Entering Wednesday night's contest in Palatine, the Harper College men's basketball team had not lost a conference game at home.
That changed, however, as rival College of DuPage prevailed 83-78 in North Central Community College Conference play.
Contact information ( * required )
"We are starting to turn it around and play as a team," said the Chaparrals' Kenneth Weaver, who scored a team-best 18 points.
And it showed, as DuPage was able to erase a 14-point deficit with 12:10 to play in the first half.
"They got a lot of momentum in the first half after we came out really good," Harper coach Tony Amarino said.
"We kind of cooled down," said Harper's Bradley Reibel, "and couldn't get stops all of a sudden."
Weaver and Darren Montgomery combined to score 34 of COD's 83 points.
"When the bigs started getting inside, then the outside started coming," Montgomery said.
One player who seems to relish playing his N4C rival is sophomore foward Ryan Rader (Willowbrook). He missed an early season matchup against the Hawks due to injury but made a difference this time with 11 points on 5-for-10 shooting. He also chipped in 7 rebounds, as the Chaps (10-16, 4-6) outrebounded Harper 37-27.
The Hawks (15-11, 7-4) looked to Reibel for scoring, and he came through with a game-high 25 points.
"It just felt good tonight," Reibel said. "Some nights you're going to have good nights -- tonight was a good night."
Kevin Walsh made four 3's and finished with 14 points for Harper.
The Hawks needed to win their final four games of the season and get some help along the way from other teams in order to earn a share of the N4C title.
Despite now being 2 games behind the league leaders, Amarino is taking an optimistic view.
"You never say never," said Amarino of the team's slim conference title hopes.
And the coach still hopes there can be some benefit from the loss.
"In the long run," said Amarino, "I think we needed something like this."