SIOUX CITY | If nothing else, the Briar Cliff women’s basketball team picked up a desperately needed victory Wednesday, downing College of St. Mary 74-60 at the Newman Flanagan Center.
The Chargers, 7-11 overall and 4-4 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, had lost four in a row and eight of their last nine. However, each of the last four losses have come to nationally ranked teams.
A 15-0 spurt during a five-minute stretch in the second quarter decided this one.
Briar Cliff was clinging to a 17-15 lead when Julie Targy scored, then came four consecutive 3-point goals – one by Faith Troshynski, two in a row from Alyssa Carley and another by Johanna Vaske. Targy capped the decisive run with a free throw, making it a 17-point cushion.
“We played with a lot more energy tonight than we have and that was good to see,” Briar Cliff Coach Mike Power said. “It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, but we really needed a win and got it.”
Troshysnki, Carley and freshman Logan Ehlers were the BCU players in double figures with 12, 11 and 11 points, respectively, but seniors Targy and Annie Dewberry along with Vaske, added eight points. Dewberry just missed a double-double with 12 rebounds.
Briar Cliff went on to take a 35-18 halftime lead, harassing St. Mary (2-14, 1-7) into a 19-percent shooting effort. The Flames heated up a little in the second half, but still trailed 52-33 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Chargers forced 23 turnovers and came up with 15 steals, scoring 26 points off turnovers. A total of 10 players broke into the scoring column.
Troshysnki made four 3-pointers and Carley three as Briar Cliff connected on 12 of 27 from beyond the arc.
Miranda Acuna, a senior guard from San Antonio, Texas, paced St. Mary with 19 points.