NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Rob Stallion and Chas Cross scored 20 points apiece but wasn't enough as the University of Wisconsin-Platteville men's basketball fell to No. 4 North Central College (Ill.), 73-64, on Tuesday night at Gregory Arena in Naperville, Ill.
Stallion went 8-12 from the floor, and added nine rebounds and two steals, while Cross converted 7-12 from the field and 6-9 from the charity stripe and grabbed five of his eight boards on the offensive end.
The Cardinals (8-0) were led by Derek Raridon, who netted 20 points. Vince Kmeic registered 14 points while Aaron Tiknis added 12 points and seven boards.
The Cardinals took their largest lead of the first-half, 23-16, with 4:55 left till the break, but Stallion kept the Pioneers within striking distance by scoring 14 of the Pioneers first 16 points. Jake Manning and Cross netted the Pioneers final nine points to trail NCC, 28-25, at halftime.
The Pioneers had a chance to tie the game up, but Stocki missed two technical foul shots and Manning was unable to convert on a pair of foul shots trailing North Central, 31-27, at the 17:24 mark in the second-half. The Cardinals took advantage of the Pioneers' miscue to take a 44-34 lead with 12:38 left to play. Trevor Wittwer nailed a transition three-pointer to get the Pioneers within three possessions, 69-60 with 2:42 left to play. North Central withstood the Pioneers' final push to stay undefeated and get the 69-60 victory.
The Pioneers (7-3) return to conference play on Saturday when the face off with UW-Oshkosh at 8 p.m. on Bo Ryan Court in Williams Fieldhouse.