LAS VEGAS – Overcoming a spirited second-half effort from a previously unbeaten opponent, No. 3 North Central (Ill.) collected its 10th consecutive win in the D3hoops.com Classic on Friday, taking down 10th-ranked Ramapo 67-57 at South Point Arena.
The Cardinals (10-0) fought off a vicious Ramapo full-court press, which netted 16 second-half turnovers, to lead for the final 30 minutes of play and keep their unbeaten start to the season intact. This is North Central’s second win against a nationally ranked opponent.
The Roadrunners (8-1) made five of their first eight shots from the floor and took the lead 12-5 after six minutes of play. North Central responded with 3-point plays from Jack Burchett and Charlie Rosenberg, which sparked a 17-5 surge that left the Cardinals with a 22-17 edge. North Central’s Derek Raridon scored seven points in the rally.
North Central owned a 27-23 advantage with 4:33 on the clock before closing the first half with a 10-0 run, limiting the Roadrunners to 0-of-6 shooting and four turnovers during that time. Five of the Cardinals’ points came from Landon Gamble as North Central built a 37-23 halftime lead.
Ramapo turned up the pressure in the second period but was limited to 35.7 percent shooting (10-28) by the Cardinals’ defense. The Roadrunners were able to slash the deficit to four points at 56-52 with 3:49 to play, but North Central scored eight of the next nine points to take control for good. A layup and jumper by Vince Kmiec and a jumper and a pair of free throws by Raridon put the Cardinals beyond reach in the final minutes.
Gamble finished with 17 points and a season-high 12 rebounds, posting his second double-double of the season, while Raridon totaled 15 points and eight rebounds and Kmiec put up 10 points and six boards. Aaron Tiknis finished with five assists and two blocked shots.
Ramapo’s Stephon Treadwell led all scorers with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting and 10 rebounds. Will Sanborn added 14 points and Anthony LoRusso scored 12 for the Roadrunners.