BC men’s basketball hit the road Friday night for a contest against #22 Bellevue at the Bellevue Classic and came away with an 81-76 win over the Bruins. The Cliff was led by Jackson Lamb with 20 points on the night, followed by freshman Connor Groves, who had 19 points in the victory.
Three other Chargers netted double-digit point totals. Andy Geelan and Jaden Kleinhesselink each had 12 points and Ethan Freidel added 10.
“Our guys played with a lot of toughness and togetherness on the road tonight,” said head coach Mark Svagera. “Bellevue is a tough place to win games and is a traditional powerhouse within the NAIA and holding them to a low field goal percentage was huge for us.”
Briar Cliff and the Bruins went neck-and-neck for the first six minutes of the contest before a 17-5 run by the Chargers made it a 28-13 ball game with 10 minutes left in the first half. Bellevue battled back to trail by just five points at halftime.
The Cliff went on a six-point run to start the second frame to extend its lead to 11 points, but the comeback bid continued for the Bruins, scratching back to within three points multiple times throughout the second half. Despite the Bellevue efforts, Briar Cliff was able to hang on for the win.
In addition to his 20 points, Lamb led the Chargers with eight rebounds. Freidel and Geelan each added five boards and Geelan also had three blocks. Kleinhesselink, Freidel and Sammy Green dished out three assists a piece.
Jemeil King had a team-high 16 points for Bellevue and Isaiah Bates added 12.
The Chargers will be back in action Saturday evening in Bellevue as the team plays Nebraska Christian at 5 p.m.
The home opener was one to forget for Briar Cliff’s women’s basketball team as the Chargers ran into a buzz saw in #17 St. Xavier. The Chargers hit the first shot of the game with an Alyssa Carley 3-pointer, but the rest of the night belonged to the Cougars in a 102-62 victory Friday night in the Newman Flanagan Center.
BC’s Konnor Sudmann was the lone scorer in double figures for her team with 12. Madelyn Deitchler and Kaegan Held each chipped in with nine as Deitchler led the Blue and Gold in rebounding with seven.
Turnovers haunted the Cliff with 25 giveaways resulting in 23 points for St. Xavier. The Chargers forced 17 turnovers and capitalized with 11 points off of them. Rebounding was another category claimed by the Cougars as St. Xavier had a 51-40 edge on the boards including a 15-13 lead in offensive rebounds. Second-chance points were close but St. Xavier outscored Briar Cliff 11-9 in that stat.
Maddie Welter was the story for St. Xavier as she was 8-for-16 on 3-point tries and led all players with 26 points. McKenna Zobel was second in scoring on the night with 14 points for the Cougars. Maia Fawcett and Chanel Fanter were the two other players to reach double figures with 10 points each. Fanter finished with a double-double as she finished with 10 assists.
St. Xavier’s Brianna Flayter and Sidney Lovitsch tied atop the stat sheet in rebounds with nine apiece.
For the game, Briar Cliff shot just 30.3% by going 20-for-66 from the floor. The Cliff was 6-for-29 from deep range for 20.7% and 16-for-25 from the free throw line for 64%. St. Xavier finished at 49.4% from the field, 31% from 3-point range and 72% from the charity stripe.
St. Xavier moves to 1-0 with the win as Briar Cliff’s record was evened up at 1-1. The Chargers take on #24 Olivet Nazarene at 3 p.m. Saturday following a contest between Morningside and St. Xavier in the Newman Flanagan Center.