Saints open conference play with convincing win over Eagles
In perhaps their best start to a game this season, the Saints jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the opening minutes and never trailed as Central Christian College of the Bible downed Faith Baptist Bible College, 85-65, in the Midwest Christian College Conference opener on Monday night at the Ferneau Center.
Central Christian (5-5, 1-0 MCCC) held the early 11-point lead with 15:46 remaining, but allowed Faith Baptist (3-5, 0-1 MCCC) to narrow the gap to four just five minutes later. The Saints responded again with an 8-0 run midway through the second, but poor shooting in the first half led to just a 41-34 advantage at intermission.
After going just 2-for-18 from behind the arc in the first half, Central Christian continued to fire from long range in the second half. Led by Trey Black and Caleif Gregg combining to go 9-for-16 from behind the arc in the game, the Saints hit eight of their 10 3-pointers in the second half.
The Eagles got as close as 44-40 with 18:24 left to play, but a 7-0 run put the Saints back in complete control. Faith Baptist got as close as six midway through the second half, but the Saints answered once again to push their lead back up to 23 by the 2:18 mark.
Black scored a game-high 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field and 5-for-9 from behind the arc. Gregg was an efficient 9-for-12 from the field and 4-for-7 from 3-point range to finish with 23 points.
Josh Crawford added 12 points and Kedron Rollings scored 10. The Saints recorded 15 steals and forced the Eagles into 29 turnovers.
Tanner Van Beek led Faith Baptist with 16 points and matched the team high with six rebounds.
The Saints are off for nearly three weeks until they resume play at Columbia College for an exhibition against the Cougars on Dec. 31 at 2 p.m.