The No. 15 ranked Raven Women's basketball team grabbed its ninth win of the season Saturday afternoon, handing No. 9 ranked MidAmerica Nazarene University a 72-66 defeat, its first of the year. Three Lady Ravens put up double digit points, as a second half surge by Benedictine helped maintain a lead for the home team throughout the final two quarters.
MNU (5-1, 3-1 Heart) stormed out to an early lead and stretched it to as many as six points near the end of the first quarter. Benedictine (9-1, 3-1 Heart) rebounded before further damage was done, as Chayla Rutledge sank a 3-point shot to make it 22-19 Pioneers as the first quarter came to a close.
MNU managed to make it a six point game once again midway through the second quarter, but the Ravens refused to go away and took a one point lead headed into the break, courtesy of Rutledge.
The Ravens went 12-of-34 from the field in the first half, with Rutledge putting up nine points and Kristen Murphy grabbing five rebounds.
Benedictine found its way after the break and never allowed the Pioneers to take the lead for the remainder of the game. Lexi Villegas added insurance late, draining two bonus free throws to give the Ravens a comfortable 70-61 advantage with 22 seconds left.
The Ravens were much more efficient in the second half of play, going 13-of-23 from the field and 9-of-12 from the free throw line.
Rutledge, Murphy and Jordan Kramer all scored double digits for a combined 42 of the team's 72 points on the evening. Rutledge finished with a game-high 17 while Murphy and Kramer finished with 13 and 12 respectively. Murphy led the team in rebounds and free throw percentage, grabbing six boards and going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
Benedictine is off until heading down to Puerto Rico on Dec. 18-19 for a pair of games in the Puerto Rico Classic.
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This story was written by Michael French, a student reporter for the Sports Information Office. He can be contacted at [email protected]