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Offense Explodes as North Park Handles North Central From Start to Finish

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — The North Park men’s basketball team faced off against the North Central Cardinals on Saturday evening, controlling the lead from wire-to-wire en route to a 90-56 victory. The win marks NPU’s second victory over NCC in their last eight contests, and their first road win against the Cardinals since the 2018-2019 season.

Both North Park and North Central got off to a hot offensive start, carrying a 9-9 score through the opening three minutes of play. The Vikings then proceeded to score 11 unanswered points with Shamar Pumphrey and Marquise Jackson combining for 9 of them to establish a lead that proved insurmountable.

The Vikings’ offensive barrage would not stop there. North Park crossed the 30-point mark with 9 minutes remaining in the 1st half and finished the period with 41 points to the Cardinals’ 26. While North Park maintained an elite 51.7/44.4/100 slash line in the half, their defense played just as big a role as the Vikings held the Cardinals to 39.3% from the field and 33.3% from deep without committing a single shooting foul.

The 2nd half was more of the same for the Vikings, one-upping themselves with 49 points to bring their total to 90. That marks the most NPU has scored against NCC since the aforementioned 18-19 matchup in which North Park won 95-88 . With the win over the Cardinals—one of the CCIW’s preseason favorites—Sean Smith’s Vikings sit at 2-0 in a tie for the conference’s top spot.

The Vikings were led in scoring by Kolden Vanlandingham’s 20, but a balanced effort saw Shamar Pumphrey, Jalen Boyd, and Marquise Jackson all finish with 14+. Those four combined to shoot a blistering 11-19 from deep with an equally impressive 25-44 mark overall.

Historical Notes:

Tonight’s win was the largest victory margin recorded by the Vikings against a CCIW opponent since the 1987-88 season at home against Elmhurst, 105-67. Tonight’s outcome is also the most lopsided CCIW road win North Park has notched since the third national championship team beat Carthage in Kenosha, 108-52, in 1979-80.

what’s next

Now at 6-1 overall with a four-game winning streak, the Vikings look to continue their momentum against Augustana (2-5, 1-1 CCIW) on December 10. North Park will host the contest with tipoff set for 4:15 PM, following the women’s game.

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