INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – For the second time in three years, the No. 19-ranked Raven Women's Basketball team has played their way into the Second Round of the NAIA Div. I Women's Basketball Championship.
Benedictine (26-8) earned a 83-76 win over No. 14 Wiley (Texas) College on Wednesday to move on to another game at 12:30 p.m. Friday back at the Independence Events Center.
"It was great (to play so close to home), said head coach Chad Folsom. "We were super excited to have all of our fans and the support of all our family and friends at the game."
Wiley struck first, building as much as a six-point lead on Benedictine before the Ravens started to find their rhythm on offense.
A 3-pointer from Jackie Ziesel gave Benedictine its first lead, 15-14, with 12:33 left in the first half.
From there, the Ravens outscored the Wildcats 21-12 to pull ahead 36-26 with 3:54 left in the first half.
Wiley answered Benedictine's run to pull back ahead and take a 39-38 lead into the break.
In the second half the two teams played through two ties in the first three minutes which was followed by another Benedictine run that erased the Ravens halftime deficit and pushed them back up by 10 points.
Wiley used another to erase Benedictine's double-figure lead to tie the game at 68 points with 5:23 remaining.
From that point, the game played through two lead changes and two more ties before Jordan Kramer scored in the pain to push Benedictine back in front,74-72, with 1:15 remaining.
After Ali Taff nailed a 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining, the Ravens lead moved to six points but it took a pair of free throws by Ziesel and Kramer inside the final 15 seconds of the game to seal the win for the Ravens.
The two teams combined for 112 points in the paint as Wiley had the edge on Benedictine, 62-50.
The Ravens return to the court against No. 1 Freed-Hardeman on Friday at 12:30.