SIOUX CITY, Iowa - Sixth-ranked Briar Cliff University battled back from a 15-point first-half deficit, pulling out a dramatic 76-73 win over Bellevue University Saturday afternoon in non-conference action at the Newman Flanagan Center.
With the loss, the Bruins fell to 6-9 on the season. Briar Cliff improved to 11-2 overall with the victory.
Sequan Walker led the Bruins with 19 points and six rebounds. Justin Bessard poured in 12 points and Connor Dukes added 11 points and four boards. Jaron Dickson was the fourth Bruin in double figures, finishing with 10 points, all in the first half.
Jay Wolfe scored 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting to pace the Charger offense, which outshot the Bruins 56.5 to 49 percent from the field. Ethan Freidel added 15 points and a pair of rebounds.
After BCU scored the first six points of the contest, the Bruins went on an 18-2 run to take a 10-point advantage at 18-8 with 13 minutes left in the opening period.
The Bruins led by as many as 15 points following a pair of free throws by Bessard, before settling for the 10-point margin at 43-33 at the break.
The Bruins shot 59 percent from the field in the opening half and hit 7-of-12 3-point attempts. Dickson led the Bruins with 10 points in the opening 20 minutes and Dukes added eight points. Wolfe paced the Charges in the first half with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.
Bellevue led by as many as 11 points in the second half before the Chargers battled back and a 3-pointer by Wolfe gave BCU its first lead of the second period at 67-66 with 3:40 remaining in the contest.
After a Dukes' 3-pointer tied the contest at 73 apiece with 32 seconds left, Jackson Lamb drained a triple as the shot clock expired to give BCU a 76-73 advantage with two ticks remaining in regulation.
Walker's 3-point attempt bounced off the rim at the buzzer as the Chargers escaped with the 3-point victory.
The Bruins will host the Fairfield Inn & Suites Bruin Classic on Dec. 28-29, in the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.