The TFC men’s basketball team hosted three home games during the week of December 2 – 8. Warren Wilson College came to town on December 3, followed by weekend games against Bob Jones University and Trinity Baptist College. The Eagles dropped the three match-ups ; first falling to Warren Wilson College 77-67 then 80-71 and 92-79 to Bob Jones and Trinity Baptist, respectively.
The Warren Wilson contest was the Eagles’ first home game of the season, but the visiting Owls played the role of spoilers on the occasion.
TFC held a 27-24 halftime advantage as the Eagles shot 42% in the first half and played aggressive defense to hold the visitors to just 9-28 shooting, including 2-14 from behind the arc.
After the restart, WWC increased its shooting to 8-12 from three point range and 52% overall from the floor. The Eagles hit a respectable 42% in the second half, but TFC was unable to keep pace with the sharp shooting Owls. In the end, WWC used its shooting streak to down the Eagles 77-67.
Josh Barrett led the Eagles with a game high 20 points. Jon Sauls shot 4-9 from three point range and scored 16 points. Derek Westfall scored 11 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, and Devian Clark added 10 points.
On December 6, Bob Jones University made the short trip down I-85 from Greenville for the return trip of the home and home season series. When the sides squared off on November 5, TFC fell at Bob Jones, 88-73.
In the most recent edition of the developing rivalry, Bob Jones topped the Eagles for the second time this season, 80-71. From the opening tip, TFC looked to assert its home court advantage and quickly jumped to a 6-0 lead, but the Bruins responded with a run of their own to retake an 8-6 lead with 15 minute left in the opening half. The Bruins built a double digit lead over the Eagles in the waning minutes of the first half, but TFC ended the half with an offensive rally to close the Bruins halftime advantage to 41-31.
When the teams reappeared from the locker rooms, TFC’s momentum carried over in the new half as the Eagles further closed the deficit. TFC’s Jon Sauls converted a layup with 13:35 remaining to close the margin to 50-44. Freshman Nate Palmer buried a three from the corner for a 61-57 BJU lead. The four point margin would be as close as the Eagles would get. The Bruins’ Zach Mercado restored a seven point lead with a deep three pointer after the Bruins drained the shot clock all the way down. BJU iced the game from the free throw line and escaped with an 80-71 victory.
Josh Barrett finished the contest with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals. Derek Westfall dropped 12 points, and Sauls and Folwell each added 10.
After the previous day’s contest with BJU, the Eagles were forced to turn around and host region foes Trinity Baptist College on the afternoon of December 7.
In the opening minutes of the opening half, the Eagles showed no signs of a hangover following the hard fought contest the night before. The Eagles built a 28-20 lead in the first half, but the deep and talented squad from TBC fought back to take a 45-42 lead to the locker rooms.
After shooting 56% from the floor in the opening half, the Eagles slumped to just 31% in the second. While the home Eagles struggled to find their mark, the visiting Eagles improved their second half shooting from 53% to 61%. TBC pulled away for a 92-79 victory over TFC.
Jon Sauls led the Eagles with a career high 28 points on 7-15 shooting from three point range. Josh Barrett capped the week with another impressive performance. Barrett finished with 20 points, 9 assists, and 7 steals. Josh Folwell added 12 points in the defeat.
The Eagles will host Piedmont International University on Friday, December 13 at 5:00 PM in the final contest of the first semester.
The TFC Lady Eagles also hosted Warren Wilson College, Bob Jones University, and Trinity Baptist College during the week of December 2-8. TFC defeated Trinity Baptist College 65-61 but fell to Warren Wilson (57-48) and Bob Jones (61-46).
On December 3, TFC hosted Warren Wilson College from Asheville, North Carolina. Against the visiting Lady Owls, TFC propelled itself to a 27-22 halftime lead as the Lady Eagles shot 40% from the floor in the opening period. Conversely, WWC shot 9-31 from the floor in the first half.
In the second half, WWC erased TFC’s lead and improved its shooting to 40% from the floor. While the visitors found their stroke, TFC was unable to keep its hot shooting hand and slumped to just 26% shooting in the second half.
Jeanelle Arnold and Rachel Morris led TFC with 9 points apiece. Kim Crapse contributed 8 points and 9 rebounds, and Beth Brown and Cassidy Lang each added 7 points. Brown led TFC with 10 rebounds.
The Bob Jones Lady Bruins came to campus on December 6 looking for their second victory over TFC this season. The Lady Eagles opened their 2013-2014 campaign at Bob Jones but fell 76-47. On Friday, TFC showed improvement in its game, but again fell to BJU, 61-46.
TFC trailed 27-23 at the half despite being outshot 53% to 36%. In the second half, the rimmed appeared even tighter for the Lady Eagles as their shooting percentage fell to 29%. BJU’s Kim Spiecker drained a three pointer with 15:55 minutes remaining to cap an 8-0 run to open the new period. With BJU leading 35-23, the Lady Eagles struggled to run their offense, and BJU increased its lead courtesy of a 15-2 run with less than 10 minutes remaining. With 5:55 left, Cassidy Lang and Jeanelle Arnold combined for 5 quick points to bring BJU’s lead to 52-41, but the Lady Bruins would hold on for a 61-46 win.
Rachel Morris led TFC with 11 points, and Cassidy Lang added 10 in the loss.
The defending region champions from Trinity Baptist College squared off with TFC on December 7. The Lady Eagles upset Trinity Baptist 65-61 and announced its contention for the banner in the new season.
TFC built a double-digit lead in the first half in part by shooting 54% from the floor while holding the visitors to 9-36 shooting. The first half ended with TFC holding a 34-25 lead.
The Lady Eagles built on that lead in the second half and increased its lead to as many as 15 points midway through the period. Trinity scrapped its way back into the game and forced consecutive turnovers that led to transition lay ups for TBC. In the final minutes of the game, the Lady Eagles held a double-digit lead but it the lead was reduced to four points with less than a minute to play. In the end, TFC escaped the pesky Lady Eagles of Trinity, 65-61.
Katie Calloway led TFC with 18 points on 8-10 shooting. Calloway also grabbed 11 rebounds in the win to record a double-double. Jeanelle Arnold finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds, and Kim Crapse grabbed 10 boards and scored 7 points.
With the win, the Lady Eagles stand at 3-6 overall and 2-1 in conference. With 15 games remaining on the schedule, TFC has already topped its season win total from the previous campaign.
The Lady Eagles will host Piedmont College on December 12 at 6:00 PM in the final game of the semester.