Van Beek’s Strong Second Half Lifts Eagles to Victory on Opening Night

Tanner Van Beek scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Eagles to victory against Union College
Tanner Van Beek scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Eagles to victory against Union College

LINCOLN, Nebraska—Tanner Van Beek scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, lifting the Faith Eagles' offense to a nail-biting 65-59 win over Union College on the season's opening night.

After scoring just two points in the first half on 0-3 shooting, Van Beek put a young and inexperienced Eagles team on his back in the second half, scoring 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting and 4 of 5 from the free throw line. Van Beek's 13 rebounds were also a team-high.

The Eagles shot poorly as a team in the first half, making just 32% of their baskets, including 0-7 from three-point distance. Offense was difficult to come by for both teams as each went scoreless for the first two minutes and fifty-four seconds. Micah Stinson's two made free throws with 17:06 left in the first half gave the Eagles the first score of the game and Stinson's first career points as a Faith Eagle.

The game remained tight throughout the first twenty minutes. Faith's largest lead of the half came with 9:07 remaining after a pair of Jason Conable free throws gave the Eagles a seven-point lead at 18-11. Union College answered with an 11-2 run to take their first and only lead of the game with 3:44 remaining in the first half. A Kalab Sidlinger jumper gave the lead back to the Eagles with nine seconds remaining before halftime, sending Faith to the locker rooms with a 28-26 lead. Freshman Micah Stinson led the way with 9 first-half points for the Eagles.

The second half was dominated by Tanner Van Beek. A made jumper with 19:16 remaining got things started. He scored 11 of the first 17 points in the second half for Faith, stretching the Eagles' lead to 45-38.

A four-minute scoring drought for Faith brought Union College back to within three points before a Jason Conable basket ended the scoreless stretch for the Eagles. Following Conable's basket, Faith built their largest lead of the game at 51-42 with 6:44 remaining.

Another two-minute scoring drought for Faith allowed Union College to battle back within two with 4:29 to go, but it was Van Beek who carried the Eagles to the finish line, scoring nine of the last fourteen points for Faith as they pulled away for a six-point victory.

Faith shot 41.8% for the game (0-15 from three-point distance) and made 19 of 37 free throws (51.4%). The Eagles committed 32 turnovers, but dominated the glass, outrebounding Union College 56-31.

The Eagles (1-0) face a tough Providence (1-1) team at the Nettleton Center on Thursday night for Faith's home-opener at 8:00 p.m. following the women's game.