ELMHURST, Ill. - The Elmhurst College men's basketball team fell to 7-16 overall and 2-10 in league play following a 68-64 loss to North Central College.
Neither team led by more than seven points in the hard-fought contest. The game featured seven ties and 12 lead changes.
Elmhurst couldn't stop North Central's duo of Landon Gamble and Derek Raridon, as the two players combined to score 54 of the team's 68 points. Gamble poured in a career-high 30 points while shooting 13-of-16 from the floor. All 13 of Gamble's field goals came inside the paint. Raridon added 24 points while shooting 8-of-13, including 3-of-4 from downtown.
The Cardinals led 29-26 after the opening half and built a seven-point advantage early in the second, before Elmhurst mounted a rally. The Bluejays used a 12-3 run to take a 48-46 lead with 9:28 to play after Sean Fendley buried a three-pointer. The two teams traded buckets for the next three minutes until Gamble broke a a 55-55 tie with a lay-up. The Cardinals pushed their lead up to six points (67-61) with 1:11 left to play, but James Robertson connected on a trey to cut the deficit in half with 53 seconds to play. Elmhurst had a chance to tie the score after a North Central miss, but Robertson's jumper and Justin Phipps put-back attempt were no good. The Cardinals grabbed the rebound and Brian Evans sealed the win by splitting a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining.
North Central dominated inside the paint, scoring 40 of their 68 points in the lane. The Cardinals shot 64.3 percent (27-of-42) from the floor and 61.1. percent (11-of-18) from the foul line.
Elmhurst hit 40.4 percent (21-of-52) of its shots, including 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from downtown. The Bluejays struggled from the charity stripe, hitting only 13-of-23 free throw attempts (56.5 percent). Steve Crane led a balanced Elmhurst attack with 13 points and six rebounds. Mike McCurdy came off the bench to score 12 and Fendley added 10. Robertson added eight points in the loss for Elmhurst.
Elmhurst travels to Wheaton College on Saturday, February 19.