SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The No. 19-ranked Raven Men's Basketball team held No. 16 Evangel University to just eight second-half field goals on Saturday afternoon, en route to earning a 11-point come-from-behind win over the Cruaders.
Selected by the NAIA as the NAIA Network Game of the Week, Saturday's match up saw six ties and seven lead changes before Benedictine (23-7, 12-6 Heart) was able to pull away from Evangel (18-11, 13-5 Heart) to earn the regular-season sweep over the Crusaders, 73-62.
The win allowed the Ravens to hold position in the final Heart standings and because of their sweep over Evangel and the fact that Evangel and Missouri Valley College split their regular-season match up, the Ravens earned the No. 2 seed in next week's Heart of America Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament.
On Saturday, both team connected on over 40 percent from the floor in the first half.
Benedictine remained in the lead through the next 12 minutes of play before Evangel pulled even at 24 points with three minutes left before halftime.
Evangel held Benedictine scoreless over the final three minutes of the first half to take a 31-28 lead into the break.
Fisher converted another 3-pointer for Benedictine's first basketball of the second half but Evangel was able to do just enough to hold the Ravens at arm's length until the 14:09 mark of the second half.
Shawn Fleming Jr. scored five straight points for the Ravens to turn the game's sixth tie into a Ravens' lead, 42-41.
Benedictine never gave up their lead from there.
Evangel managed to keep within two possessions until Benedictine used a 10-1 run to turn a four-point lead with just under four minutes remaining into a 13-point lead with just over one minute remaining.
After giving up 40.7 percent shooting in the first half, Benedictine held Evangel to just 26.7 percent from the floor in the second half.
The Ravens converted on 16 of 22 from the free throw line in the second half to back up a 57.1 percent effort from the floor and a 50 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
All five starters for the Ravens finished in double figures, led by the 13 points of John Harris Jr. and Jallen Messersmith. Jonathan Anaekwe added 12 while Schannuth and Fisher each scored 10. Fleming Jr. finished with eight points off the bench.
Benedictine hosts a Heart Postseason Tournament game at 7 p.m. Thursday against the winner of the Central Methodist University-Graceland University game, which takes place on Tuesday night.