After an evenly played first period of basketball, the Briar Cliff men’s team picked things up in the second half to defeat Mount Marty 86-71 Wednesday night at the Newman Flanagan Center.
The 10th-ranked Chargers had issues in the first half on deep shots, hitting on 5-of-17 3-point attempts and went into the locker rooms tied at 36 with the Lancers. The Blue and Gold connected on 10-of-18 from beyond the arc in the second half and outscored Mount Marty 50-35 while leading by as many as 21 to cap off the victory.
Jay Wolfe put together another stellar performance, leading all players in points (23), assists (8) and rebounds (7) in the win. Austin Roetman matched Wolfe’s rebound total while also contributing with nine points off the bench.
Other Briar Cliff players to hit double figures in scoring included Ethan Freidel and Jackson Lamb with 13 and 12, respectively. Freidel tallied seven assists as the Chargers had 25 assists while committing just 11 turnovers. Mount Marty’s ratio wasn’t as good as the Lancers had 11 assists while turning the ball over 14 times.
Despite cruising late in the contest, the Chargers had their issues against the scrappy bunch from Mount Marty. The game had 16 lead changes, including five in the second half. A 3-point basket by Saba Gvedashvili at the 15:54 mark to go in the game put the Lancers up 43-41, but Kyle Boerhave responded quickly with a bucket in the paint on the other end to tie the game and Roetman followed that up with another made shot in the lane on the next BC possession and the Chargers would lead the rest of the way.
The Cliff won the battle down low, outrebounding Mount Marty 39-35 with an edge in second chance points 9-4, despite the Lancers corraling in one extra offensive board (8-7). Briar Cliff had the advantage in points in the paint by a 30-20 margin.
Mount Marty was led in the game by Colby Johnson with 22 points and three steals. Jason Moore had 16 points in the contest, while Gvedashvili added 11. The Lancers’ top scorer this season, Jailen Billings, was held to half his average as he finished with eight points. Billings did lead his team in assists with four.
The win moved the Blue and Gold into sole possession of second place in the GPAC standings at 12-4 as Jamestown (11-4) was idle. Briar Cliff is 18-5 overall this season. Mount Marty is in last place in the conference as the Lancers are 6-19 this year with a 2-14 mark in the conference. Briar Cliff takes on Hastings in the team’s next game at 4 p.m. Saturday in Hastings, Neb. The Chargers defeated Hastings in overtime on January 5 at the Tyson Events Center as part of the CNOS Classic.
The Briar Cliff women’s basketball team could not overcome an early deficit and fell to the Lancers of Mount Marty 69-60 Wednesday night at the Newman Flanagan Center.
The Chargers’ only lead of the contest came in the first minute of the game as they scored the first basket of the contest. The Lancers scored on the next possession, however, and did not give up the lead from there.
Briar Cliff was outscored 16-11 in the first quarter and was down 33-25 at halftime. Mount Marty was up by as many as 15 points in the first half behind 15 from Ali Kuca, who scored a game-high 25 total points.
The Lancers maintained their lead in the third quarter but the Chargers continued to fight and managed to come within four points with less than three minutes on the clock. Mount Marty was able to extend their lead in the final minutes and finished the game with a nine-point lead.
“This was a disappointing game for us,” said head coach Mike Power. “We just can’t seem to string together good outings. We need to find consistent effort, play and energy.”
Karlee McKinney followed Kuca in scoring for the Lancers with 12 points. Sammy Kasowski had 15 rebounds and 10 points. Molly Koisti gave out six assists.
The Cliff shot 38.5% from the field, 37.5% from beyond the arc and 73.9% from the free throw line. Mount Marty was 20-for-52 in field goal shooting, eight-for-17 from the 3-point line and 17-for-23 from the charity stripe.
The Chargers drop to 7-10 in the GPAC and 13-12 overall while the Lancers are now 6-12 in conference play and an even 12-12 on the season.
BC will be back in action Saturday at Hastings. The Chargers are set to take on the Broncos at 2 p.m. in Hastings, Nebraska.