Eagles Split in Conference Play Weekend

Lyndi Shepard, Team MVP
Lyndi Shepard, Team MVP

After a month long hiatus since their last competition, the Lady Eagles hosted Calvary University (Kansas City, MO) in their first game of the semester, the start of a long string of MCCC conference matchups. After defeating Calvary earlier in the season, Faith looked to improve to a 2-0 record against the Warriors. The Eagles played evenly with Calvary for three of the four quarters; but a rough second quarter would prove to be the difference maker in the game, allowing Calvary to take the 65-54 win over Faith.

The Eagles only trailed Calvary by one, 10-11, at the end of the first quarter. Opening up the second, they would grab a hold of the lead 15-13, before Calvary took advantage of Faith's 1-6 shooting and 6 turnovers, to go on a 14-4 run. The Lady Eagles found themselves trailing 21-31 at halftime. Every effort the Eagles made in the second half to try to climb their way back, Calvary had an answer for it. With just under four minutes left, Faith put together a 14-0 run to pull to within seven. Faith began to foul to try to get back possession of the ball, but despite the Warriors 4-10 shooting at the free throw line in the last minute, the Eagles couldn't convert on their offensive end. Calvary would pull out the 65-54 victory and even the matchup record between the two teams. 

Lyndi Shepard led the offensive charge for the Eagles, scoring 27 points, all coming from behind the three-point arc with the exception of three free throws. Shannon Steffen contributed 15 points and 5 assists. Bekah Smith provided a solid defensive presence inside, ending with 5 blocks for Faith. The Eagles would then turn around and play MCCC opponent Ozark Christian College (Joplin, MO) on Saturday afternoon. 

In their matchup with Ozark, Faith struggled in the beginning, having difficulty breaking through the Ambassador's full-court press. As a result, the Eagles fell behind in the first half and trailed Ozark 28-21 at halftime; but the Eagles had a spark in the third quarter, as they capitalized on the Ambassadors 2-16 shooting and outscored them 20-8. Faith extended their lead in the final quarter to earn a 59-47 win.

Faith was led in scoring yet again by Lyndi Shepard with her 22 points. Both Bekah Smith and Shannon Steffen ended with double-doubles, each finishing with 14 points and 10 and 17 rebounds respectively. Bekah Smith also added another 5 blocks, and Michaela Crider brought down 13 rebounds of her own.

The Lady Eagles will hit the road on Tuesday, January 16, in a non-conference game against Union College (Lincoln, NE).