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Wichita, KS - On Saturday the men's basketball team took on conference opponent McPherson College. The Falcons started off slow but within a few minutes they found their stride by knocking down shots and getting a few defensive stops. At one point in the first half, the Falcons were winning by 15 points against the Bulldogs, with a score of 27 to 12. Although the Falcons only shot 34.1% from the field they forced the Bulldogs to have 11 turnovers.
McPherson took a timeout to regroup and then begin to battle back. Freshman guard Samson Shivers was the catalyst to this come back. Shivers was for 4 for 8 from the field, 3 for 7 from the three point arc, and lead all scorers with 11 points at the end of the first half. The Falcons were able to hold onto their lead and go into halftime leading 36 to 32 over McPherson. Senior Chris Jackson and junior Drew Jones led the way for the Falcons with nine points apiece.
Friends started the second half setting the tone of getting good quality shots on the inside. Mike Hyde and John Bridges went to work on the interior by crashing the boards and earning trips to the free throw line. Even with these points from Hyde and Bridges the Falcons had fallen behind by 1 point with 11:41 left in the game. For the next four minutes, each team traded baskets and with 6:57 left the score was McPherson 51 and Friends 46. With 3:15 left in the game the score was now McPherson 59 and Friends 53 with both teams in the double bonus for fouls.
The Falcons decided to go back to their interior game and get the ball into Bridges gets fouled on a shot, makes the shot, and sinks the free throw. The Falcons are now down by three with 2:30 left in the game. The Friends defense stops McPherson from scoring on the next trip. Chris Jackson drives to the hoop and gets fouled which earns him a trip to the free throw line. Jackson goes one for two from the line and the score is 57 - 59 Bulldogs still with the lead. The Bulldogs inbound and bring the ball up the court but the Friends defense digs in deep and gets another stop. With 46 seconds left, the Falcons are still down by two. Friends University inbounds the ball, brings it across half court, and calls a timeout. Timeout over, Falcons inbound the ball and try to set up the play; McPherson hinders the play by their on ball defense. The Falcons get up a long jumper which does not fall. Final score Friends 57 and McPherson 59.
Leading scores for Friends were seniors Chris Jackson with 14 and Nick O'Nelio with 10. Drew Jones nearly had a double-double with nine points and eight boards. Leading scorer for the Bulldogs was Shivers with 16 points.
Friends University falls to 1-3 in the KCAC and 4-9 overall. Next game for the Falcons will be against non-conference opponent Southwestern Christian University. That game is a part of the Bethel Classic and tipoff is scheduled for 1pm on December 31. The following day, January 1, Friends will take on another non-conference opponent, Concordia University. The New Year's Day game is also scheduled for a 1pm tipoff.