By Loretta Gamboe, Staff Writer
ANKENY, Iowa—The Faith Eagles completed their first weekend of games in the new year with a 68-84 loss to Manhattan Christian College. Despite four of their players scoring in double digits, the Eagles could not keep up with the Thunder, who forced 28 turnovers and shot 46.2% from the 3-point line.
The Eagles found themselves in an early deficit when the Thunder made four baskets, including two 3-pointers, in the first two minutes of play. The Thunder continued to strike from the 3-point line to extend their lead to 12 points with sixteen minutes left in the first half. The Eagles trimmed the Thunder's lead to 4 points with just over 8 minutes left, led by Tanner Van Beek, who had seven points in four minutes, and Chase Clark, who grabbed 10 rebounds in the first half alone.
A made jump shot from Jason Conable tied the game at 28 a few minutes later, and the Eagles took the lead 31-30 with just over a minute left in the half. The Thunder responded with two 3s and a jumper to pull ahead and claim a 38-36 lead entering the second half.
The second half proved to be just as intense as the first half as both teams came out fighting. The Eagles put up five points in the first two minutes, but the Thunder went four for four, including two 3-pointers, putting the Eagles in a 41-48 deficit. Faith did not score again for another three minutes until an and-one play from Cole Glanzer brought the score to 44-55. A 3-pointer from Daniel Guess a minute later trimmed the Thunders' lead down to single digits.
The Eagles brought the score to 51-57 with eleven minutes left to play, the closest they came to taking back the lead in the second half. The Thunder outscored them 10-4 in the next three minutes to solidify their lead, a pattern that continued for the rest of the game. Though they shot 54.2% from the field in the second half, the Eagles could not keep up with the Thunder's outside shooting, and they lost the game 68-84.
The Eagles shot and passed well on Saturday afternoon, assisting on 14 of 26 shots. Micah Stinson led the Eagles in scoring with 15 points and made 5 of his 6 free throws. Chase Clark had his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Tanner Van Beek and Kalab Sidlinger also contributed 11 points each. Jason Conable rounded out the stats with 7 points and 6 rebounds.
The Eagles will return to action at home on Tuesday, January 5, starting at 6 p.m. They will play Union College for the second time this season after defeating them 65-59 in November.