The No. 12-ranked Raven Women's Basketball team earned the regular-season split with MNU on Thursday as they earned a 75-58 win over the Pioneers inside the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.
Benedictine (18-5, 17-2 Heart) remained undefeated in Heart of America Athletic Conference play at home by holding MNU (13-8, 12-6 Heart) to just 35.4 percent from the floor.
The Ravens extended their winning streak to 11 games with the win over MNU while limiting the Pioneers to 10 points under their season average. The win also marked the eighth time over the streak that the Ravens have held their opponent to under 60 points.
The first quarter went back and forth as the two teams exchanged leads and battled through three ties. Tied at 16 points with just under three minutes left in the quarter, the Ravens outscored the Pioneers 9-2 to take a seven point lead into the second quarter. In the second quarter, the Ravens turned up the defensive pressure and held the Pioneers to just 28.5 percent from the floor and 13 points to take a 48-31 lead into the break.
Lexie Villegas finished the first half with 19 points en route to a career-high night.
Benedictine led by as much as 22 points in the third quarter. After the Pioneers outscored the Ravens 16-13 in the third quarter to close within 14 points with just the fourth quarter remaining, the Raven defense turned up the intensity once again and limited MNU to just 11 fourth-quarter points en route to the 17-point win.
Four Ravens finished the game in double figures led by Villegas with 21. She converted five of the nine 3-pointers Benedictine made on the night. Kristen Murphy scored 16 while Serena Parker added 14 points – knocking in 11 of 14 at the free throw line – with a game-high 14 rebounds. Ali Taff finished with 13 points and five assists.
Benedictine won the battle on the boards, outrebounding MNU 47-35 with 13 offensive rebounds that led to 14 second-chance points. The Ravens also were able to score 14 points off 18 MNU turnovers.
The Ravens return to the road on Saturday for a 2 p.m. game in Peru, Neb., against Peru State College. Benedictine earned a 72-53 win over Peru State in the first meeting of the season on Dec. 3.