The Briar Cliff women’s basketball team let a 15 point lead disappear in the fourth quarter to #4 Saint Xavier, but the Chargers regrouped in overtime to upset the Cougars 72-63 Friday night in Chicago.
Despite the comeback from the home squad, Briar Cliff never trailed after a 7-0 run midway through the second quarter to go up 29-23. The lead changed hands 10 times through the first 13:41 of the game.
“Great win for us because it’s an excellent team we played,” said head BC coach Mike Power. “What I loved was the grit our kids showed in this game. We could have folded but didn’t.”
Logan Ehlers recorded a double-double for the Cliff with 14 points and 13 rebounds. She also had four steals and was crucial in the overtime period with two rebounds, two steals and a layup that put the team up by two possesions late.
Three other BC players put up double digit points totals as Taylor Wagner led the team with 19 points, Taylor Vasa scored 14 and Faith Troshynski tallied 12. Wagner led the winning team in assists with five.
Chanel Fanter had a double-double for the Cougars with a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. Brianna Flayter scored 12 for Saint Xavier.
Neither team had great shooting nights as Briar Cliff had the edge in field goal percentage at 33.3% to SXU’s 30%. The Chargers were 8-of-25 in the contest on 3-pointers for 32%, while Saint Xavier shot 7-of-24 for 25.9% from beyond the arc. The Cougars missed all three attempts on 3-pointers in OT, while Briar Cliff didn’t attempt a deep shot in the extra frame. BC also had the edge in free throws at 64%, including shooting 8-of-10 in overtime. Saint Xavier connected on 61.5% from the charity stripe.
Briar Cliff turned the ball over 25 times as the Cougars were credited with 14 steals. The Chargers defense caused fits for the Saint Xavier offense all night as the Cliff tallied 18 steals with SXU finishing with 26 turnovers. The biggest factor that kept the Cougars in the game was a 60-50 rebounding edge, including 22 offense rebounds for the fourth-ranked team in NAIA DII. Briar Cliff finished with 15 offensive boards.
The win improved Briar Cliff to 2-0 on the season as the Chargers face another ranked opponent on Day 2 of the GPAC/CCAC Challenge when the team takes on #18 Olivet Nazarene at 1 p.m. Saturday in Chicago. Saint Xavier dropped to 0-1 on the year.