Men’s basketball slays Carleton Knights in playoff thriller


Lily Denehy and Gwen Reoch

Macalester Men’s Basketball is having a fairy-tale season. After their 70-56 win over Carleton College on Wednesday, Feb. 23 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) quarterfinals, they are showing no sign of slowing down. The Scots will look to play the underdog from now on as the sixth seed, the lowest remaining in the bracket. 

On Feb. 19, Macalester hosted their first men’s basketball playoff game ever in the Leonard Center (LC); it was also their first postseason appearance since 2005. The Scots showed out, crushing the College of St. Scholastica 79-66 on their way to their first playoff win since 2004. This impressive win earned head coach Abe Woldeslassie ’08 coach of the week honors from, a college basketball news website.

The Scots now advance to the MIAC semifinals on Friday, Feb. 25. This is the first time the men’s basketball team has made the semifinals since the 2004 season when they lost to Gustavus Adolphus College in the championship game. They will face Augsburg on Feb. 25 in Minneapolis.

Photo by Gwen Reoch ’25

In the first round, a 1000-person home crowd witnessed a thrilling Scots victory over the St. Scholastica Saints, lining up the quarterfinal match away at Carleton. Macalester’s win was fueled by almost 60% shooting accuracy and a tight defense which held St. Scholastica to just 29 points in the first half. Though the Saints made a valiant effort to scramble back into the game, the Scots could not be stopped. A 40 point half capped the most important win the LC has ever hosted.

Caleb Williams ’24 led the scoring frenzy with a 30-point game, his season best, and he added five rebounds to seal the victory. Gabriel Ramos ’22 also had a standout game, earning a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, plus seven assists. Coby Gold ’25 added 20 points, six rebounds and a steal to round out the Scots’ top scorers. Badou Ba ’25 also had a huge game, coming away with five blocks to shut down the Saints.

After a snow delay pushed the MIAC quarterfinals a day late, the Scots traveled to Carleton College for a heated rivalry matchup. The Athletics Department bussed more than 50 fans down to Northfield, contributing to a powerful away supporters section. 

Their strong win and extra rest day set the Scots up for a firepowered first half. The game began with five straight points from Carleton, but nine straight in return from Macalester set the tempo for the night. The latter ten minutes of the half spelled a 20-4 run for the Scots, leading to a 22 point lead at halftime. With that lead, Macalester coasted to victory in the second half.

Headlining the night was Gold’s performance from behind the arc, going 6-7 on his way to 21 points. Ramos tallied a double-double, his second in two career playoff games. Stellar defense was a massive factor in the result, as the Knights’ leading scorer this season was held to only 4 points. Williams’ three steals and two blocks from Shane Anderson ’22 led the team.

Macalester’s next challenge will be the Augsburg University Auggies on Friday Feb. 25, away in Minneapolis. The two teams split the season series this year, but recent results are encouraging for the Scots. Despite losing by 37 points in early January, improvement was clear in the 65-63 home win late in the season. The final score did not tell the full story of the Scots’ dominance that night, as they held a double-digit lead late into the game. Augsburg also lost four of six to end their regular season. Results of the semifinal and, if necessary, the MIAC finals will be in next week’s edition of The Mac Weekly.