Chargers Steal Lead in Waning Minutes, Slip Past Warriors

SIOUX CITY, IA – Midland University was on the road on Saturday afternoon as they faced Briar Cliff University in their second meeting of the season. After losing the first meeting 88-83 in Fremont, the Warriors were out for revenge and gave the Chargers a tough fight before ultimately falling, 90-85.

Despite the loss, the turn of the calendar year has been good for the Warriors. They have competed strongly and have shown improvement on the offensive end especially. Saturday’s game saw the upward trend continue as they came out of the gates firing in the first half.

The Warriors were 15-of-28 (53.6%) from the field and 8-of-15 (53.3%) from three-point range on their way to 44 first-half points.

The Chargers were also in a shooting grove in the opening half as they connected on 10-of-20 on shots behind the arc and were 14-of-29 from the field overall. The teams would trade the lead five times in the first half with the Chargers claiming it last, taking a 45-44 advantage into the locker rooms.

After the break, Midland set the tone of the second half with an 8-0 run to open the period, taking their biggest lead of the game 52-45 within the first three minutes.

The Chargers quickly erased the deficit with some aggressive drives to the basket. The aggressive play forced the Warriors into fouls, putting them on the free-throw line. That strategy would be the lifeline of their offense as they shot 14-of-17 from the stripe in the 2nd half.

Midland’s Bo Sandquist would take over with some timely three-point shots in the half, hitting 3-of-5 from downtown, scoring 11 points. He would finish the game with 19 total points.

Sandquist’s third three-pointer gave the Warriors a 69-66 advantage with 8:09 remaining. The Warriors would remain in the lead until the 4:43 mark when BCU took a 74-73 lead.

Midland would stay close and with 2:26 left, Emanuel Bryson hit a driving layup to pull the Warriors even at 80-80. The Chargers’ Jaden Kleinhesselink, who led the Chargers in scoring with 19 points, would go on a personal 5-0 run to take an 85-80 lead with 39 seconds left. BCU would close out the game matching the Warriors’ comeback attempts, winning by five, 90-85.

The Warriors were led in scoring by guard Sandquist and Laurence Merritt who both had 19 points on the day. Bryson and Arturo Montes also reached double-figures with 14 and 12 points respectively.

Midland (4-12, 2-11 GPAC) will be back in Sioux City in a week’s time to face the Morningside (15-2, 11-2 GPAC). The Warriors will look to avenge a four-point loss they had to the Mustangs in December. The matchup will take place Saturday, January 23rd at 4:00 p.m inside George M. Allee Gymnasium.

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