Briar Cliff University pulled away for a 79-66 men’s basketball win over Concordia University on Saturday afternoon in Sioux City. The Chargers improved to 19-4 overall and 8-3 in conference play with the victory. Concordia dropped to 12-7 overall and 6-5 in conference play with the loss.
The first half featured several ties and lead changes. Concordia led by as many as eight, and Briar Cliff led by as many as four in the opening 20 minutes. Concordia’s Sam Huebner (Aurora, Colo.) scored six points in the final minutes of the half, and his jumper with six seconds remaining tied the score at 36-36 heading into halftime.
Both teams shot the ball extremely well in the opening half of play. Briar Cliff was 15-of-26 (57.7 percent), and Concordia was 14-of-28 (50 percent). The Chargers, however, held an advantage in paint points, points off turnovers and bench points. Briar Cliff totaled 16 paint points, 10 points off turnovers and 20 bench points in the opening half. Concordia, on the other hand, had just eight paint points, two points off turnovers and no bench points in the opening 20 minutes.
Briar Cliff used a 15-5 run in the opening minutes of the second half to take a 51-41 lead with just over 12 minutes remaining in the contest. The host Chargers built a 14-point lead (58-44) before Concordia rallied to trim the lead to five (62-57) with just over three minutes to play. BCU had an answer and used solid free throw shooting down the stretch to pull away for the win.
BCU was 26-of-50 (52 percent) from the field and 24-of-30 (80 percent) from the foul line in the victory. The Chargers hit just 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) from beyond the arc but used solid free throw shooting (20-of-24 in the second half) to secure the win. The Chargers held a 34-28 rebounding advantage and totaled just seven turnovers in the game.
Jake Shipley poured in a game-high 23 points off the bench to lead Briar Cliff. Shipley was 5-of-7 from the field and 10-of-12 at the charity stripe. John Engler and James Larson added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Chargers. Matt Geelan chipped in with eight points, five assists and a game-high 10 rebounds for Briar Cliff.
Following a solid first half of offense (14-of-28 from the field and 6-of-11 from deep), Concordia cooled off in the second half. The Bulldogs were just 12-of-30 overall and 2-of-11 from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes. For the game, Concordia was 26-of-58 from the field for 44.8 percent.
Huebner had team-highs of 22 points and eight rebounds for Concordia in the loss. Huebner was 10-of-11 from the field, and he also added three blocks. Ryan Shrum (Allen, Texas) added 13 points. Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) and Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) added seven points apiece, and Charles Dunbar (Florissant, Mo.) dished out a game-high six assists for the Bulldogs.
Concordia hosts Doane College on January 26. Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Health, Human Performance and Athletic Center.