Area roundup: Feb. 16
February 16, 2013 10:34PM
Updated: February 16, 2013 10:56PM
Enjoying its most efficient offensive production of the season, the North Central College men’s basketball team treated its home crowd to a dominant Senior Night performance on Saturday, roasting the North Park University Vikings, 88-61, at Gregory Arena.
The eighth-ranked Cardinals (21-3, 10-3 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) improved to a perfect 12-0 at home this season, shooting a season-best 68.6 percent (35 of 51) from the floor and leading comfortably throughout the second period.
Early on, however, it was North Park which had the hot hand, as the Vikings made eight of their first 12 shots from the floor and owned a 19-10 advantage after just over six minutes of play. North Central regrouped and made six of its next seven field-goal attempts, tying the score at 24-24 on Vince Kmiec’s three-pointer and pulling back in front on a jumper by Kmiec with 9:41 on the first-half clock.
North Park (6-18, 1-12 CCIW) briefly tied the score after Zach Cassita sank a jumper on the Vikings’ next possession, but the Cardinals scored 11 of the next 14 points to lead, 37-29. North Central went into halftime with a 47-39 advantage, having made 72.0 percent (18 of 25) of its field-goal tries to outdo the Vikings’ 57.1 percent accuracy (16 of 28).
The hosts controlled the action at both ends of the floor for the first 10 minutes of the second period to take the game by the throat, outscoring the Vikings, 23-4. The Cardinals held North Park without a field goal for the first 8:30 of the second half, by which time North Central had built a 23-point advantage. The Cardinals led by as many as 27 points down the stretch, shooting 65.4 percent (17 of 26) after halftime.
The Cardinals’ Landon Gamble took advantage of North Central’s significant size advantage in the post by scoring a season-high 26 points, making 11 of 12 shots from the floor. Derek Raridon totaled 16 points, while Kmiec added 15 and Jack Merrithey provided 11. Tiknis also led the hosts with six rebounds and eight assists and Merrithey led the way with three steals.
The Cardinals host fourth-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University (21-3, 13-0) in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday. Tipoff at Gregory Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The senior night celebration nearly ended with a huge exclamation point for the North Central College women’s basketball team on Saturday before a buzzer-beating North Park University jump shot condemned the Cardinals to a 91-89 loss at Gregory Arena.
The loss drops North Central (12-12, 5-8 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) into a three-way tie with North Park and Elmhurst College for the final qualifying spot in next weekend’s CCIW Tournament with one game remaining in the regular season.
Trailing, 86-82, with under two minutes remaining, the Cardinals got a three-pointer from Kelsey Cooling to narrow the gap to a single point, then took the lead, 88-86, on Larynn Shumaker’s three-point play with 30 seconds left. North Park (14-10, 5-8) got a three-pointer in the left corner from Sarah Peterson to regain the lead on the next trip down the floor.
North Central’s Sophie Newson drove the lane and drew a foul with nine seconds to play, making one of two free throws to knot the score at 89-89. After taking a timeout, the Vikings held for the final shot, which wound up being Kamauria Acree’s left-handed layup. The shot fell through the net with just one-tenth of a second on the clock, not allowing North Central enough time to get off another shot.
The contest featured nine ties and 13 lead changes in all. The Cardinals trailed throughout most of the first half but rallied to briefly hold the lead before heading into halftime with a 42-40 deficit. North Park shot 59.5 percent (22 of 37) in the second half but was never able to extend its lead to more than six points as North Central countered with an 8 of 14 effort (57.1 percent) from three-point range after the break.
The Cardinals sank 15 of 35 three-pointers (42.9 percent) on the evening and were led in scoring by Newson and Larynn Shumaker, each of whom scored 14 points, while Kimberly Wilson added 11. Newson also grabbed seven rebounds and Bobbi Johns totaled five assists.