SIOUX CITY | Jay Wolfe scored 34 points and Erich Erdman tossed in 25 as the No. 5 (NAIA) Briar Cliff men’s basketball team pulled away from York (Neb.) 110-87 at the Holiday Classic at the Newman Flanagan Center here Saturday.
Wolfe made 5 of 8 3-pointers while Erdman grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists.
“The nice thing is when one of them gets it done, the other guys kind of find them and keep giving them looks and feeding the hot hand,” said Briar Cliff Coach Mark Svagera.
Briar Cliff (16-2) led 48-36 at halftime, but York chipped away at the lead in the second half. Roc Johnson hit a 3-pointer for the Panthers to trim the lead to 61-59 with 13 minutes left in the game, but the Chargers responded.
“It started on defense,” said Svagera. “I thought we really amped up our intensity there for a good four- or five-minute stretch. We were able to get a few turnovers and a couple tough rebounds.”
Briar Cliff forced 19 turnovers in the game while committing just nine. The Chargers also scored 14 points off turnovers while York had just six.
Patrick Burnett scored 18 points for York (8-6). Trevor Lenear had 16 points while Chris Smith, Michael Johnson and Wayne Johnson Jr. each finished with 10 points.
Blake Wiltgen recorded a double-double for the Chargers with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jackson Lamb scored 11 points and Ethan Freidel added 10.
Briar Cliff made 22 of 24 free throws while York made 14 of 18. The Chargers also outrebounded York 45-36.
The win for Briar Cliff is the 19th-straight win at home in non-conference play.
“I didn’t know that stat,” said Svagera. “I think our guys take pride in playing at the Flanagan Center. They take a lot of pride in protecting it and making sure we play well on our home court.”
The Chargers last non-conference home setback came against Clarke on Nov. 9, 2013.
Briar Cliff plays next against Mount Marty in the CNOS Classic on Jan. 6 at the Tyson Event Center.
“From here on out, the non-conference is over and it’s all GPAC,” said Svagera. “That’s really exciting. We’re in a good spot right now.”