Three-Point Barrage Sparks Rout for North Central Men

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Turning the tables on the Las Vegas oddsmakers by routinely striking it rich from three-point range, the North Central College men's basketball team opened the ninth annual Classic with a flourish on Thursday, hammering Husson University (Maine), 93-51, at the South Point Hotel and Events Center.

The Cardinals (11-1) connected on 16 of 37 three-point shots, one shy of the program's single-game record, including a 12 for 26 effort from beyond the arc in the first half as the contest was quickly put out of reach. Leading the way was Matt Cappelletti, who knocked down 9 of 11 triples en route to a career-high 35 points, while also grabbing a career-best 16 rebounds and tying a single-game school record with five steals. Cappelletti's nine 3-pointers set the record for the most in Classic history.

Scoring on each of its first four possessions, North Central put up the game's first 10 points and owned a 16-3 advantage after less than three minutes of play. With Cappelletti scoring 23 points and Aaron Jones contributing 11, the Cardinals pushed their lead to 48-26 by halftime.

After the break, the Cardinals shifted their focus closer to the basket, shooting 56.7 percent (17 of 30) from the floor and outscoring Husson (6-4), 24-0, in the paint in the second half. North Central led by as many as 47 points down the stretch, posting its highest point total and margin of victory of the season so far.

Cappelletti finished the game shooting 12 of 16 from the floor, and his nine three-pointers rank as the second-highest single-game total in school history behind only the 11 made by Reid Barringer against Caltech on Dec. 19, 2007. Jones finished with a season-high 18 points, while Connor Raridon provided 10. Raridon also finished with a season-high 11 assists, two shy of his own single-game school record.

The Cardinals face Ohio Northern University (3-7) in their second and final game in the classic, tipping off at 8 p.m. Pacific time (10 p.m. Central) on Friday.