Briar Cliff men’s basketball traveled to Seward, Nebraska Saturday for a contest at Concordia. The Chargers struggled on the road and fell 102-92 to the Bulldogs.
Concordia went on an 8-0 run to start the game and held a 21-4 lead less than six minutes into the contest. Then it was the Chargers’ turn for a run, scoring nine straight points to trail by six with 11 minutes left in the first half. BC continued the comeback and was down just 42-40 at halftime. Jay Wolfe scored 17 of his team-high 32 points in the first 20 minutes to put his team back in the game.
Briar Cliff did not lead until the 16:20 mark of the second half when Jeff Daubanton hit a 2-point shot to give the Chargers a 50-49 lead. The teams traded scores for a few minutes before the Bulldogs took the lead back for good with 10 minutes on the clock and were able to pull away again to secure the win.
“When you go on the road in conference play you need high energy and execution,” said head coach Mark Svagera. “We struggled at times with both today. It’s hard to come back from a big early deficit like we were in.”
Wolfe added eight rebounds and six assists to his 32-point performance. Jackson Lamb (17), Ethan Freidel (16) and Daubanton (12) also contributed double-digit scoring. Freidel dished out five assists, forced four steals and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Daubanton pulled down seven boards. The Chargers went 31-for-66 in field goal shooting, 12-for-25 from the 3-point line and 18-for-26 from the charity stripe.
“I’m proud of the guys for fighting back and giving ourselves chances,” added Svagera. “Our focus will continue to be getting better as we move forward.”
Brevin Sloup scored a game-high 33 points for Concordia and Carter Kent scored 26. Tanner Shuck managed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Wiersema gave out seven assists. Concordia shot 58.2% from field goal range, 58.8% from beyond the arc and 80% from the free throw line.
The Chargers are now 15-4 on the season and 9-3 in the GPAC. The Bulldogs improve to 10-10 overall and are 3-9 in conference play.
BC will continue the hunt for program win No. 1,000 when it hosts Doane next Saturday. The game will be part of the Cliff’s Hall of Fame Weekend festivities and is set to tipoff at 4 p.m.
The Briar Cliff women’s basketball team gave the ball away too many times against #2 Concordia Saturday afternoon and suffered an 87-58 loss to the Bulldogs in Seward, Nebraska.
The teams were close to even in terms of field goal shooting, free throw percentage and rebounds. BC shot 40% from the floor, compared to 41.56% for Concordia. The Cliff went 15-for-21 (71.43%) from the free throw line while the Bulldogs were 8-for-11 (72.73%). Briar Cliff held the edge in rebounds 39-38.
The difference in the game came down to turnovers. The Bulldogs’ suffocating full-court press forced 42 turnovers by the Chargers and Concordia scored 42 points from those opportunities. Briar Cliff took 50 shots in the run of play, compared to 77 for Concordia.
“Concordia is really good at forcing turnovers and we turn it over the most,” said head coach Mike Power. “We knew we had to keep the turnovers down if we wanted a chance and we didn’t do that today.”
The game got off to a slow start, with the first basket coming almost two full minutes into the first quarter when Taylor Cockerill scored a 3-point basket for the Bulldogs. The scoreboard did not change again until a pair of free throws with 4:36 left in the period put Concordia up 5-0. Logan Ehlers scored the Chargers’ first two points at the 4:22 mark and the quarter ended with BC down 15-8.
Briar Cliff could only add 12 points in the second quarter and the Bulldogs scored 25 to push Concordia’s halftime lead to 40-20. The Chargers managed 38 points in the second half but Concordia continued to pull away for the 29-point win.
Taylor Vasa was the only Charger in double-digits, scoring 10 points and pulling down seven rebounds. Logan Ehlers added eight points and Jadyn Bussinger grabbed a team-high nine boards and forced five steals.
Cockerill scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Bulldogs, who move to 17-2 overall and 11-2 in the GPAC. MacKenzie Helman dished out nine assists and Grace Barry added eight.
The Chargers fall to 11-10 on the season and 5-8 in conference play. They will look to bounce back against Doane next Saturday during Hall of Fame Weekend on the Cliff. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.