North Central Men Sink Millikin with Big Second Half

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Continuing its strong shooting from the perimeter for the second straight game, the North Central College men's basketball team improved to 2-0 in College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) play on Wednesday, scorching the nets in the second half to run away from Millikin University for a 83-54 win at Gregory Arena.

The Cardinals (9-4) tied a season high with 12 made three-pointers, giving them 23 in the past two games. North Central was particularly deadly in the second half, making 18 of 25 shots from the floor (72 percent) and 7 of 11 from beyond the three-point arc (63.6 percent) as it took a seven-point halftime lead and extended to nearly 30 by the end of the contest.

Millikin (6-7, 0-2 CCIW) owned a 10-5 lead after just over six minutes of play, going on a 10-1 run after the Cardinals' Alex Sorenson scored the game's first two baskets. A three-pointer by Sorenson with 8:05 left in the first half started the hosts on a 12-4 surge which put them back in front, 25-20, though the Big Blue regained the lead at 26-25 on TJ Griffin's three-pointer with 2:06 on the clock.

North Central scored eight points in the final 1:12 to seize the lead and the momentum heading into halftime. Erwin Henry sank a three-pointer, then drove the lane for a layup with 35 seconds left. The Cardinals forced a shot-clock violation on the other end and had just enough time for one final shot, as Henry fed Connor Raridon for a buzzer-beating three-pointer which put the home team in front, 33-26, at the break.

The contest quickly turned into a rout early in the second half as the Cardinals made 12 of their first 13 shots of the period, including 11 in a row, to extend the lead to 65-38 with just under 10 minutes to play. North Central's lead never dipped below 17 points down the stretch.

Henry was a perfect 8 for 8 from the field, including a 4 for 4 effort from three-point range, to lead all scorers with 20 points, while Sorenson scored 17 on 8 of 11 shooting. Raridon and Jayme Moten each scored 12 points and Jagger Anderson finished with 11 as the Cardinals shot a season-best 55.6 percent (30 of 54) from the floor. Raridon also finished with a season-high eight assists.

TJ Sims was the only Millikin player in double figures with 16 points.

North Central travels to face DuPage County rival Wheaton College on Saturday. Tipoff at King Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.