KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After a year away, the Raven Men's Basketball team returned to historic Municipal Auditorium on Thursday night take face off in the first round of the 2017 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Div. I Men's Basketball National Tournament.
A hot start was short lived for Benedictine (21-10) as No. 8 The Master's College (26-4) stormed back to overtake the Ravens en route to a 85-56 first-round win.
Benedictine started out hot in the first half and built a 12-point lead halfway through the first half. The Ravens were able to use a combination of excellent defense and a 0-for-7 start for The Master's from the field. Despite that combination, the Mustangs were able to catch fire and gradually pull back the Ravens, overtaking Benedictine with 1:16 left in the first half as they took a 35-32 lead into the halftime.
Benedictine never saw the lead again in the second half.
"We were struggling to keep them in front and that opened up the three point line," said Benedictine head coach Ryan Moody. "When a guy gets hot you have to make an adjustment and we did not."
The Master's used a 22-point effort from Reid Shackelford and a 21-point performance from Lawrence Russell to propel themselves to a first round victory. The Mustangs finished the game shooting 38 percent from the field, which included hitting 11 three-pointers.
As a team, the Mustangs overcame a 28.1 percent shooting effort in the first half with a 47.4 percent effort in the second half.
"Andre is a gifted shooter and was on fire," Moody said.
The Ravens finished the game at 30.7 percent from the field while adding nine 3-pointers. They finished the game hitting 9 of 13 at the free throw line.
The Master's added a 20 of 23 effort at the free throw line while outrebounding the Ravens, 49-37.
"I think it was a great season and we're very proud of our guys," Moody said.
Benedictine finishes the year with a 21-11 record and a second place finish in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. This season marks the third 20-plus win season for the Ravens under Coach Moody after going 24-9 in 2014-15 and 23-9 in 2013-14.