SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – (Box Score) No.3 seed Briar Cliff (Iowa) earned an 80-70 come-from-behind win over No.6 Oregon Tech in a first round match-up at the 2018 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Cypress Risk Management, played today the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Trailing by one (66-65), Briar Cliff outscored the Owls 15-4 over the final three minutes, going 12-for-12 from the free throw line, to advance to the second round for the second time in three years. The Chargers move on with a 25-7 overall record.
Jay Wolfe poured in a game-high 23 points, making all 11 free throw attempts, and was one of four Briar Cliff players in double figures. Dynamic shooting guard Erich Erdman scored 16 and both Jackson Lamb (14) and Blake Wiltgen (11).
Briar Cliff overcame a rough shooting first half (21%), coming back with 54% over the final 20 minutes. They used a big edge at the free throw line, making 32-of-37 attempts, compared to 10-of-14 by Oregon Tech.
Mitchell Fink led Oregon Tech with 17 points and Tyler Hieb scored 14 to go with five rebounds. OIT held a commanding 45-34 edge on the boards, including 14 on the offensive end. The Owls close the year with a 22-11 mark.
Briar Cliff will now play No.2 seed St. Thomas (Fla.) in a second round match-up on Friday, March 9 at 10:15am.