2018-2019 Women's Basketball Wrap Up

2018-2019 Women's Basketball Wrap Up

The 2018-2019 women's basketball team completed their season with an overall record of 9-13. After a slow start, which found the Eagles at 2-6 at semester break, the team rebounded strongly in the second semester, going 7-7 and earning a third-place regular season finish in the Midwest Christian College Conference.

The Eagles returned six from last year's team. The roster included one freshman, seven sophomores, one junior, and one transfer senior. The Eagles' schedule included 11 games against teams that were in the NCCAA Top 10 at some point during the season, but they were up to the challenge. A big part of the Eagles ability to be competitive came in the form of consistency as the Eagles were able to maintain nearly the same starting lineup throughout the season.

After opening their season with a convincing road victory, the Eagles faltered, falling in six straight contests before finishing the first semester with their second win. Contributing to those losses was the level of competition during that stretch, as five of the six games were against NCCAA Top 10 or NCAA III opponents. The Eagles used the break to re-energize themselves, coming back ready to compete in the second semester. After winning the first three games of the second semester, including a win over a top ten team, the Eagles dropped a road contest before reeling off four more victories. That stretch meant the Eagles opened the second semester winning seven of their first eight and earned them a third-place regular season finish in the Midwest Christian College Conference. A depleted roster, which included only eight young ladies during the second semester, combined with injuries and illness began to take its toll on the team late in the season. Five of the Eagles' last seven games were against NCCAA Top 10 teams, but the team continued to persevere to the end.

Michaela Crider and Lyndi Shepard ended the year averaging double digits in scoring at 11.7 and 10.7 respectively. Bekah Smith averaged 7.4 rebounds per game to lead the team in that category. Shepard and Karina Fritz provided defensive balance for the team, with Shepard averaging 2.5 and Fritz averaging 2.3 steals per game. Bekah Smith ended the year with 48 blocks, anchoring a strong Eagles defense.

Crider's .448 shooting percentage was good enough for #12 in the NCCAA and Fritz's 2.9 assists per game was #22, which was also the top mark on the team in assists. Bekah Smith finished #4 in the nation in blocks per game, while Shepard and Fritz finished #12 and #20 respectively in steals in the NCCAA. As a team, defense was the key for the Eagles. Faith finished as the #8 defensive team in the nation in points allowed, #7 in defensive field goal percentage, and #9 in defensive three-point field goal percentage. Faith was #9 overall in offensive rebounding. The Eagles found themselves finishing sixth in the nation in blocked shots and steals while finishing 14th in assists.

Michaela Crider was an NCCAA North Region 3rd team selection and an MCCC 2nd team selection. Karina Fritz received recognition as an NCCAA North Region Honorable Mention selection and an MCCC Honorable Mention selection. Abby Zollinger and Loretta Gamboe were both NCCAA Scholar-Athlete recipients.

Head coach Brian Fincham had this to say about this year's team. "This team was fun--plain and simple. We faced a strong schedule and some challenges, especially late in the second semester. The ladies responded well, competing hard on the court while continuing to grow closer and challenge and support each other spiritually off the court. These last two years of competitive experience have set a strong foundation for our women's team to head back in the right direction, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for this special group of young ladies and Eagle's basketball!"