SIOUX CITY – A balanced Briar Cliff offensive attack shared the wealth Saturday afternoon during the CNOS Foundation Classic.
The Chargers warmed up to the spacious Gateway Arena floor inside the Tyson Events Center with 44 percent shooting and more important to coach Mike Power was the team assists total of 18 on 23 made baskets.
It all added up to a 66-54 Briar Cliff victory in a Great Plains Athletic Conference contest against Mount Marty.
The Chargers bolted out of the gates, taking a 20-8 lead after one quarter and then weathering any type of run that Mount Marty attempted to make in the contest.
“I thought we came out with a lot of energy,” said Power. “We played great in the first quarter and I thought we played really good in the third quarter. It’s just the second and fourth quarters that we sputtered.
“We need to be able to put four quarters together, but it’s the GPAC and no matter what team it is, everybody is good and everybody, no matter what the score is, is going to make a run right back at you and we did a good job of responding to it.”
Three Chargers reached double figures and two more had eight for a team that is now 8-11 overall and 5-4 in the GPAC heading into the final game of the first half of the league slate on Wednesday at unbeaten Concordia, who should rise to No. 1 in the NAIA Division II rankings on Tuesday.
“You got to take care of business and I thought we did a good job of doing that these last two games,” said Power. “Now we got to get back and play Concordia.
“We're going to have to play better basketball, but these last two games we have changed some things defensively, players play really well and created some offense for us and maybe that can push us forward.”
Faith Troshynski, a sophomore who prepped at Manson Northwest Webster, tallied a career-high 14 points, hitting four of the Chargers nine 3-pointers in the win. Troshynski was coming off a 12-point performance in Briar Cliff’s Wednesday win over College of Saint Mary, a victory that saw Power’s club register 20 assists on 24 field goals.
“I like that, the biggest stat that I love to see, that we cause the sharing of the basketball in order to score,” said Power, who earned his 450th career win on Wednesday. “If we keep doing that will be in good shape.”
Taylor Vasa had 11 points and Logan Ehlers 10, both reserves, while starters Abby Heston and Johanna Vaske had eight points and four assists apiece.
Ali Kuca had 12 points and Karlee McKinney 11 for Mount Marty, now 9-9 overall and 1-9 in the GPAC.