen of Golden Valley had 10. Freshman Nick Ogren of Stillwater led St. Mary's with 12 points on four threes that were all scored in the first half, and sophomore Connor Kaiser of Rockland, Wis., added 11.

St. Mary's dropped to 1-9 in the league and 2-11 overall; Carleton improved to 7-7 overall and 4-5 in the MIAC. The Knights make the longest road  trip of the season Wednesday when they head to Moorhead, Minn., to face the red-hot Cobbers. KDHL will have the women's game at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men about 7:45. The picture below shows how festive St. Mary's was with the trees along the boulevard at the entrance still lit up very colorfully.