The North Central men’s basketball team defeated the Wheaton Thunder in overtime 75-70 at King Arena, which was their first win at rival Wheaton College in nearly four years.
The Cardinals trailed by seven with four minutes remaining in regulation and eventually tied the game at 64-64.
The No. 10-ranked Cardinals improved their record to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in CCIW play and have won seven straight games while Wheaton falls to 7-7 overall and 0-3 in conference play. The Cardinals had balanced scoring with four players scoring in double-digits.
Charles Rosenberg led the way for the victorious Cardinals with 27 points and a career high of 14 rebounds while Jayme Moten contributed with 22 points and began the five-minute overtime period with a three-point field goal and guard Erwin Henry also chipped in with 12 points. The Cardinals attempted 26 shots from long range, making 10 of them, which was good for 38.4%.
North Central had a four-point lead at halftime but Wheaton stuck around in large part by making 4-of-9 shots from downtown in the first 20 minutes and 9-23 overall.
Cardinals head coach Todd Raridon said that taking 26 three-point attempts is not part of what makes the team successful but went on to say that that Wheaton employed a zone defense in the second half, making it very hard to pass up open shots.
The afore mentioned Rosenberg said that the intensity that is on display when North Central plays Wheaton is the same as it is in any other game. Senior guard Jack Bruchett said that no matter the record of any CCIW team, the conference is extremely competitive.
“It’s a tough conference, you got to get in the top four to get in that tournament, every game is so meaningful, we knew that that they didn’t want to start off 0-3 and put themselves in a hole” Bruchett said.
Commenting on the zone that Wheaton employed after halftime, “It kind of threw us off and we went away from our inside game.”
Saturday nights game was a physical one, with players on both teams voicing their displeasure with some of the referee’s calls, but Bruchett believes that the officials called an outstanding game and noted that its easy to get caught up in the moment.
Burchett had 10 points in Saturday evening’s game.