Charger men’s basketball dropped a 69-79 contest against Northwestern Wednesday in the Bultman Center. BC moves to 11-9 on the season and 8-7 in conference play.
Quinn Vesey was hot from the 3-point line to start, knocking down 4-of-6 from deep scoring 14 points in the first half. Trent Hilbrands matched Vesey with 14 points of his own to lead the Red Raiders.
The first 20 minutes was closely contested, with the largest lead coming after the first minute of action with Northwestern leading 5-0. The score was tied just twice but the lead changed hands 14 times. A 9-0 Charger run with 1:03 left gave the Chargers a 38-35 lead, but the Red Raiders scored the final four points of the half to take a 39-38 lead to the break.
A 2-point basket by Quinten Vasa, followed by a Nick Hoyt 3-ball gave the Cliff an early 43-39 lead one minute into the second half. The lead would change a final time after a Red Raider 7-0 run with 16:35 left, taking a 46-43 advantage. Northwestern extended their lead to double-digits, and every time the Cliff cut the deficit to single-digits the Red Raiders were able to answer with a bucket of their own.
“We executed our game plan very well in the second half,” said head coach Mark Svagera. “We must find a way to sustain for 40 minutes.”
After shooting 52 percent from the floor and 43 percent from the 3-point line in the first half, the Chargers went cold in the next 20 minutes connecting on just 38 percent of shot attempts and 33 percent from beyond the arc.
Vesey led BC with 22 points, knocking down six treys, and handing out six assists. Vasa had a near double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds. Andrew Gibb provided eight points off the bench on 3-of-3 shooting and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.
BC turned the ball over less (10-12) and scored more points off turnovers (12-11). The Charger bench outscored Northwestern’s bench 18-7.
All five starters for the Red Raiders reached double-figures scoring, with Trent Hilbrands scoring a game high 23 points. Alex Van Kalsbeek finished with 16 points going 7-for-9 from the floor. The Red Raiders outrebounded BC (35-25) and scored more points in the paint (40-28).
Briar Cliff travels to Concordia Saturday for their final regular season road game, before a four-game homestand. Tip-off for the Chargers-Bulldogs matchup is set for 4 p.m. in Seward, Nebraska.
Looking to avenge a loss from earlier this season, the Briar Cliff women’s basketball team traveled to Orange City, Iowa Wednesday night to take on the Red Raiders of Northwestern. The Chargers’ mission was unsuccessful as the team fell 69-59 to move to 13-6 on the year and 11-5 in GPAC play.
The Chargers were down by just two after the first period but gave up a 17-2 run to end the second for to trail 40-23 at the halftime break. BC kept it close until the 21-23 mark before the Red Raider run started. Briar Cliff was held to 24 percent shooting in the second quarter compared to 63 percent for Northwestern.
Briar Cliff outscored Northwestern in the fourth quarter but still trailed by 12 with 10 minutes to play. The Chargers pulled back to within seven in the final period but only scored six points in the last 5:30 of the contest.
Madelyn Deitchler was one rebound shy of a double double with 22 points and nine boards. Five of her rebounds came on the offensive side of the floor, helping the Cliff to a 13-4 advantage in second chance points.
Konnor Sudmann and Kennedy Benne were also in double figures. Sudmann scored 15 points and Benne chipped in 10. Benne hit the Chargers’ only two 3-pointers of the night and had a team-high five steals.
Sammy Blum had 16 points for Northwestern and Taylor VanderVelde grabbed seven boards.
Northwestern is 10-8 this season and 10-5 in conference action.
Briar Cliff will take another road trip this weekend, heading to Seward, Nebraska to take on Concordia. That game is set to tipoff at 2 p.m.