Faith's men's basketball team returned to action this past weekend, opening their extended stretch of conference play. Their first of back-to-back games was against Calvary University (Kansas City, MO). The score was tied 7-7 about midway through the first half, but Calvary broke out on a 16-1 run to earn a comfortable lead. The Warriors led 35-16 at the half. Faith shot just 3-20 in the opening 20 minutes, with 10 of their 16 points of the half coming from the free throw line. The Eagles' 18 first half turnovers also hurt them and their chances to stay in contention. The Warriors built on their lead in the second half and came away with a 70-41 win.
Joey Young was the high point man for the Eagles with his 17 points. Jason Conable and Tanner Van Beek finished with 11 and 13 rebounds respectively, while Tanner ended just one point shy of a double-double.
On Saturday, the Eagles were back on the court against Ozark Christian College (Joplin, MO). Faith showed much improvement overall as a team, even from their play the night before. Ozark quickly got out to an 11-4 lead, but the Eagles responded, scoring 9 unanswered points to take control of the lead. With six minutes remaining in the half, Faith sparked a 13-3 run to put them ahead, where they would stay until the halftime break.
Coming out of the half with a 36-35 lead, Faith continued to compete to remain out in front. Although the Ambassadors would regain control of the lead at times, the Eagles were right there to take it back. With five minutes to go, the score was tied 71-71. Back-to-back baskets by Ozark gave them their largest lead of the half. The Eagles pulled to within 4 with two minutes left, but Ozark's late conversions at the free throw line sealed the 89-83 win for them.
While the Eagles shot just 5-12 at the free throw line, the Ambassadors had nearly one third of their offense from the stripe, shooting 26-30 for the game. Faith had three of its starters finish in double figures. Joey Young led the Eagles for the second straight game with 22 points. Sam Pedersen brought in 18 points, while dishing out 7 assists. Tanner Van Beek added another double-double to his season, with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Faith will travel to Lincoln, NE on Tuesday, January 16, for their second matchup of the season with Union College.