NPU Defeats Elmhurst 76-68; Snaps 4 Game Losing Streak

Mark Holmes
Mark Holmes combined with Aaron Weaver to score 44 points. Credit NPU Athletics
North Park snapped a four-game losing streak Saturday as it earned a 76-68 victory over Elmhurst College in College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin action.

It was NP’s first CCIW victory under coach Tom Slyder and its first over the Bluejays in the last four meetings.

Senior Mark Holmes scored a game-high 23 points as he connected on 7 of 11 shots, including two three-pointers and was a perfect 7 of 7 from the free throw line.

North Park overcame a five-point deficit early in the contest as it used a 15-0 scoring run to pull ahead 17-7 on a pair of free throws from Holmes with 8:52 left in the first half. The Vikings then grabbed a 40-29 lead at the break when junior Aaron Weaver scored a lay-up with just over 30 seconds left.

Although Elmhurst challenged for the lead in the second half, they never reclaimed it as North Park nearly shot 50 percent from the floor in the half. Weaver scored 12 of his 21 points and gave NP a 63-50 lead on a pair of free throws with 7:15 left. Elmhurst did trim the lead to five with under a minute remaining, but Weaver and freshman Chris Benjamin combined for 6 of 8 free throws in the final 53 seconds.

Benjamin added nine points for North Park while both senior Zach Cassita, Jr. and freshmanRyan Hyrn finished with eight each. Nick Sanford led Elmhurst with 19 points.

North Park (6-9, 1-3) returns to action Wednesday night when it hosts Illinois Wesleyan University at 7:30 p.m.