MINNEAPOLIS-- After leading for most of the first half, North Central University men's basketball rallied late to earn an 93-87 victory over Crown College on Saturday night. The Rams got a great scoring night from several key players to overcome a strong second half surge from the Storm to earn a win in their final home game of the 2017 portion of their schedule.
The Rams (4-6, 2-2 UMAC) led by as many as 15 in the first half before heading to the break up 49-41. In the second half the Rams saw their lead evaporate and eventually trailed by five midway through the final period.
North Central briefly retook the lead a few minutes later when junior C.J. Lewis (Minneapolis, Minn./Bloomington Kennedy) hit a three point bucket to make it 71-70 around the eight minute mark. Crown responded and the teams exchanged moment that saw a pair of ties and lead changes before the Rams reclaimed the lead for good.
Lewis got a steal that turned into an old-fashioned, three-point play to give the Rams an 82-79 advantage with 4:19 left. NCU put together enough stops and buckets down the stretch to earn a win and get back to .500 in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference play.
C.J. Lewis led all scorers with a game and career-high 28 points to go with 7 rebounds. Lewis equaled another game-high with 6 assists and just two turnovers in 35 minutes. Senior Joel Cline (Green Bay, Wis./Southwest) posted a crucial double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds.
North Central will wrap up the pre-holiday break part of their schedule with road trip to St. Norbert College (Green Bay, Wis.). The Rams and Knights are scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Live stats and streaming can be found at www.ncurams.com.