Trailing by as many as 22 in the second half, the Briar Cliff men’s basketball team battled back to down (RV) Friends University 116-112 in double overtime Friday night in Wichita, Kansas.
The Chargers managed to get a lead late in regulation, but the Falcons went up by three with 2.9 seconds left before a full-court pass was tipped out of bounds setting up a desperation 3-pointer from Nic Lutmer to send the game to overtime.
The buzzer beater was the only made 3-pointer by Lutmer, who finished the game with seven points. Two Chargers recorded double-doubles with Jay Wolfe‘s 20 points and 10 assists and Jackson Lamb filling the stat sheet with 30 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Erich Erdman matched Lamb in scoring with a team-high 30 points.
“Tonight was a testament to our players toughness and togetherness,” said head coach Mark Svagera. “In a tough environment, they battled back from a huge deficit to get the W. We had multiple players make big time plays down the stretch.”
Kyle Boerhave made it four players for the Blue and Gold to record double-digit point totals as he finished with 19. Jaden Kleinhesselink had a solid night for the Cliff with eight points and six rebounds off the bench. Jordan Murdock led all players in scoring with 35 points and 12 assists for Friends.
The Falcons were looking for back-to-back wins over ranked foes after an 18-point win over #14 Bellevue in their last contest. Instead, Friends dropped to 2-1 on the season after scoring first in both overtime periods, but never holding a lead in either OT after the Chargers responded on both occasions.
The Cliff trailed 46-36 at half after shooting 42.4% from the field in the opening stanza from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc. Friends shot 51.5% in the first half, hitting on 7-of-12 3-pointers for 58.3%. The Chargers got hot in the second half and OT, however, connecting on 27-of-43 shots (62.8%) and an incredible 13-for-25 from 3-point range for 52%. The biggest factor in the Falcons lead disappearing came from the free throw line as Friends shot 18-for-28 from the charity stripe for 64.3% compared to Briar Cliff’s 84.2% (16-19) on free throws.
Friends had the edge in rebounds 43-39 and both teams turned the ball over 16 times with eight steals credited to each team. Briar Cliff did finish with one more assist than the Falcons as the Chargers tallied 21. The game saw seven ties and 16 lead changes.
Briar Cliff, ranked #10 in the nation, improved to 2-0 with the win and will take on Bethany at 2 p.m. Saturday in Lindsborg, Kansas.