In a top-25 matchup involving two of the top scoring offenses in the GPAC, the Briar Cliff defense stole the show as the seventh-ranked Chargers downed #21 Jamestown 86-70 Wednesday night at the Newman Flanagan Center.
The 70 points scored is the lowest output of the season for Jamestown, which had won seven straight games to jump into the national ratings. The team’s previous lost also came in Sioux City when Jamestown fell to Morningside on December 8.
The Briar Cliff defense was suffocating from the opening whistle and held the Jimmies to just 27 first half points. The Chargers went to the locker room leading 37-27 with Jamestown shooting 30% from the field. UJ found its shot in the second half, but the Blue and Gold managed to extend on its lead with a variety of players getting into the mix.
Five players for the Cliff reached double figures in scoring with Ethan Freidel leading the way at 21 points. Freidel extended his streak of hitting at least 21 points to five games. Kyle Boerhavewas next in line with 18 points to go along with nine rebounds. Boerhave put up 14 of his points in the second half as Austin Roetman also started slow before ending with a big night. Roetman tallied just two points in the opening 20 minutes, but finished with 14 points in the game.
Jackson Lamb also put up 14 points, with most of his damage coming in the first half as he and Freidel were tied for the game high in scoring at 11 before the break. Reigning NAIA Division II Player of the Week Jay Wolfe was the final player for BC to hit double figures with 10 points to continue his solid season in which he has scored at least 10 in every game. Wolfe and Freidel each finished with seven assists.
“The thing about Jay is that he’s just so smart and he just makes the right play,” head coach Mark Svagera said. “He doesn’t force the action and he gets other guys going. He got our big guys going tonight.”
The play of the post players (Boerhave and Roetman) was a key factor all night long. Besides the contributions on the stat sheet, a few slam dunks kept the crowd inside the Newman Flanagan into the game. And although the Chargers were outrebounded in the game (40-39), they were able to capitalize more on the offensive glass with a 5-4 edge in offensive boards and a 9-2 advantage in second chance points.
“I just thought we had some great individual performances and an all-around great team effort,” said Svagera.
Kevin Oberweiser was the main bright spot for Jamestown with 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Brady Birch chipped in with 17 points off the bench and Isaiah Dobson scored 14. The Jimmies leading scorer Jon Purintun was limited to seven points. Jamestown finished the night shooting 27-of-64 from the field (42%), 6-of-18 on 3-pointers (33%) and 10-of-14 from the free throw line (71%).
Briar Cliff ended the night making 31-of-68 shots from the floor (46%), 13-of-28 3-pointers (46%) and 11-of-15 free throws (73%). The game was tied twice with four lead changes, all occurring in the first half. The Chargers never trailed by more than three points and led by as many as 22.
The loss drops Jamestown to 17-4 overall and 7-4 in the GPAC.
The win was the 999th in program history for the BC men and moved this year’s squad to 15-3 overall and 9-2 in conference play. The Chargers will look for program win number 1,000 on Saturday in Seward, Nebraska when the team takes on Concordia at 4 p.m.
In a defensive battle, the Briar Cliff women’s basketball team came out on top 54-53 against Jamestown Wednesday night at the Newman Flanagan Center.
The Chargers struggled early as the Jimmies put up the game’s first 11 points and led the entire half. The Blue and Gold got some things going and trailed 17-7 after one period of play and managed to close the gap to five at the halftime break, 24-19.
“I thought our defense kept us in the game early,” BC head coach Mike Power said. “Once we controlled the boards in the second half it turned for us.”
Roles were reversed to start the second half, with Briar Cliff scoring the first dozen points to grab the team’s first lead. The Chargers would take a 38-34 advantage into the final quarter.
The key factor in the third stanza was Logan Ehlers, who scored nine of her team high 15 points in the quarter. Ehlers was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 1-for-1 at the free throw line in the period to get the Charger offense going.
“Logan was key for us,” Power said. “She played well and we needed her offense.”
The Jimmies got back on track in the final 10 minutes and a pair of free throws by Noelle Josephson with 3:00 left on the clock gave Jamestown a 48-47 advantage. The Chargers responded immediately with a bucket by Madelyn Deitchler to go up 49-48 and the team backed that up with another basket from Ehlers to extend the lead to three points and the Blue and Gold would never lose the advantage.
Ehlers sunk a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to ice the game away as Jamestown’s Emma Stoehr hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer with no BC defenders on the same side of the floor.
The last shot did allow Stoehr to become the game’s top scorer with 17 points. She also tied for the Jimmies team high in rebounds at six, but she did turn the ball over seven times in the contest. Allison Jablonsky, who recently returned to the Jamestown lineup after transferring from the school last year only to return, scored 15 points.
Briar Cliff shot 20-for-47 in the game for 43% from the field. The Chargers improved their average by 24% in the second half compared to the first. BC made 4-of-13 3-pointers and 10-of-20 free throws. Jamestown was 15-for-59 from the field, 11-for-43 on 3-pointers and 12-for-17 on free throws. The Chargers outrebounded Jamestown 39-37, but the Jimmies had the edge on the offensive glass 18-12. UJ led 12-10 on second chance points.
Briar Cliff had 14 assists to 22 turnovers. Jamestown turned the ball over 18 times with eight team assists. The Jimmies had a significant lead on points from turnovers, 25-8.
With the win, BC moves to 11-9 overall and 5-7 in the GPAC. Jamestown’s record was evened up at 10-10 with a league mark of 4-8. The Chargers return to action Saturday with a road contest against #2 Concordia at 2 p.m. in Seward, Nebraska.