JOPLIN, Missouri—Ever since the start of the second semester, Faith freshman Karina Fritz has been a different player. With a full semester of college under her belt and the first half of the season out of the way, she's learning to slow down and let the game come to her. In three of the four games since the holiday break, she's set new career-highs in scoring, culminating in Saturday's 13-point effort in a win over Ozark Christian College.
Following a dismal night of shooting on Friday night against Calvary, the Eagles made 5 of 11 shots in the first quarter against Ozark Christian, jumping to a 14-2 advantage. The second quarter was not nearly as kind to Faith as they managed just one basket in eleven attempts, but still managed to take a 23-10 lead into halftime.
Ozark Christian responded in a big way in the second half, going on a 17-8 run in the third quarter, trimming the Eagles' lead to just two, 27-25, with 1:20 left in the quarter. A pair of free throws (one each by Fritz and Bekah Smith), along with a basket by Alicia Smith increased the lead to 31-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Eagles lost the lead for the first time in the game with 6:54 remaining, but a three-pointer by Fritz with 5:06 left gave the Eagles the lead back at 40-39. The game remained a one-point affair until Fritz stole the ball and made another key basket with 2:39 remaining, giving the Eagles a three point lead—a lead Faith would build on and take into the win column, 53-45. Fritz scored 8 of her 13 points with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.
With the win, the Eagles have won four of their last five, improving their record to 5-7 on the season. Faith looks to keep its winning ways going this weekend with a pair of games against Association Free Lutheran Bible School on Friday and Saturday. Friday's game is a designated "White Out" for Faith fans. Fans are encouraged to wear white Faith gear for the men's/women's double-header with the women's game beginning at 6:30 p.m.