Kienan Baltimore was on top of his game Wednesday night, but it wasn’t enough for the Carthage College men’s basketball team.
Despite a game-high 22 points from the 6-foot-5 sophomore forward, the Red Men lost to North Central 79-75 in a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin game in the Tarble Arena at Kenosha.
With the score tied 55-55 with 9:27 left, Carthage (11-8, 6-4 CCIW), allowed a 9-3 run and never recovered. Carthage’s Brad Kruse matched North Central standout forward Alex Sorenson point-for-point down the stretch — they each scored seven points in the final minutes — but the Red Men were not able to produce crucial stops on defense.
North Central (15-5, 8-3 CCIW) made 13 of 14 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Baltimore went 9 for 12 from the field, including 3 for 6 from 3-point range, and also handed out four assists.
Kruse and Derek Mason joined in double figures with 21 and 13 respectively for Carthage. Kruse went 7 for 14 from the field, including 3 for 3 from 3-point range and 4 for 4 from the free-throw line. Jordan Thomas led Carthage with 10 rebounds.
“Tonight was a very frustrating. We put ourselves in position to win the game, actually took the lead in the second half, but give them credit; they made the plays when they needed to,” Carthage coach Bosko Djurickovic said after the loss. “Alex Sorensen, who is arguably the best player in the league, came up with two big three’s, which has not been the better part of his game this year, but he excelled late in the game. We still had opportunities at the end but weren’t quite able to capitalize.”
Sorenson led North Central with 20 points.
WHEATON 54, CARTHAGE 35: Facing an intimidating defense, the Lady Reds saw their six game-winning streak come to an end with a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin game at Wheaton, Ill.
Wheaton entered Wednesday with an NCAA Division III-leading 162 blocks and an average of 8.5 blocks per game. Behind eight blocks from Jill Berg, Wheaton (16-4, 9-2 CCIW) blocked 19 Carthage shots.
Sammie Woodward, a former Prairie School standout, paced the Lady Reds (14-6, 7-4 CCIW) with eight points, followed by six apiece from Madie Kaelber and Bailey Gilbert. Morgan Harris led the Lady Reds with 10 rebounds, along with four points.
Wheaton has won 10 straight games.