The Eagle men fell in the ACCA National Championship Saturday night to defending champion Arlington Baptist College. The Patriots won by a final of 118-102 over the Eagles. Faith finishes out their season at 24-7 overall as well as the 2015 ACCA National Tournament Runner Up.
For the first fourteen minutes of the game, the two teams traded blows, swapping the lead 18 times during that stretch. Faith trailed by one, 35-36, with six minutes to play in the first half. However, in the next minute, Arlington's high powered offense would reel off 3 three point baskets with a field goal sandwiched in between to put an 11-2 run together, suddenly leading by 10 with five left in the half. Faith couldn't cut into that lead before the half, and went into the break down 10 as Josh Bray dunked the ball home just before the horn sounded. The score stood at 45-55 at the break.
Faith stayed within 10 for the first few minutes of the second half, before another quick run by the Patriots pushed their lead to 16. Faith struggled to keep up with Arlington's pace, as the gap widened for the next 10 minutes. A late run by the Eagles after the game was decided pushed Faith over the century mark and pulled them within the final 16 point margin as Arlington earned the victory and the national title.
The game was played at a blistering pace, as Arlington put up 106 field goal attempts while the Eagles took 87 of their own shots. The 19 attempt advantage by the Patriots proved the difference in the game, as Faith actually shot a better percentage than Arlington from the floor and from behind the arc. Twenty turnovers by the Eagles resulted in a 16 point advantage in points off turnovers for the Patriots. Faith matched Arlington on the boards despite a significant size disadvantage.
Five men finished in double digits for the Eagles. Aaron Leistikow finished with 24 points and 7 assists. Cody Chaffin finished with 23 and 8 assists. Josh Bray had a double double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Willie Felderman and John Acree played well off the bench for Faith, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively.
The Eagles finish the season as the school record holder for consecutive wins (12) and wins in a season (24). The team will be honored at the annual Winter Sports Award's Fellowship on Monday, March 23, 2015, at 7:00 PM in the Nettleton Center classrooms. The public is invited to attend and help the Athletic Department in recognizing both the men's and women's teams for their accomplishments during their seasons.