Freshman leads NCC men past Elmhurst
By Rob wollenzien For Sun-Times Media January 26, 2011 10:36PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
North Central College continued its recent dominance over the Elmhurst College Bluejays with a 76-58 win at Naperville’s Gregory Arena Wednesday.
The Bluejays now are 13-9 over the past 10 years against their College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin rivals. North Central (9-9, 5-2 CCIW) has won the last three matchups, however, dating back to last year’s season sweep. Before that streak, Elmhurst (7-11, 2-5) held a five-game winning streak in the series.
The teams square off again Feb. 16 in Elmhurst.
With the win, the Cardinals also helped head coach Todd Raridon achieve a milestone victory in his NCC career. He now holds a 100-73 mark at the school.
“I don’t play a game, I don’t play minutes, so it’s just a tribute to our kids,” he said in downplaying the achievement.
Lockport Township graduate Landon Gamble (career-high 25 points) used all of his 6-foot-6-inch, 240-pound frame to his advantage in the early going. The freshman and Joliet native scored six of the Cardinals’ first 11 points as North Central seized early leads of 9-0 and 11-2. The hosts didn’t stop there, though, as former Neuqua Valley star Derek Raridon (13 points) hit a three-pointer to propel NCC to a 14-4 lead.
Senior Brian Evans (10 points, six assists) kept his run of success against the Bluejays going, and his layup made it 21-8 with 12 minutes to play in the first half. That basket forced an Elmhurst timeout.
By halftime, the score was 45-27 and the Bluejays never cut the lead to single digits for the remainder of the night.
Evans rode a 9-of-11 shooting performance to 26 points the last time the teams met.
Gamble, who came into the game averaging a second-highest 10.9 points per game (sophomore Raridon entered play with a 13.1 average), gave the Cardinals a boost from the opening tip. He also topped his scoring average by halftime with 14 on six of seven shooting from the field and two of two from the free throw line.
“We had great, great ball movement during the game,” Gamble said. “Once you move the ball regularly, it opens up a lot for everybody. It got me open shots and I was able to capitalize.”
North Central had 21 assists on 27 baskets for the game.
Cardinals freshman guard C.J. Goldthree scored 11 off the bench, including nine in the first half. Starting guard Kevin Gillespie also finished with 11, including a three of six effort from downtown, and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
D’Ante Foster led Elmhurst with 17 points and Zack Boyd had 10.