The 18th-ranked Briar Cliff men’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday night in Madison, South Dakota to host Dakota State. The Chargers dropped to 7-1 overall this season, while the Trojans are now 5-4 on the year.
BC never found its shooting rhythm in the contest, going 25-69 from the field with a shooting percentage of 36.2. The Chargers also struggled from long range as the team converted 9-34 attempts from beyond the arc. Comparatively, the Trojans shot 50.8 percent (30-59) from the field and 43.8 percent (14-32) from 3-point land. The Cliff did win the rebounding battle 45-36, including an 18-7 edge in offensive rebounds but it wasn’t enough to overcome the shooting woes. The game featured four ties and three lead changes but Briar Cliff’s biggest lead of the game was six points three minutes into the contest, while Dakota State led by as many as 19 points in the matchup.
“We took a tough loss on the road tonight,” said Briar Cliff head coach Mark Svagera. “Dakota State was well prepared and executed very well. Every run we made, they countered, and we could never quite close the gap in the second half.”
Erich Erdman and Jay Wolfe combined for over half of the team’s 80 points as the duo dropped in 42 points with Erdman scoring 22 and Wolfe netted 20 points. They were the only Chargers to reach double figures as Blake Wiltgen was third in scoring with seven points and Jackson Lambadded six points. Josh Belling, Jared Betz and Tommy Leininger all had five points for BC. Wolfe nearly tallied a double-double with nine rebounds and Lamb grabbed seven boards. Erdman dished out six assists and Lamb had two steals.
Dakota State used a balanced scoring attack with five players reaching double-digits. Kevin Daniels had a team-high 18 points, followed by Maurice Arrington and Brendon Boomsma with 17 points each, Justin Folkers chipped in 12 and Bobby Farquah had 11 points. Arrington secured eight rebounds and Keeon Johnson notched five assists.
Briar Cliff will return to the court on Saturday when it heads to Fremont, Nebraska to compete in the Draemel Classic. BC will face No. 4 Bellevue at 2 p.m.