NAPERVILLE, Ill. — After heading to the locker room tied at 33, No. 7 North Central put the clamps on the No. 6 Hope offense, holding the Flying Dutchman to just 16 second half points, and winning the battle of top 10 teams 60-49 in the championship game of the 2012 Chicago Marriott Naperville Tip-Off Tournament.
North Central’s stifling second half defense forced Hope to shoot just 5-for-27 in the second stanza, including 0-for-13 from downtown. Landon Gamble and Derek Raridon led the offense with eight second half points each, while Aaron Tiknis distributed four of his five assists.
Gamble’s layup with 11:28 to play broke a 40-40 tie and gave the Cardinals the lead for good. North Central stretched the lead to eight, 54-46, with 6:11 to play on a Raridon three-pointer. The Flying Dutchman whittled it to five, 54-49, but the Cardinals made six consecutive free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
Raridon, the tournament Most Valuable Player, scored a game-high 21 points, 12 of which came from the charity stripe. Gamble chipped in 10 points and three boards, while Tiknis grabbed nine rebounds to go with six points and five assists. Gamble and Tiknis were both named to the all-tournament team.
Joining them on the first team were Hope’s Colton Overway, who led the Flying Dutchman with 12 points and seven rebounds in the championship game, and Caleb Byers who scored eight points. Ian Sission of Illinois Institue of Technology was also named to the all-tournament team.
The Cardinals remain home at Gregory Arena on Tuesday when they host Aurora.