Cardinals Keep Rolling into NCAA Tournament - Feb 27, 2017
After spending most of the second half of the season in playoff-like scenarios, with each game possibly determining the date of the season's end, the North Central College men's basketball team looked right at home in Saturday's College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Tournament championship game, rallying from a halftime deficit for the sixth time this season and emerging with a 69-64 victory over Augustana College at Carthage College's Tarble Arena. The Cardinals improved to a perfect 4-0 in CCIW Tournament finals and became the first team in the 12-year history of the event to take home the trophy as the No. 4 seed in the four-team tournament. North Central won two games in two nights against teams it had lost to twice during the regular season. North Central (17-10) threatened to pull away in the first half, taking a 21-12 lead after consecutive three-pointers from Jagger Anderson and Aiden Chang, but the Vikings followed with an 8-0 run of their own to get back in contention. Augustana scored the final seven points of the period, including a three just before the buzzer by Chrishawn Orange, and took a 29-27 advantage into halftime. The Vikings (19-8) took their largest lead at 33-29 early in the second period, though another Chang three-pointer and a layup by Sorenson quickly wiped it out. The lead changed hands four times before a 39-39 deadlock with 14:01 remaining. North Central made its next four shots to build a lead it would not relinquish, as a three-pointer from Sorenson was followed by a triple and two jumpers by Nick Chambers. Augustana's comeback effort brought them to within two points with 20 seconds to play. The Vikings fouled Erwin Henry to send him to the free-throw line, and the junior made one of two attempts to extend the lead to 67-64. An attempt to set up a potential game-tying three-pointer was thwarted by Anderson, who stepped into a passing lane for a steal and fed a sprinting Chang for an uncontested layup on the other end to clinch the victory. Sorenson finished with 19 points and eight rebounds for the Cardinals, while Chang, who made the game-winning buzzer-beater in Friday's win over Carthage, totaled 17 points and six boards. Anderson added 15 points, five rebounds and three assists. Orange scored a game-high 20 points for Augustana. Dylan Sortillo and Brett Benning each scored 10 points.
Courtesy of NorthCentralCardinals
CCIW Tournament Final: North Central - Augustana 69-64 CCIW Tournament Semifinals: Augustana - North Park 86-70 North Central - Carthage 87-85
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