COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Sophomore Night and the thought of revenge fired up a North Idaho College team here Saturday in Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball action.
The division-leading Cardinals (25-3, 13-2 NWAC) cranked up the heat in an 88-75 victory behind 57 percent shooting from the floor and 86 percent shooting from the line.
WWCC handed North Idaho a rare defeat 98-95 Jan. 18 in Walla Walla.
“They were just a better team tonight, and they wanted revenge pretty bad,” said Warrior coach Jeff Reinland. “They were fired up to play on Sophomore Night, with a game for first place on their home floor.”
Had the Warriors won, the teams would have had identical 12-3 records in the East Region standings, with WWCC having the head-to-head edge.
But it was not to be.
“They pretty much controlled the game from the start,” Reinland said.
WWCC (20-7, 11-4 NWAC) cut the lead to six with two minutes to go but got no closer.
Markus Golder led North Idaho with 29 points and 13 rebounds. Beau Tiileman and Dalton Thompson each popped home 15 points for the Warriors, while Gabe Porter tallied 14 and Landon Radliff scored 11 to go with eight rebounds.
“We never really got over the hump in the game,” Reinland said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well (39 percent from the floor). We played hard and defended them well, but they’re a very talented team. They had a little more zip than we did.”
WWCC never got into the bonus for free throws as North Idaho drew only 10 fouls compared to 20 for the Warriors.
“We made the post-season tournament already. Right now we’re in third (in the East Region),” Reinland said.
The Warriors close out the regular season Wednesday at Treasure Valley.