Needing 11 points to hit 1,000 for his career, Ethan Freidel did that and a lot more to help Briar Cliff down #10 Dakota Wesleyan 83-74 in men’s basketball action Wednesday night in the Newman Flanagan Center.
Freidel became the 46th member of the 1,000-point club for the Charger men with less than a minute left in the first half with a 3-pointer that gave Briar Cliff a 37-36 lead. After the Tigers responded with a basket of their own, Friedel ended the period with another bucket to put the Blue and Gold on top heading into the locker rooms, 39-38. The final shot of the half was the 12th lead change in the first 20 minutes.
The junior guard said he didn’t realize that he had hit the milestone at the time.
“The place was going crazy and I kind of thought about it,” Freidel said. “But I thought it was just because we took the lead on a big shot and later on someone told me I hit it.”
By the end of the night, Freidel would have 33 points to his credit on 9-of-16 shooting including hitting 5-of-7 3-pointers and going a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line.
“Being from South Dakota, this is always a big game for me,” Freidel, a Tea native, said. “I had to come in ready and locked in.”
The win made it three straight for the Cliff, all against ranked teams. Last week, the Blue and Gold topped #17 Mount Marty and #1 Morningside.
The second half continued much like the first with the teams going back-and-forth. Ty Hoglund, the second leading scorer in the GPAC, was the main counter to Freidel’s impressive night. Like Freidel, Hoglund ended the night with 33 points. The Chargers did hold Hoglund to less than 50% from the field as he was 14-for-27 shooting with four turnovers.
The difference on the night came from the supporting cast as Jaden Kleinhesselink put up 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds for BC. Jackson Lamb ended the night with 11 on the score sheet and six rebounds. Koln Oppold was the only Tiger outside of Hoglund to reach double figures as he ended with 11 points.
Lamb, the leading scorer in the GPAC, was held to his second lowest output of the season but found other ways to factor into the decision. With the game still in the balance, Lamb blocked a shot attempt from Hoglund and shortly after Freidel drained a 3 that wound up being the final lead change as BC went up 74-71. In all, the lead changed hands 20 times on the night.
The Cliff iced the game away at the free throw line with five made freebies in the final minute.
“Our guys played with a ton of poise and toughness down the stretch,” said BC head coach Mark Svagera. “I thought we countered their second half run and made big plays on both ends to come away with the win.”
Along with his 33 points, Freidel also led the victors with two steals and was one of four Chargers to record two assists. Both teams finished with 11 assists, while Dakota Wesleyan had 10 turnovers to BC’s eight.
Dakota Wesleyan had a slight edge on the boards, outrebounding the Cliff 34-33 with a 9-5 advantage on the offensive glass. The Tigers used the extra chances to put up 14 second chance points with the Chargers tallying nine points in the category.
For the game, Briar Cliff finished 50% from the field (28-for-56), 46% from beyond the arc (10-of-22) and 81% from the free throw line (17-for-21). After just two free throws in the first half, the Chargers made a living at the charity stripe in the second.
Dakota Wesleyan finished 46% from the field (30-for-65), 31% from deep (8-of-26) and 80% from the line (6-of-8). The Tigers dropped to 18-6 overall with a 10-5 mark in the GPAC, still sitting in second place in the league standings.
Briar Cliff continued to keep its postseason hopes alive with the win as the Chargers improved to 5-11 in conference play, 1.5 games back of the eighth seeded Broncos from Hastings. The Cliff is 14-12 overall this season. The team will look to build off the recent momentum as Midland comes to town for a 4 p.m. matchup on Saturday in the Newman Flanagan Center.
The Briar Cliff women’s basketball team came close to knocking off another ranked team Wednesday night, but could not get it done against the #13 Dakota Wesleyan Tigers, falling 83-79 at the Newman Flanagan Center.
With 3:30 to play, the Cliff was down 78-68, but scored nine straight points to trail by just one point with 1:22 on the clock. The BC defense forced three Tiger turnovers in that time and Konnor Sudmann and Jadyn Bussinger each scored four points in the stretch.
A 2-point bucket DWU’s Sarah Carr with 27 seconds to play put the Tigers up 80-77 and the Chargers could not get back in it.
“I was very pleased with how we played that second half,” said head coach Mike Power. “Our players competed hard and we got great minutes from our bench. We made a great run at it tonight but couldn’t finish it off.
Payton Slaughter paced the Chargers with 17 points and four assists, both team highs. Sudmann’s 12 points was the second highest scoring total for the Blue and Gold and Madelyn Deitchler rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. Jadyn Bussinger chipped in eight points and grabbed a team-best four boards.
The BC defense held Kynedi Cheeseman, the GPAC’s leading scorer, to just five points on the night. The senior went 2-for-6 from the field before fouling out of the game. Jessica Mieras put up 22 points, the best of all players, and Makaela Karst led the Tigers in rebounds with nine.
“I am very proud of our kids,” Power added. “We have five games left with four at home, I’d like to see us close this out with some great momentum going into it.”
The Cliff falls to 7-18 on the year and 4-13 in GPAC play while the Tigers are now 17-8 overall and have a 10-7 conference mark. The Chargers will host Midland Saturday at the Newman Flanagan Center. Tip against the Warriors is scheduled for 2 p.m.