A buzzer-beating three by Jamestown meant heartbreak for the Briar Cliff men’s basketball team Wednesday night at the Newman Flanagan Center. The Chargers took a two-point lead with less than two seconds to play in the contest but gave up a Jamestown last-ditch shot as time expired to take a 72-71 loss.
“It’s hard to put into words how proud I am of our guys tonight,” said head coach Mark Svagera. “We played as good of a 40 minutes we played this year and from an execution and effort stand point the guys were outstanding.
“The ending is a gut punch to say the least and that’s the thing about basketball, sometimes it brings you the highest of highs and the lowest of lows we’ve been on the opposite end of that. At this point we have to take the positives from this game – and there’s a lot of them – and we have to move forward. We’re going to have to find a way to wash this and be ready to go this weekend.”
Briar Cliff trailed 40-31 at the halftime break but used 17-8 run over the first seven minutes of the second half to claw back to a 48-all tie. Down 46-48, Ethan Freidel scored his first points of the contest from the free throw line to tie the contest.
Jamestown responded with six-straight points to go ahead 54-48 with 11:29 to play. The Chargers then scored seven-straight, capped off by a Connor Groves trey, to take a 55-54 lead with 9:26 on the clock.
Briar Cliff went ahead 69-64 with 2:10 to play but Jamestown scored five for the 69-69 tie with 29 seconds to play. Groves put the Cliff up 71-69 with one second remaining but the Jimmies managed an inbound and open three for the buzzer beating win.
Quinten Vasa had a strong night for the Chargers with a game-high 16 points to go with five rebounds and three assists. The junior scored BC’s first seven points. Quinn Vesey had seven rebounds and Jaden Kleinhesselink gave out five assists.
Marc Kjos, the Jimmie’s buzzer-beating hero, scored 15 points in the contest. Brady Birch had 11 rebounds. The Chargers held Mason Walters to just six points and four rebounds in the contest, well below his season averages of 22.8 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.
Overall, Briar Cliff edged Jamestown 20-9 in assists while the Jimmies had a 40-28 advantage in rebounds.
The Chargers slip to 11-12 on the season and 8-10 in conference play. BC will host Hastings at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Newman Flanagan Center.
A triple double from Payton Slaughter powered the Briar Cliff women’s basketball team to a 90-56 win over Jamestown Wednesday night at the Newman Flanagan Center. Slaughter put up 12 points to go with 13 rebounds and 11 assists. She is one of five NAIA women’s players with a triple double this season and the first in the GPAC.
“Payton had an all-around great game and it was great to see her get a triple double tonight,” Hand added. “She works hard on both ends of the court so it was great to see it pay off for her and the team tonight! Credit to her teammates as well for knocking down shots on her great passes-you never achieve these things alone!”
Slaughter was sitting on nine points with 3:20 to play and found herself wide open outside the arc. The sophomore took a pass from Kennedy Benne and hit the trey to put her point total in double figures.
Madelyn Deitchler led all players with 19 points on the night, 11 of which came from the free throw line.
The Chargers started the contest with a 7-0 run, forcing a timeout by the Jimmies just 1:23 into the first quarter. BC pushed that score to 15-5 and forced yet another Jamestown TO with 5:57 to play in the period. The home team was firing on all cylinders in the first quarter, shooting 71 percent from the field and 56 percent from long range en route to a 28-14 lead after 10 minutes.
Briar Cliff cooled off in the second quarter, but not by much, and was 54 percent overall from the field at the halftime break with a 48-32 lead. After the first 20 minutes, BC had outrebounded the Jimmies 20-5.
The second half was more of the same for the Chargers as they cruised to a 34-point win, their largest margin of victory this year.
‘This is the most complete game we have played all year,” Hand added. “We came out ready to go offensively and defensively and didn’t have any let downs throughout the game! We got great contributions from everyone tonight. Jamestown collapsed on Konner every time she touched the ball and our other kids did a great job stepping up and knocking down shots.
In total, Briar Cliff had a 48-20 edge in rebounds and used 18 offensive rebounds to score 18 second chance points.
Kia Tower led Jamestown with 11 points and Noelle Josephson had five steals.
The Cliff is now 15-8 overall and 13-7 in GPAC play. Wednesday’s win avenges a 78-62 loss from earlier this season at Jamestown.
BC will host Hastings Saturday on Ray Nacke Court. Tipoff is schedule for 2 p.m.