Clutch Baskets Carry Eagles to Win over Ecclesia

Clutch Baskets Carry Eagles to Win over Ecclesia

ANKENY, Iowa—The Faith Eagles women's basketball team held off several Ecclesia rallies Friday with some timely baskets to win the third of their last five games, 74-59.

Ecclesia held its only lead of the game late in the first quarter at 10-7 before Faith rallied for a 12-0 run at the start of the second quarter to gain control of the game. Faith led by nine points at halftime and eight at the end of the third quarter.

Faith's lead shrank to as little as three in the fourth quarter, but each time Ecclesia made a run, the Eagles hit clutch baskets to squash the rallies. The first one came at the 8:31 mark in the fourth quarter after Ecclesia had cut the lead to six. Lyndi Shepard answered with a three-pointer to stretch the lead back to nine. The Royals rallied again to cut the lead to four with 6:57 to play when Rachel Kleczka made a big basket to end that rally effort.  Ecclesia rallied two more times, cutting the lead to as little as three points for the Eagles before Lyndi Shepard made her second and third three-pointers of the quarter to fend off the pesky Royals.

The Eagles shot well from the free-throw line, connecting on 17-of-23 attempts. Alicia Smith and Michaela Crider were both clutch from the foul line late in the game to preserve Faith's victory.

Michaela Crider led a balanced scoring attack for Faith with 20 points. Rachel Kleczka and Alicia Smith each finished with double-doubles. Kleczka had 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Smith had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Lyndi Shepard's three three-pointers were a big part of her total of 15 points, while Makenna Laib and Aubree Smith rounded out the scoring with six points and four points, respectively.

Faith returns to action on Monday, February 3, as they travel to Maranatha Baptist University for an 8:00 p.m. tip. The Sabercats are 9-2.

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