ANKENY, Iowa—Charity was the theme of the night for the Faith men's and women's basketball teams as the school honored the donors of the wood for the new gym floor (look for an in-depth article about that on faith.edu on Monday). There was free pop, free popcorn, and free admission, but the tenth-ranked Eagles struggled to cash in on the one free thing that might have won them the game: free throws.
Faith was just 12-of-26 from the free-throw line, while Calvary connected on a blazing 19-of-21 at their end. It was essentially the difference in an otherwise evenly-played game that Calvary won, 83-78.
There were eight ties and 16 lead changes, with Faith commanding the largest lead of the game for either team (nine) with 10:35 to play in the second half. Calvary capitalized on a 13-2 run over the next two and a half minutes to regain the lead at 63-61. The game went back and forth until the 4:13 mark when Faith held its last lead of the game at 70-69. The Eagles had one last chance to tie the game with nine seconds remaining, but a Nathan Keck three-pointer was just off the mark and Calvary sealed the victory at the free-throw line in the final seconds.
Keck led the way for the Eagles with 25 points. Kalab Sidlinger added 22, and Chase Clark had 10 to round out the double-digit scoring for Faith. In addition to the poor free-throw percentage, three-point shooting was a problem for the Eagles, who connected on just 4-of-23 attempts (17.4 percent).
Prior to the game, Faith recognized the Baltzleys of Ron Baltzley Hardwoods, Inc., and the Hoffmans of Shade Mountain Forest Products for the donation of the wood for the new gym floor. A video with current and former players described the difference the new floor has made on their knees and backs and detailed the process of the remodel from start to finish. Faith Athletic Director Brian Fincham also thanked Ankeny Christian Academy for use of their gymnasium while Faith's facilities were undergoing renovation.