With two games remaining in the regular season, the No. 19-ranked Raven Men's Basketball team used a 62.1 percent shooting effort in the first half to jump ahead of Culver-Stockton College.
After playing through two ties and two lead changes over the first six minutes of the game, Benedictine (22-7, 11-6 Heart) outscored Culver-Stockton (14-14, 9-8 Heart) 37-22 over the rest of the first half en route to a 83-63 win over the Wildcats.
The win gave the Ravens the regular-season sweep over the Wildcats and allowed Benedictine to keep pace in a second-place tie with Missouri Valley College headed into the final game of the regular-season on Saturday.
Benedictine and Missouri Valley are a game ahead of Peru State College in the Heart standings and two games in front of Culver-Stockton and MNU.
Thursday night, the Ravens offense returned to form against the Wildcats while their defense remained strong.
The Ravens used 18 first-half field goals, which included 8 3-pointers as they built a 15-point lead by halftime.
Culver held Benedictine to just nine second-half field goals while converting on 10 of their own but the Wildcats never cut the Ravens second-half advantage to less than 15 points.
A pair of free throws from Jonathan Anaekwe three minutes into the second half pushed the Ravens to their largest lead of the night, 24 points at 62-48.
Benedictine connected on 10 of 12 from the charity stripe in the second while they converted on 73.9 percent on the night.
They finished the game converting on 55.1 percent from the floor and 60 percent from beyond the arc.
Anaekwe led a balanced offensive attack for Benedictine with a game high 17 points as he went 8 of 9 from the free throw line. Benedictine finished with a total of four players in double figures as Brett Fisher finished with 16 points off 4 of 5 from beyond the arc while John Harris Jr., and Jake Schannuth added 14 and 11 points respectively. Schannuth was the Ravens other deep threat Thursday as he knocked in all three attempts from beyond the arc.
Benedictine travels to Springfield, Mo., for a 4 p.m. game on Saturday against the No. 16-ranked Evangel University. Saturday's game is the NAIA Network's Game of the Week, with the Evangel video stream featured at www.NAIAnetwork.com.