Despite beginning the season on a 12 game losing streak, the Lady Eagles have remained a cohesive unit, have continued to buy into the system, and have kept their faith in each other. The Lady Eagles perseverance paid off on January 19 in claiming their first win of the season against the Lady Bruins of Piedmont International University, 52 – 49.
The Lady Eagles jumped to an early first half lead that they would not relinquish for the half. Behind 42% shooting, the Lady Eagles built a 30 – 21 lead at the half. The Lady Bruins clawed back into the game, and took a 38 – 41 lead with less than ten minutes remaining in the game. Shortly after the Lady Bruins captured the lead, TFC’s Olivia Edmunson tied the game at 41 – 41 with a three point play. In the waning minutes, the Lady Eagles retook the lead, and sealed the win with clutch free throw shooting. In the second half, the Lady Eagles shot 11 – 15 from the line.
TFC’s Maddy Moody scored 10 points and recorded a team high 10 rebounds. Kim Crapse led the Lady Eagles with 13 points, and Courtney Bechtold and Rachel Morris each added 8 points in the win.
The Lady Eagles also hosted Pensacola Christian College this week. The TFC Lady Eagles succumbed to the full court pressure of the PCC Lady Eagles, and were defeated 44 – 77 . Cassidy Lang and Kim Crapse each contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds apiece. TFC’s Maddy Moody scored 7 points and grabbed 8 rebounds for the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Eagles will host Wesleyan College on Thursday, January 24 in search for their second consecutive victory. Tip off will be at 6:00.
The men’s basketball team also welcomed Piedmont International University to campus on Saturday for a NCCAA non-region game. The Eagles played excellent team defense but struggled from the floor, and fell 53 – 59.
The two evenly matched teams traded field goals throughout the opening minutes of the game. Despite the Eagles shooting only 1-10 from three point range, they remained within four points of PIU in the first half. PIU’s 28 – 24 halftime lead was the Eagles largest deficit of the half. The Eagles continued to struggle from the floor early in the second half and quickly found themselves in a double digit hole. The inside presence of TFC’s Derek Westfall and Billy Aristide closed the gap to three points with less than five minutes remaining. The deficit would remain at three points within the final minutes of the game until PIU sealed the victory from the free throw line. The Bruins, led by Tony Hsu’s 4-4 free throw shooting, shot 10-12 from the line in the second half to seal the Eagles fate. Coach Mehl was pleased with his team’s defensive effort, but laminated the Eagles 33% shooting performance, “Donavan Smith, Josh Johnson, and Carlos Hamlett did a great job of guarding their top two scorers. But we are a much better shooting team than we showed.”
Josh Barrett led the Eagles in scoring with 15 points, and Westfall added 14. Aristide grabbed 15 rebounds to go with his 8 points. The Eagles will host Georgia Northwestern Tech on Tuesday at 7:00 before heading to Florida to face Trinity College of Florida and Florida Christian College on January 25 and 26, respectively.