Behind a 51.0 percent shooting effort and a defense that limited Evangel University to just four points in the fourth quarter, the No. 15-ranked Raven Women's Basketball team earned their 10th straight win on Monday, 70-51.
Benedictine (17-5, 16-2 Heart) kept pace at the top of the Heart standings with the 19-point win over Evangel (8-13, 7-11 Heart) as they also picked up their 13th straight win over the Crusaders.
After Evangel led briefly by as much as three points early in the first quarter, the Ravens offense kicked into gear. Benedictine led 22-15 after the first quarter and added 21 points in the second quarter to lead the Crusaders 43-29 at the break.
Benedictine connected on 66.7 percent from the floor in the first half while also converting 5 of 7 from beyond the 3-point arc. The first-half field goal percentage marked the highest total for the Ravens in the first half of a game this season.
While the first half was an offensive showcase for the Ravens, Benedictine turned up their defensive pressure in the second half.
Benedictine limited Evangel to 7 of 12 from the field in the third quarter and just one fourth-quarter field goal as the Crusaders went 8 of 24 from the floor over the second half.
The Ravens held the Crusaders 12 points under their season average en route to the win. The final point total for the Crusaders also marked their lowest scoring effort since a 48-point effort in a loss to Mount Mercy back on Nov. 19.
Serena Parker lead the Ravens with a game-high 17 points as four Ravens finished in double figures. Kristen Murphy and Ali Taff finished with 12 points each while Haylee Beard added 10 points. Lexie Villegas ran her streak of games with double figure rebounds to five as she pulled in a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Ravens remain at home for a 5:30 p.m. game against current No. 16 MNU. The latest edition of the NAIA Div. I Women's Basketball Top 25 will be released on Tuesday afternoon. MNU earned a 61-51 win over Avila on Monday.