The Faith men dropped a disapointing second game in a row on Saturday, falling to St. Louis Christian College 61-62. The loss drops Faith to 8-12 overall and to 3-5 in the conference. With two games left in conference play, the Eagles are in a log jamb in the middle of the conference. Faith could end up anywhere between a four and seven seed in next weekend's conference tournament.
Faith began the game with St. Louis in much the same way as they had the night before with Central Christian. Unlike the first time the teams met in which Faith was defensively strong and offensively efficient, the second meeting started with St. Louis controlling the tip and getting two offensive rebounds on their first possession to take a 2-0 lead. The game was back and forth for the rest of the half, with Faith able to grab a 23-15 lead with six left in the half, only to see St. Louis close the half with a 12-5 run to pull within one, 28-27.
Faith opened the second half with a 12-5 run to retake a nine point lead at 41-32 with 15 left in the game. However, Faith then went 1/12 from the floor over the next four minutes, while the Eagles defense failed to control the St. Louis offense, and the Soldiers were right back in it with a 16-4 run and a 48-45 lead. Faith managed to tie it back up at 52 apiece with four minutes to play. St. Louis made two free throws on their ensuing possession while Faith missed a three on the other end. St. Louis extended the lead to four, then both teams traded baskets over their next two possessions, with St. Louis holding a four point lead with two minutes to play. Faith finally got a stop and then made a basket in the paint to pull within two. Another stop gave Faith the opportunity to tie the game, but instead, a poor offensive decision led to a missed three with a minute to play. Faith still had a chance but instead committed a foul which St. Louis converted into two more free throws for the four point lead. Faith was fouled on their ensuing possession and made one of two free throws, now trailing by three with 17 seconds to play. Faith immediatley fouled and received another opportunity to tie the game when St. Louis missed the front end of the one and one. Unfortunately, Faith again took a tough shot, taking a heavily contested three which was not close, but was put back in with 1.7 seconds to play. Now trailing by one, Faith called a timeout and tried to commit a foul, but no foul was called and the clock ran out with Faith falling 61-62. "The bottom line is in both games (Friday and Saturday) we had long stretches of very poor decision making on the offensive end. We aren't shooting well from outside yet continue to force up shots. We aren't being patient and working together to get high percentage shots. Tonight is a perfect example of why that's so important," noted coach Fincham.
Faith actually made two more baskets than St. Louis and one more free throw. However, Faith's struggles from behind the arc and scoring in general, along with an inability to string together defensive stops were key in the loss. St. Louis scored six more points from behind the arc than the Eagles did. Faith shot 39% on the night including 12% from behind the arc, while St. Louis shot 42% including 44% from behind the arc. Faith missed 10 freethrows as well.
The Eagles will step out of conference play for a tough game with NAIA Grand View University on Monday night. Grand View defeated Faith 100-51 during the first semester. The game will tip at 7:30 PM.