The Lady Eagles traveled to Greenville, South Carolina, on January 12 to face Bob Jones University in their first game after the semester break. A string of first half turnovers limited the Lady Eagles, and they were downed 68 – 41.
TFC’s Kim Crapse and Cassidy Lang each connected from three point range on the Eagles first two field goal attempts of the day, and a pair of free throws from Courtney Bechtold gave the Eagles an 8 – 7 lead with nearly five minutes played. Following Bechtold’s free throws, the Lady Eagles would go over 9 minutes of game time without adding points to the scoreboard. In that span the Lady Bruins forced TFC into fifteen turnovers, and used the defensive pressure to create fast break layups. Once TFC’s Rachel Morris hit from three with 4:25 left in the first half too much damage had been done, and the Lady Eagles trailed 28 – 11. The Lady Eagles shot 40 percent from behind the three point arc in the first half, but 22 turnovers lead to 26 points off turnovers for the Lady Bruins. The Lady Bruins used those points to extend their halftime lead to 32 – 14.
In the second half, the Lady Eagles focused on valuing possession of the ball, and being more patient in their shot selection. The Lady Eagles nearly doubled their field goal attempts in the second half, and limited themselves to an improved 16 turnovers. The Lady Eagles shot 42 percent from the floor in the second half, but were unable to overcome the first half deficit and fell 68 – 41.
Senior Angela Little led TFC in scoring with 10 points. Guards Rachel Morris and Cassidy Lang each added 8, and Kim Crapse had 7 points.
The Lady Eagles will host Pensacola Christian College on Thursday, January 17 and Piedmont International College on Saturday, January 19. The games will tip off at 5:00 and 1:00, respectively.
TFC’s men’s team also traveled to Bob Jones University on January 12. The Eagles could not hold a second half lead, and fell 61 – 53.
Bob Jones used defensive pressure and precise ball movement to jump to an early 11 – 3 lead over TFC. However, TFC’s Derek Westfall sank a pair of free throws with 11 minutes left in the opening period to cap an 8 – 2 scoring run by TFC, and bring the Eagles within 13 – 11. The teams would trade baskets until Bob Jones used a jumper as the first half expired to increased their lead to 26 – 19.
Back to back lay ups for TFC’s Billy Aristide started the second half and immediately closed BJU’s lead to three points. Josh Johnson’s jumper tied the game at 28 – 28 with 16:08 remaining, and Donavon Smith hit back to back three’s to give the Eagles their first lead of the game at 38 – 36. Following Smith’s baskets, the Eagles struggled from the floor and fell behind by as many as 10 points late in the second half. The Eagles were forced to send the Bruins to the free throw line in attempts to lengthen the game, but the Bruins hit the late free throws to seal the Eagles fate, 61 – 53.
Coach Jason Mehl said of his team’s defeat, “The story of our season is that we haven’t been putting together complete games. Against Bob Jones we played solid defense, but couldn’t execute offensively. We turned it over 20 times, many of those were unforced. And we missed half of our free throws. We’re young, but we should be further in our development than we are. It’s my job to turn that around.”
Leading the Eagles in scoring were John Sauls and Carlos Hamlett with 9 points each. Donavan Smith added 8 points and 8 rebounds, but his hustle on the defensive end was just as crucial for the Eagles. Derek Westfall contributed 7 for the Eagles. The Eagles will travel to Montreat College on Jan. 15 and Piedmont International University on Jan. 17 before hosting Piedmont International on January 19 at 3:00