Men's Basketball Season Review

Men's Basketball Season Review

After a rough beginning semester in which the Eagles struggled to a 2-10 start, a young Eagle's men's basketball team turned things around in the second semester, going 11-8 to finish the season with a 13-18 overall record. Led by All American Tyler Betz, the Eagles saw several records broken, put together a perfect January of play, and finished 9th in the nation in their first trip to the Association of Christian College Athletics (ACCA) National Tournament. 

The first semester saw a very young squad open with a strong schedule. During November, four of the Eagles first six games were against national tournament or defending regional championship teams. Sprinkled in amongst those games were four exhibition contests. The Eagles opened December with their first win , but dropped their next four, three of which were against national qualifying teams. Faith went into the break with a close road victory over Association Free Lutheran Bible School to set the stage for January. 

The Eagles gained two new players at semester and came roaring out of the gates, winning all six games to pull within two games of five hundred during the run. That run included a record setting performance by senior Tyler Betz, when he scored 52 points in one game to set a new school record. Betz also set school records for most field goals made in one game (22) and most free throws made in one game (20) during January's run.

A youthful step back caught the Eagles to begin February, as they dropped two conference games against opponents they had defeated in January. Two more tough losses to strong opponents followed, before the Eagles righted the ship in their last regular season game of the year, an exciting two point win over Central Region champion Grace University. The Eagles entered the Midwest Christian College Conference Tournament two days later as the #5 seed. After a sluggish start in their opening round game, the men battled all the way back to tie the game up, only to see Central Christian College of the Bible hit a running jumper with five seconds left to retake the lead. The Eagles got a good look at the basket as time expired, but came up short, sending them to the consolation bracket. Faith responded the next day with solid win, but suffered their worst shooting peformance of the season in Saturday's game to finish sixth in the tournament.

The next weekend Faith travelled to the NCCAA II North Central Regional tournament, where they entered as the #3 seed and faced off against Trinity Bible College. Trinity had beaten the Eagles by 50 points during the first semester. An inspired Eagles team took a 13 point lead into halftime, having held Trinity to 22 first half points. Unfortunately, a 52 point second half effort by Trinity overcame the Eagles lead as they fell by five.

Faith finished their season with an invitation to the ACCA national tournament. The Eagles received the 11th seed and faced Barclay College in the first round. Faith spotted Barclay a 15-0 lead to start the game and could never recover, losing by 19. In their next game, the Eagles faced familiar opponent AFLBS. Faith won a tight one by seven, sending the Eagles to the consolation championship against Calvary Bible College. In their final game of the season, the Eagles played perhaps one of their best games, shooting their best percentage en route to a 30 point win an a 9th place finish.

Tyler Betz set several records for the Eagles during the year. In addition to most points in one game, most field goals, and most free throws made, he also tied the record for most rebounds in a game (30), set the record for most rebounds in a season (386), most points in a season (901), highest scoring average for a season (29.1), highest scoring average in a career (21.6), and came within 98 points of breaking the all time scoring mark.

Betz was an MCCC First Team selection and an NCCAA II First Team All Region selection. He was also selected as the NCCAA II National Player of the Week during the season. Betz will also be receiving the Scholar Athlete award for juniors and seniors who maintain a gpa of 3.4 or higher. Dillon Gingerich was selected to the NCCAA II All Region Second Team. Gingerich was the second leading scorer for the Eagles, averaging 12.6 points per game.