The Eagle men fell to 0-2 in the Midwest Christian College Conference (MCCC) and to 0-4 overall as they dropped their conference home openers this past weekend to perennial powerhouse Manhattan Christian College and upstart Barclay College. Faith fell 56-86 to Manhattan and 70-104 to Barclay.
In both games, the Eagles struggles with defense and turnovers continued. Friday night Manhattan came out on fire, while the Eagles couldn't buy a basket. The result was a first half in which Manhattan shot 51% from the floor while Faith shot just 19%. Additionally, the Eagles turned the ball over 17 times in the first stanza, with the result being a 49-14 halftime lead for the visitors. There were some positives for the Eagles in the second half, as they were able to outrebound Manhattan for the game, while outscoring them 42-37, however the huge first half hole was simply too much to overcome as the Eagles dropped the game.
Saturday afternoon found the Eagles facing an up and coming Barclay College team. The Bears played an uptempo, full court press style of game, using a 10 man rotation with constant pressure offensively and defensively. Again the Eagles could not take care of the ball, turning it over 15 times int he first half while defensively struggling to get back in transition or stop the drive. The result was Barclay shooting a blistering 70% from the floor and taking a 61-39 lead into the break. The Bears didn't cool off in the second half either, as they shot 71% on the night for the win.
"We continue to make strides, but we haven't yet been able to get a handle on ball possession or the importance of good fundamental defense. We have the potential to be competitive, but until we begin to really value taking care of the ball and playing tough defense, we're going to continue to struggle," noted coach Fincham.
Tyler Betz led all scorers in the Manhattan game, as he scored 31 points, grabbed 15 rebounds. and handed out 3 assists. Three Eagle men finished in double digits in Saturday's contest, with Betz scoring 18, Dillon Gingerich adding 15, and David Larson putting in 13 on a perfect 6/6 shooting effort. Betz also grabbed 5 rebounds, while Eric Young handed out 5 assists.
Faith has another tough exhibition contest this coming Tuesday, November 20, when they will travel to NCAA III Grinnell College. Grinnell boasts one of their best teams in years, and plays a unique, high octane, pressure and three point shooting contest in which they score over 100 points nearly every time they play. Last time the Eagles faced Grinnell (2010), Grinnell set an NCAA record for most players scoring a three point basket in one game with 19 of the Pioneers knocking down a three. That game will tip at 7:00 PM. The Eagles will then be off for Thanksgiving weekend, and will return to the court the following Tuesday, November 27, when they will hit the road to take on conference foe Nebraska Christian College in Omaha, NE, also in a 7:00 PM contest.