The Eagle men ended their regional tournament run with a loss to defending region champion Trinity Bible College Friday night. The loss drops the Eagles to 11-17 on the year, with their final week of play coming next week at the ACCA National Tournament.
Trinity jumped on the Eagles early in the first half, running out to a quick 10-2 lead. Unlike earlier in the year when Faith fell by 50 at Trinity, the Eagles responded with a 12-0 run to take a 14-10 lead with twelve minutes to play in the half. Faith continued that run over the next eight minutes, building the lead to 11 at 27-16 with four minutes left in the half. The Eagles then increased that lead to 13 to end the half up 35-22. Faith held Trinity to 25% shooting flom the floor in the first half, while shooting 46% from the floor.
Faith held a nine point lead with six minutes gone in the second half, but then began to struggle offensively and defensively. Over the next three minutes, Trinity took advantage of two Eagles turnovers which led to layups, along with a 1/5 offensive effort from the Eagles to erase the Eagles lead and take a one point 45-44 lead. Faith quickly retook the lead and built it back to four over the next two minutes. The game was then back and forth, with Faith taking a three point lead on three freethrows by Tyler Betz with four and a half minutes to play. Trinity responded with a three on the other end to tie the game back up, then took the lead after Faith failed to convert on their next offensive possession. On the ensuing Eagles possession, a quick three by the Eagles was off and the long rebound led to a quick transition three by Trinity to take a five point lead. That eight point run by Trinity in the span of one minute proved enough for Trinity to hold on for the win, as the Eagles fell 69-74.
After holding Trinity to 25% in the first half, Faith could not finish the game defensively in the second half, as Trinity shot 57% and took 28 second half freethrows. Trinity made a total of 18 freethrows on the game, which was equal to the total number awarded Faith on the night. Faith again struggled to take care of the ball, turning it over 22 times to Trinity's nine. Faith made one more basket than Trinity, but Trinity's two more made three point shots and 36-18 advantage at the freethrow line proved to be the difference.
Tyler Betz led the Eagles with 30 points and 15 rebounds. Eric Young had a nice game for the Eagles, grabbing 10 rebounds, scoring seven points, and handing out six assists. Dillon Gingerich added 15 points, and Josh Whitlow scored 13.
Faith will close out their season with an invitation to the ACCA National Tournament hosted by Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO next week. The ACCA Tournament is an invitational national tournament for small Bible colleges throughout the nation. Games will begin Wednesday and continue through Saturday. Seeding, game times, and tournament schedule will be announced early next week.