Sterling, Kan. – The Friends University Falcons used a 13-0 charge in the second half to take their first lead of the game and pulled away from there for a 79-69 victory at the Sterling College Warriors today (Feb. 20) in head coach Dale Faber's final regular season finale of his career. Faber now stands at 298 career victories during his illustrious 18-year career.
The Warriors led for the entire first half and was up by as much as 14 before settling for a 41-30 lead at the break.
After a score by JaMiah Haynes to start the second half pushed the Warrior lead to 13, a pair of treys from PJ Medrano (SR/San Antonio, Texas) sparked a 12-3 spurt that brought the Falcons within four at the 16:46 mark of the second half.
A short time later, Ian Konek (SO/Long Beach, Calif.) connected from three-point distance to make it a one-point game, but the Warriors temporarily regained control with seven straight points to push the lead back to eight with 11:54 remaining.
With the Sterling edge still at eight points, that's the moment the Falcons broke through as consecutive threes by Davonte Pack (SR/Sumter, SC) gave Friends the lead and a trey from Trey Reid (FR/Wichita, Kan. ) finished the run of 13 straight points for a five-point lead with 5:41 left.
A score from Haynes momentarily halted the run, but Marquan Shakur (SR/Largo, Md. ) scored two consecutive buckets to begin an 8-0 run to balloon the overall burst to 21-2 and break the game open to a 73-62 lead for the Falcons.
The Falcons never looked back from there, maintaining at least an eight point lead over the final three minutes.
"I'm proud of the guys, they hung together through some adversity and bounced back, and I'm excited that maybe we gained some confidence and bounce in our step heading into postseason play," Faber said.
Medrano led the Falcons (7-15, 7-12 KCAC) with 16 points, with Pack adding 13. Shakur finished with 11 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds and Konek chipped in with 10 points.
Lucas Briar paced the Warriors (8-17, 6-16 KCAC) with 13 points and eight boards and Haynes scored 12.
The Falcons outrebounded the Warriors 47-39 overall and 12-6 on the offensive glass, but the Warriors managed a 32-26 scoring edge in the paint.
Next up is the KCAC postseason tournament starting on Monday night, with official tourney brackets being revealed later tonight.