Written by Jack McCarthy
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00
The North Central College men's basketball team saw its season-opening unbeaten streak halted at 13 games last Wednesday, as the top-ranked Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season, 64-53, to the Carthage College Red Men at Tarble Arena.
The Cards entered the game as the No. 1-ranked NCAA Division III program in the nation for the second straight week, sitting atop this week's Top 25 Poll released by D3hoops.com.
North Central ascended to the No. 1 spot for the first time in program history last week and solidified their position after opening College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) play with a pair of wins earlier this month. North Central defeated Elmhurst College, 71-51, before posting a 69-55 victory over then-No. 8 Wheaton Collegey.
Owning an unblemished 13-0 record thus far this season, the Cardinals are off to the best start in the program's history and have recorded its second-longest winning streak. North Central opened the season with 12 straight wins in 2005-2006, and put together a 14-game winning streak during the 1989-1990 campaign.
Despite owning a slim advantage at halftime, North Central (13-1, 2-1 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) yielded a 17-3 second-half run and were unable to summon a final rally.
The entire 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.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 15:19