ANKENY, Iowa—It was a game of "almosts" for the Eagles men's basketball team. Faith almost started the season 3-0. They almost knocked off a team that has given them fits the last few years—the Kansas Christian College Falcons—who defeated Faith, 80-77, in a game that went down to the wire and was close the entire way.
The Eagles jumped to an early 7-2 lead before Kansas Christian went on a 19-5 run for its biggest lead of the game with 13 minutes to play in the first half. Faith came back to tie the game at 33 each with just over three minutes to play in the half and trailed by just one at halftime.
Faith came out of the gates strong to start the second half, building a seven-point lead with 13:41 to play after a Nathan Keck dunk. A four-minute scoring drought hurt the Eagles as Kansas Christian used a 14-0 run to build their lead back to seven with under 10 minutes to play.
The game was tied at 67 each with 5:59 to play, and Kansas Christian held a two-point lead with 1:09 to play, before free throws decided the game down the stretch for the Falcons.
Coach Fincham's team showed great growth from last year, even in the loss. Last season, Kansas Christian defeated Faith by scores of 119-61 and 104-68. Faith outshot the Falcons (50.9% to 42.4%) and outrebounded them 41-26. Turnovers were a huge difference in the game as Kansas Christian scored 34 points off of 27 Faith turnovers.
Nathan Keck had another great game for the Eagles with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Tanner Van Beek added 18 points and 4 rebounds, Kalab Sidlinger added a season-high 17 points, and Jayce Goergen added 11 to lead the Eagles' scoring attack.
The Eagles return to action Friday night against Providence University at 8:00 p.m. in Ankeny. The Pilots are 1-3.