DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Raven Women's Basketball team overcame a cold third quarter on Saturday to earn their ninth straight win.
After trailing for roughly three minutes of play, Benedictine (16-5, 15-2 Heart) took control over Clarke University (12-8, 8-8 Heart) to earn a 67-62 win to sweep their first-ever regular-season series over the Crusaders.
Clarke led by three points twice in the first three minutes of play by a 8-0 run by Kristen Murphy and Serena Parker erased the Ravens early deficit and allowed Benedictine to take a 8-5 lead with just under six minutes left in the first quarter. Maddie Minnaert knocked in a 3-pointer that pushed the Ravens run to 11-0 and the Ravens were off.
Another 3-pointer from Haylee Beard early in the second quarter extended the Ravens lead to 10 points and by halftime the Ravens lead was extended by as much as 20 points before they took a 43-27 lead into the half.
Benedictine came out of the break and struggled to put the ball through the basket as Clarke limited the Ravens to just six points as they pulled within four points, 49-44, headed into the fourth quarter.
Despite the sluggish third quarter, the Ravens never gave up the lead and used a 18-17 advantage in the fourth quarter to earn the five-point win.
After converting 16 field goals in the first half at 42.1 percent, the Ravens needed just five second-half field goals to earn the win as they finished the game hitting 34.4 percent from the floor. Defensively, the Ravens held clark to 30 percent from the floor as the Crusaders made nine field goals in each half.
Benedictine went 13 of 19 at the free throw line the second half to finish the game at 65.4 percent.
Murphy led the Ravens with a game-high 29 points. Her scoring total also set a new career high as she hit 10 field goals while going 3 for 4 from beyond the arc with a 6-for-8 effort at the charity stripe. Ali Taff added her second straight double-figure scoring effort as she finished with 11 points while Lexie Villegas led the Ravens with 12 rebounds running her streak to four games with a double-digit rebounding total.
The win runs the Ravens current winning streak to nine games and is tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in program history.
Benedictine goes for the regular-season sweep over Evangel University at 5:30 p.m. Monday. They earned a 68-67 win over Evangel in Springfield, Mo., back on Nov. 22.