The Faith Eagles are in Joplin, MO this week at the ACCA National Tournament for their final games of the 2016-2017 season. Wednesday night they took on their first opponent in Champion Baptist College (Hot Springs, AR). After taking a commanding lead over the Tigers, Faith allowed Champion to climb their way back into the game in the second half but got stops down the stretch and came out with an 83-72 win.
Even though Faith held a comfortable lead over Champion, the tempo of the game got off to a slow start, as the score read just 15-2 after eight minutes of play; however, the rest of the game wouldn't follow suit. Both the speed of the game and the offense of both teams picked up moving forward. The Eagles maintained their double-digit lead over the Tigers until the last two minutes, when Champion ended the half on a 7-0 run to cut the halftime score to 29-26.
Champion carried their energy from the late minutes of the first half over into the start of the second. The Tigers put together another run, this time an 11-0 run, to give them their first lead and put them ahead 40-36; but their lead wouldn't last long. Champion struggled to stay in front after Faith applied full-court pressure, and Faith capitalized on missed shots and turnovers to reclaim the lead and build it up to 74-62 with just over four minutes to go. The Tigers made one last attempt to catch the Eagles with their 10-2 run, but Faith held them off and secured the 83-72 victory.
Jason Scheps was the top scorer for Faith with 26 points. Teammate Jon Luke Talton followed closely behind with 24 points, and Ryan Kupferschmid ended with 22 points. The three combined to score 72 of the Eagles' 83 points. Jon Luke Talton also contributed 15 defensive rebounds for Faith, while Willie Felderman brought in 11 total rebounds.
The Eagles return to the court Thursday, March 2, as they play Trinity Bible College at 6:15 PM.