Roundup: Carthage upsets No. 1 North Central
FROM STAFF REPORTS January 9, 2013 6:14PM
Updated: January 9, 2013 10:33PM
Top-ranked North Central falls — North Central saw its season-opening unbeaten streak halted at 13 games Wednesday evening, as the top-ranked Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season, 64-53, to the Carthage College Red Men at Tarble Arena.
Despite owning a slim advantage at halftime, North Central (13-1, 2-1 CCIW) yielded a 17-3 second-half run and was unable to summon a final rally.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, as the score was tied six times, including a 24-24 deadlock with 1:48 on the clock. Derek Raridon sank a three-pointer to put the Cardinals in front, though Carthage point guard Donte Logan countered with a layup on the next possession and Kiston Lee scored in the paint with just 41 seconds on the clock.
North Central missed a pair of shots in its final first-half possession before Jack Burchett came down with an offensive rebound and scored with less than a second remaining. Burchett was fouled and completed the three-point play, sending the visitors into halftime with a 30-28 edge.
The Cardinals eventually stretched their lead to 45-37 following Raridon’s jumper with 12:51 to play, but North Central’s offense subsequently went cold and the Red Men (6-8, 1-2) scored the next 12 points. North Central never led again, missing seven of its final eight shots from the floor while Carthage canned six straight free throws in the final 50 seconds to seal the victory.
Logan finished with 16 points and five assists to lead Carthage, which committed just one turnover in the final 20 minutes. Tyler Pierce added 14 points and Mitch Thompson totaled 10 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots.
Raridon led all scorers with 18 points despite missing the final four minutes of play after leaving the game with an injury. Landon Gamble turned in 12 points and eight rebounds for the Cardinals.
North Central hosts 17th-ranked Augustana College (12-2, 2-1) on Saturday at Gregory Arena with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. The Vikings suffered a 63-60 loss at 22nd-ranked Illinois Wesleyan on Wednesday.
Cardinals No. 1 in preseason rankings — North Central begins the 2013 season where it left the 2012 campaign, as the three-time defending national champions have secured the top spot in Division III National Team Computer Rankings, released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Cardinals tallied 138.12 points to secure the top spot in the rankings. Wisconsin-La Crosse is a close second with 134.32 points, followed by Wisconsin-Oshkosh (133.39), the St. Thomas (113.07) and Wisconsin-Whitewater (107.75).
The Cardinals return eight indoor All-Americans from last year’s team, including Division III national pole vault champion Josh Winder and sprinters Dionte Hackler, Bai Kabba and Mustapha Olaoye, who ran on North Central’s first-place 4x400-meter relay team. The Cardinals won their fifth overall indoor national championship and their 12th consecutive CCIW indoor title in 2012.
North Central will send a small group of athletes to the Carthage College Private College Invitational on Friday. The entire North Central squad will open the 2013 season at home on Friday, Jan. 18, hosting the Cardinal Invitational at Al B. Carius Track.
North Central ranked 15th in D-III — North Central is ranked 15th nationally in the initial Division III National Team Computer Rankings for the 2013 season, released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Cardinals tallied 45.03 points. Wartburg College (Iowa), which won last year’s indoor national championship and has claimed three of the past four titles, is the preseason No. 1 with 162.03 points.
The Cardinals open the 2013 season at home on Friday, Jan. 18, hosting the Cardinal Invitational at Al B. Carius Track.