Nebraska Wesleyan built up a 15-point first half lead but couldn’t hold on as Briar Cliff University rallied back to earn a 71-64 victory over the Prairie Wolves in GPAC men’s basketball action on Wednesday (Nov. 28) in Sioux City, Iowa.
For NWU, it is the second time the Prairie Wolves held a double-digit in a GPAC game but couldn’t hold on as they also led by double figures in the loss to Concordia on Nov. 20.
The Prairie Wolves (4-2, 0-2 GPAC) came out firing on all cylinders to start the game and owned the paint. NWU was scoring at will on offense and controlling the high powered Charger attack on defense as the Prairie Wolves built a 20-5 lead with 9:54 to play in the first half.
BCU began their rally and came all the way back to tie the game at 23-23 with 2:23 before halftime. The Prairie Wolves held a slight 27-26 lead at halftime.
In the second half, NWU managed to get up by eight points in the second half but that lead would also be quickly evaporated. The two teams would then trade baskets and lead exchanges until a crucial play with just under nine minutes to play.
Travis Gieselmann nailed a 3-pointer for the Prairie Wolves to put NWU up 49-46. On the next possession for Briar Cliff, John Engler scored a basket and was fouled. He didn’t convert the 3-point play but Michael Collison got the offensive rebound, slammed the ball and was fouled to give BCU a 5-point offensive possession and they would never trail again.
Briar Cliff got up by eight points, but NWU made one last run and an Andrew Mitteis 3-pointer pulled the Prairie Wolves within three points at 67-64 with 40 seconds remaining but they would get no closer.
All-American Jake Shipley, who was held scoreless in the first half, scored 15 points to lead Briar Cliff.
Trevor Johnson came off the bench to score 14 points to lead Nebraska Wesleyan, while Trent Scheitel added 12 points and Tim Schweitzer scored 10.