Despite 61.5 percent shooting from the field the Dordt College Defenders lost an 88-83 decision to the Briar Cliff Chargers on the road, falling from the ranks of the unbeaten in NAIA Division II basketball on Saturday, December 17 in GPAC basketball.
The two teams played tight basketball through out the first half with neither team leading by more than four and featured ten ties before the teams got a 36-36 halftime deadlock. A free throw by Trevor Wolterstorff gave Dordt it's biggest lead of the half at 30-27 with 3:47 left in the half and the Defenders looked poised to get a little cushion but Briar Cliff's Jake Shipley drilled a three-point basket on the next possession and the teams traded buckets the rest of the way with Austin Katje tying it on a long two-point basket from the top of the key just before the buzzer sounded.
Briar Cliff established a nine point lead with a 9-0 run over the first three minutes of the second half and got up by as many as 60-45 with just over eleven minutes remaining in the game. Over the next five plus minutes the Defenders would outscore the hosts 23-8 and tied it on a Chris Sievers basket at the 4:40 mark.
Briar Cliff answered with a Brenton Brown three and when Dordt missed on the next possession the Chargers got the lead back to six on bucket and free throw by Shipley. Dordt never had a shot to tie it again with Briar Cliff maintaining at least a three-point lead over the final 2:47.
Dordt was 32-52 from the floor for 61.5 percent success and made 6-12 three-pointers but shot a paltry 13-23 from the free throw line. The Defenders did win the rebounding battle 32-25 but committed 11 turnovers to just four turnovers for the Chargers.
Cliff Warner and Austin Katje each had 16 points with Warner assisting on five. Trevor Wolterstorff had 14 points and eight rebounds and Chris Sievers scored 13 with three rebounds. Jordan Vogel added 11 points and snared seven rebounds.
Briar Cliff was led by Jake Shipley's 31 points on 12-22 from the field and he was 5-9 on three-point baskets with six rebounds and four assists. Ben Sitzmann was the only other Charger in double figures with 16 points. Briar Cliff was 33-61 from the floor and 10-20 on three-point shots while converting 12-17 free throws.
Dordt is now 15-1 and 7-1 in the conference while Briar Cliff is 10-4 overall and 4-3 in the league.
Dordt returns to action on Wednesday, January 4 when they host Hastings.
GPAC scores Midland University 66, Morningside College 59 Doane College 82, Dakota Wesleyan University 69 Northwestern College 87, Hastings College 79 Nebraska Wesleyan University 69, Mount Marty College 43 GPAC Standings:
Dordt 7-1 Northwestern 5-2 Midland 4-2 Morningside 4-3 Briar Cliff 4-3 Mount Marty 4-3 Doane 3-4 Concordia 2-4 Nebraska Wesleyan 2-4 Hastings 2-5 Dakota Wesleyan 1-6