The Eagle's women's basketball team earned their first road victory of the season Monday night, pulling out an exciting 50-49 victory over Calvary University (Belton, MO). The win moves the Eagles to 3-1 on the year.
Faith started the game off strong, combining an active defensive strategy with an attacking offensive focus to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead. Faith continued to maintain that lead over the first quarter, leading 20-12 at the end of quarter one. Faith pushed the lead to 27-18 to close out the first half. Calvary came out much more aggressive to start the second and Faith struggled, turning the ball over on their first three possessions. Additionally, foul trouble and injuries began to cause problems for Faith and Calvary was able to cut the lead to six by the end of the third quarter. Due to injuries, after an early substitute in the third quarter, the Eagles would not sub again the rest of the game. Faith still led 38-31 with eight minutes to play in the game, but would go cold or turn the ball over on several consecutive possessions, and Calvary would take advantage. An 8-0 run by Calvary over the next three minutes would give Calvary their first lead of the game, 39-38 with five minutes to play. Calvary would push the lead to four, 46-42, with three minutes left, before the Eagles finally got their legs under them for a final run to end the game. Faith began applying full court pressure, forcing some Calvary turnovers. With Faith trailing 45-46, senior Shannon Steffen got a steal and scored a basket while being fouled to put Faith back up by one with one minute to play. Faith then forced a missed shot and grabbed the rebound. Calvary fouled and Faith converted one of two free throws to go up by two. On the ensuing Calvary possession, Faith forced another missed shot, but turned the ball over after grabbing the rebound and fouled Calvary. The host converted one of two free throws to pull back within one, then fouled Steffen, who made one of two free throws to put Faith up two. Steffen missed her second free throw and Faith grabbed the offensive rebound, forcing Calvary to foul again, however, Faith could not convert either free throw and still held just a two point lead. Faith was able to force a turnover but then turned the ball back over themselves and compounded the problem by fouling Calvary. Calvary made both free throws to tie the game at 49 apiece. Calvary pressured the Eagles on the ensuing play and ended up fouling Lyndi Shepard, giving her two free throws with four seconds remaining. Shepard made one of two to give Faith the lead, then forced a contested shot at the buzzer which Calvary missed, giving Faith the victory. "I'm proud of the way the ladies handled themselves in a tough environment. Calvary's gym is a hard one to play in, and the ladies did a great job of coming out and executing our game plan to start the game. Playing pretty much the entire second half with no subs showed a lot of heart. If we can take care of some very correctable areas in turnovers and rebounding I think we can be pretty competitive," mentioned coach Fincham.
Steffen led the Eagles with 14 points, while Bekah Smith added another double double with 11 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 blocks. Michaela Crider added 11 points and 5 steals. The Eagles are off for the Thanksgiving break, and will return to action on Tuesday, November 28, when they will host nationally ranked Emmaus Bible College at 4 PM.