ANKENY, Iowa—The Faith Eagles women's basketball team opened their 2019-20 regular season on Saturday with a 61-56 loss to Free Lutheran Bible College.
The Eagles turned the ball over 29 times and shot just 30.9% in 40 minutes of action. They were 17-55 from the floor, including 0-5 from three-point distance. Faith was missing two key players (Lyndi Shepard and Aubree Smith) who are preparing for the national semifinals in soccer.
Faith was led in scoring by Alicia Smith, who finished with 15 points. Michaela Crider was the only other Eagle in double digits with 11. Crider recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds. Five of the eight players that saw significant minutes were freshmen.
Despite the five-point loss, the Eagles' defense held Free Lutheran to just 25% shooting and forced 20 turnovers of their own. Second-chance points were the biggest difference in the ball game, with Free Lutheran outscoring Faith 21-8 in that category.
After scoring just 30 points in the first three quarters, the Eagles erupted for 26 fourth-quarter points, and actually gained their largest lead of five points with 5:25 remaining. Free Lutheran rallied to take the lead until Faith tied the game at 51 apiece with 2:50 remaining. Free Lutheran built the lead back to six, and then held off several rallies by the Eagles to hand Faith the loss.
The Eagles return to action on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. with a game in Lincoln, Nebraska, against Union College.