For the second time in as many days, Ethan Freidel set a new high for career points in a game as the Briar Cliff men’s basketball team defeated Benedictine University at Mesa 84-70 Thursday night in Phoenix.
Freidel put up 33 for the Chargers, who jumped out to a 40-26 lead at half and managed to hold off any comeback hopes by the Redhawks and finished the game at the same 14-point margin. The sophomore from Tea, South Dakota put up 29 in Wednesday’s loss for BC for his best scoring output before the win at Benedictine Mesa.
A big part of Freidel’s night came at the free throw line as he made 10-of-11 attempts from the charity stripe. He also connected on 7-of-11 from 3-point range. Teammate Jay Wolfe also came up big at the free throw line, connecting on 12-of-13 attempts as Wolfe finished with 25 points for the Blue and Gold. Briar Cliff made a strong effort to get to the free throw line after making just six free throws as a team on Wednesday.
Wolfe also was a key distributore for Briar Cliff’s offense, finishing with four assists to tie for the game-high with fellow Charger Kyle Boerhave. Briar Cliff tallied 12 assists as a team compared to eight for Benedictine Mesa. Wolfe’s six rebounds were the second best mark on his squad behind Jaden Kleinhesselink‘s seven. Benedictine Mesa’s Jorge Cano led all players in rebounding with 11 as he recorded a double-double with 26 points as well to lead the Redhawks. The Chargers were outrebounded in the contest 44-31, including a significant 14-3 deficit on offensive rebounds.
BC’s Nic Lutmer opened the scoring with a bucket on the first shot of the game to put the Chargers up 2-0. Jalen Jordan responded with a 3-pointer to put Benedictine Mesa up 3-2, but Briar Cliff answered with five-straight points and never relinquished the lead again.
Briar Cliff shot 22-of-52 from the field for 42.3%. The Blue and Gold connected on 11-of-30 3-point shots and 29-of-35 from the free throw line. The Redhawks were held in check all game, making just 22-of-60 shots from the field for 36.7% and 3-of-15 on 3-pointers for 20%. Benedictine Mesa shot 23-for-34 from the free throw line (67.6%).
The Redhawks dropped to 10-5 on the season.
Briar Cliff capped off the 2018 portion of its schedule with a 12-3 mark. The Chargers return to GPAC play with a 6-2 league record on January 2 on the road against Midland. That game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tipoff in Fremont, Nebraska.