North Central Men Post Third Straight Win over Benedictine

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

After a cold shooting performance on the perimeter in its season opener, the North Central College men's basketball team enjoyed much greater success from beyond the three-point arc Tuesday evening, breaking open a close game with a strong second-half surge and defeating Benedictine University, 74-60, at the Rice Center.

The win gives the Cardinals (2-0) possession of the Bill Warden/Tony LaScala Trophy, the traveling trophy between the two teams, for the third consecutive year and is North Central's largest margin of victory over the Eagles since a 69-55 win on Nov. 26, 2013.

Benedictine (0-2) had the upper hand early, opening the game with an 11-4 surge capped off by Bryan Jakobsze's steal and dunk with 14:31 on the clock. Following a Cardinal timeout, Tommy Koth knocked down a three-pointer to ignite an 8-0 surge which gave the visitors their first lead of the contest at 12-11. The Eagles bounced back to take a 28-26 lead, but North Central held the hosts scoreless for the final 3:15 of the first half and put up eight straight points, including an Aaron Jones three-pointer just before the buzzer, to take a 34-28 advantage into the break.

Leading, 50-42, with 11:02 to play, the Cardinals embarked on the scoring run which would seal the game's outcome, outscoring Benedictine, 19-2, over the course of a seven-minute span. Leading the charge was Connor Raridon, who scored 12 points in the rally on a perfect 4 of 4 shooting from the field, as the lead expanded to 69-44 with 5:07 left to play.

Raridon led all scorers with 26 points on 9 of 16 shooting while also pacing the Cardinals with six assists and three steals, and Matt Cappelletti added 10 points and six rebounds. North Central sank 12 of 26 shots from three-point range in the game. 

Carl Singletary came off the bench to lead Benedictine with 12 points. The Eagles also got 10 points from Jakobsze and 14 rebounds from Eric Grygo.

The Cardinals host Alma College (0-2) on Saturday at Gregory Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 5:00 p.m.