ANKENY, Iowa—Coach Fincham predicted a hot shooting night for the Eagles. He was right.
The Eagles (2-0) scorched the nets for 96 points to win their home opener over Providence, 96-88. With the victory, the Eagles have already matched last year's win total, just two games into the season.
After a 0-15 shooting performance from three-point distance in the first game, Eagles coach Brian Fincham knew his team was due for a good night beyond the arc.
"I know we're a better outside shooting team than that," said Coach Fincham prior to Thursday's game.
He was right, as the Eagles connected on 7 of 15 three-pointers (46.7%), and were equally as hot from the rest of the floor, connecting on 51.3% of their attempts. Their 96 points were the most by a Faith team since January 30, 2016.
Five Eagles scored in double digits in a balanced offensive attack for Faith. Sam Pedersen led the way with 20 points, followed closely by Micah Stinson (19), Chase Clark (18), Kalab Sidlinger (14), and Tanner Van Beek (12). Nathan Meinders and Christian Brown rounded out the scoring for the Eagles with 7 points and 6 points respectively.
The Eagles fell behind early, digging themselves a nine-point deficit with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. Providence increased their lead to ten with 12:06 to go before the Eagles went on a 12-0 run that changed the momentum of the entire game. After a 27-27 tie, the Eagles never trailed the rest of the game. The Eagles poured in 52 points in the first half, led by Pedersen's 15, and took a 52-36 lead into the locker room. Faith shot a blistering 57.5% from the floor in the opening frame, including three of six from beyond the arc.
Faith built its largest lead of the game at 21 points with 18:33 to go in the second half and held off a mild Pilots comeback in the last five minutes. Providence cut the lead to ten with two minutes to play, but the Eagles made the defensive stops necessary down the stretch to finish off the 96-88 victory.
The Eagles dominated the boards against Providence, outrebounding the Pilots 48-24. If they can maintain their dominance on the interior and physicality on defense they've shown the first two games, and continue to shoot well from the outside, Coach Fincham's team will win a lot of games this year.
Faith returns to the hardwood tonight against Ozark Christian College (0-3) in the first game of the Faith Classic at 8:00 p.m.