The Carthage College men's basketball team (2-1, 0-0 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) knocked off No. 4 Washington University (Mo., 4-1), 82-80, on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at Tarble Arena in Kenosha, Wis. This was the first meeting between the Red Men and the Bears, who won back-to-back national championships in 2008 and 2009.
Carthage had an early, 9-4 lead at 18:12, and the Red Men led by nine, 18-9, at 13:09. The Red Men's last lead in the half was 20-19 at 9:43. The Bears took over, 21-20, at 9:22 and used a 13-2 run to go up by 10, 32-22, at 7:11. Washington had a seven-point lead at the break, 37-30.
The Bears extended their lead to 13 points early in the second half, 43-30, at 17:11, but the Red Men whittled the margin down to a point, 45-44 at 14:55, following a technical foul on Washington. The game stayed close, with the Bears leading by no more than five points the next five minutes. Carthage re-gained the lead, 56-55, at 10:50 on layup by Marlon Senior. Following eight lead changes and three ties, the Red Men took the lead, for good, 74-73, at 4:28 on another layup by Senior. A three-point play by Senior with 19 seconds remaining put Carthage up by four, 80-76, and the Red Men hung on for a two-point victory, 82-80.
Carthage shot 46 percent (26-57), including five-of-15 three-pointers, while Washington shot 48 percent (27-56), including nine-of-25 from three-point range. The Red Men got to the free-throw line 33 times and made 25, while the Bears shot themselves in the foot by making only nine-of-25 from the line. Washington out-rebounded Carthage, 38-32.
Three Red Men starters scored in double figures, with Marlon Senior (Sr., Skokie, Ill./Niles North) leading the way with a career-high 28 points on 11-of-18 field goals and five-of-eight free throws, along with eight rebounds and five assists. Reese Herth (Jr., Morton Grove, Ill./Skokie-Niles West) and Kevin Sykes Jr., (Sr., Tinley Park, Ill./Frankfort—Lincoln-Way North) had 14 points each. Alan Aboona topped Washington with 19 points on five-of-12 shooting, including four-of-11 three-pointers, while Matt Palucki had 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
"This was an excellent college basketball game," said Carthage coach Bosko Djurickovic. "There lot of good players on both teams, and both teams played well. It was a fun game to be a part of. Both teams picked and chose what they wanted to attack. Marlon Senior was so good tonight, that was able to take them off the bounce. He made good decisions. Kevin Sykes Jr. and Donte Logan were also really clutch. It was just a good team effort. Part of the advantage of having a balanced basketball team is that you think you can use different guys to close. Part of the disadvantage is trying to find different guys to close. We don't have the one guy who you want with the ball at the end of a game, but collectively, this a fun group. Give them credit—they were tough tonight. We think we have a good team, and we think this year will be as step forward. I hope this is just one win in series of wins, and then let's go into conference play and see what we have."
Carthage plays host to Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday, Nov. 30 in a 7 p.m. game, also at Tarble Arena.