It took a buzzer beater from Payton Slaughter, but the Briar Cliff women’s basketball team managed to hold off a comeback attempt by #24 Morningside Wednesday night for an 80-78 win at the Newman Flanagan Center. The Chargers move to 6-1 in GPAC play this year and are 3-0 against ranked opponents.
It was looking like the game was headed to overtime when Konnor Sudmann missed a jumper at 78-all with four seconds to play, however Slaughter had other plans. The sophomore corralled the rebound and put back a layup as time expired for the 2-point BC win.
The Chargers nearly let a nine-point lead with 46 seconds on the clock slip away as the Mustangs tied the contest at 78-all with two 3-point buckets and three free throws in the final minute of play.
Briar Cliff led by as many as 16 in the contest, but Morningside hit three 3-point buckets in its final four possessions of the third quarter to trail by just three with one period to play.
The Chargers shot 49 percent from the field compared to 39 percent shooting by the Mustangs.
Sudmann led the Charger offense with 19 points, 17 of which came in the first half. Kennedy Benne was also a first-half contributor, putting of 13 of her 16 in the first two quarters. Benne led the team in steals with seven and had eight boards.
Slaughter recorded her first double-double of the year with 14 points to go with 11 rebounds. She also dished out a team-high six assists.
Sierra Mitchell and Sophie Peppers scored 26 and 24 points for the Mustangs, respectively, while Peppers also led the team in rebounds, steals and assists.
The Cliff will begin a four-game road stretch heading into the holiday break. BC will travel to Midland Saturday for a 2 p.m. contest.
Second half struggles doomed the Briar Cliff men’s basketball team Wednesday, as they dropped a 58-76 matchup with cross-town rival Morningside.
The first half of action was closely contested, with neither team leading by more than six points. With 14:24 remaining in the half, Quinten Vasa finished in the paint, capping off a 9-2 run, to give the Chargers a 12-8 lead. Morningside held a 38-34 lead heading into the halftime break.
The Mustangs extended their lead to double-digits early in the second half. BC tried to chip away at the Morningside lead, but were unable to cut the deficit to under ten in the final 12 minutes. BC was held to only 24 points on 35 percent shooting and 22.2 percent from the 3-point line in the second half.
“I thought the start of the second half really derailed us tonight,” said head coach Mark Svagera. “We missed some easy shots that turned into easy points for Morningside.”
Quinn Vesey paced the Cliff with 15 points on 6-of-10 shootings and had five rebounds. Jaden Kleinhesselink added 13 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Nick Hoyt also reached double-figures with 12 points.
The Chargers were held to 41.1 percent from the field and only 26.5 percent from behind the 3-point line.
“Right now, we need to strive for more consistency and continue moving forward to start preparing for the next game,” said Svagera.
Morningside shot 2-of-12 from the 3-point line but did most of their damage in the lane with 58 points in the paint. Trey Brown put up a double-double for the Mustangs with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Briar Cliff drops to 4-6 on the season and 2-4 in GPAC competition. The Cliff travels to Fremont, Nebraska Saturday for a GPAC matchup with Midland.