The fourth-ranked Briar Cliff men’s basketball team survived a scare in Crete Wednesday night, outlasting Doane for an 88-86 victory. Erich Erdman was fantastic down the stretch for the Chargers and made the game-winning free throws with less than two seconds left in regulation after being fouled on a drive to the basket. The two free throws gave Erdman his 29th and 30th points of the game to lead Briar Cliff’s comeback victory as BC is now 22-4 overall this season and 11-3 in the GPAC, while Doane slipped to 11-14 overall and 5-9 in conference games.
Erdman pulled the Chargers to within two points with 2:05 left in the game on a 3-pointer to make the score 81-79 and forty seconds later hit two free throws to knot the game at 81 all. Doane would hit two free throws of its own to go up 83-81 before Erdman found Blake Wiltgenslipping off a screen to tie the game back up at 83-83. The Tigers buried a triple with 36 seconds left in the fourth but Erdman and the Chargers wouldn’t go away as he took the inbound pass, dribbled down the court and pulled up from NBA 3-point range to once again tie the game, this time at 86-86. Doane was then called for a costly five-second violation with 12 seconds left in the game and that set the stage for Erdman to close out the game and send BC home with the win. Erdman drove the lane and was fouled with two seconds left. He then marched to the free throw line and with ice in his veins drilled both freebies to put the Cliff up 88-86. Doane had one last shot with a desperation three as time expired but the shot was long and BC escaped with the 2-point win.
The lead that Erdman gave Briar Cliff with only two seconds was the team’s only lead of the game as Doane led the game for 37:27 and the game was tied for 2:32. The Tigers led by as many as 18 points in the contest and held a 49-33 lead at the half but the Chargers’ explosive offense was on full display in the second half, outscoring Doane 55-37 after halftime. A key to BC being able to rally was only recording five turnovers in the entire ballgame, compared to Doane having 17 turnovers. The Chargers shot 50.0 percent from the field, 25.9 percent from long range and 68.4 percent from the free throw line and the Tigers were 62.5 percent from the field, 52.9 percent from beyond the arc and 70.8 percent from the stripe. Doane also won the rebounding battle 32-25.
Erdman poured in a game-high 30 points to lead the Blue & Gold, while Blake Wiltgen and Jackson Lamb were also in double figures with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Wiltgen nearly had a double-double with a team leading nine rebounds and Jay Wolfe was second with five boards. Erdman handed out six assists and Wolfe was next with five helpers. Erdman also had a team-high two steals.
Nick Kornieck was the leading scorer for the Tigers with 27 points, trailed by Anthony Laravie with 17 points and Rylee Zimmerman added 12 points.
Briar Cliff will find itself in a top-20 matchup on Saturday when No. 18 Dakota Wesleyan invades the Newman Flanagan Center. Tip-off between the Chargers and Tigers is slated for 4 p.m. as part of Hall of Fame Weekend at Briar Cliff.
The Briar Cliff women’s basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak tonight with a 66-59 victory at Doane. Logan Ehlers tied the school record for blocks in the season with two blocks in the game to move her to 47 blocks this year. That ties the school record set by Dana Lehner in the 2004-05 season and Ehler’s next block will move her into sole possession of the record. The Chargers improved to 9-16 overall and 6-9 in the GPAC with the victory, while the Tigers dropped to 7-17 overall and 2-14 in league play.
Briar Cliff controlled much of the game, leading for a total of 31:32 of a possible 40 minutes. The Chargers led 20-16 after the first quarter and outscored the Tigers 17-9 in the second quarter to lead 37-25 at the break. Both teams scored 10 points in the third quarter and Doane outscored BC 24-19 in the final frame but the Cliff had built too big of a lead for the Tigers to overcome. The Chargers won the turnover battle 18-24 and converted that into a 26-15 edge in points off turnovers. BC also had six more triples than Doane and seven more free throws to help lead to the seven point win. The Chargers shot 35.1 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from long range and 81.8 percent from the free throw line, compared to the Tigers shooting 39.7 percent for the game, 20.0 percent from distance and 78.6 from the stripe.
A trio of Chargers spearheaded the offense with Johanna Vaske leading the team in scoring with 18 points, Alyssa Carley added 17 points off the bench and Faith Troshynski poured in 12 points. Vaske also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, followed by Julie Targy and Ehlers with four boards apiece. Carley was a force on the defensive end for the Blue & Gold, patrolling the passing lanes and notching six steals. Targy handed out three assists as well.
Haylee Heits paced the Tigers in scoring with 19 points and Alea Shaner poured in 14 points. Cortney Arkfeld notched five rebounds and Julia Reed had six assists. Heits also had a team-high four blocks.
Briar Cliff will be at home on Saturday afternoon to host No. 12 Dakota Wesleyan as part of Hall of Fame Weekend at BC.