PERU, Neb. – Holding on to a one-point lead on Thursday night, the Raven men's basketball team got a big defensive stop against Peru State College to earn back-to-back conference road wins.
With 20 seconds left in the game, Raven forward Jallen Messersmith (Soph., Blue Springs, Mo.) blocked the shot of Peru State's Derrick Williams that would have given the Bobcats the lead.
Raven forward Charlie Wallrapp (Jr., Omaha) grabbed the rebound, got fouled and converted a pair of free throws to give Benedictine (11-5, 3-2 HAAC) a 59-56 win over Peru State (8-9, 1-5 HAAC).
Benedictine led from the start and by the midpoint of the first half, they had pushed ahead of Peru State by double figures.
Leading by 11 points with three minutes left before the half, the Ravens went cold as the Bobcats heated up offensively.
Peru State outscored Benedictine 10-5 over the final three minutes of the half but couldn't grab the lead as the Raven held on to a 33-27 lead at the break.
The Ravens started the second half with a second-chance basket by guard John Harris Jr. (Fr., Lincoln, Neb.) and a 3-pointer by Wallrapp to push its lead back to double figures.
Benedictine went cold again, which allowed Peru State to make a 14-2 run to close the scoring gap to one point, 42-41, near the midpoint of the second half.
The Ravens answered with a 10-run of their own, pushing back ahead by 10 points only to cool off again offensively, setting up the last-second effort.
Wallrapp led the Ravens with 15 points, followed by guard Brett Fisher (Soph., Overland Park) with 11.
Peru State guard Nate Bohy scored a game-high 19 points, but was only able to score five points in the second half.
After a 50-percent shooting effort in the first half, the Ravens converted 47.8 percent in the second half to finish the game at 49 percent.
Peru State hit 4 of 6 from beyond the arc in the second half, which allowed them to keep Benedictine from pulling away. They finished at 43.8 percent, knocking in 7 of 16.
The Ravens return home Saturday for a 4 p.m. game against Central Methodist University inside the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.
Saturday marks the second Little Ravens Basketball showcase with the fourth- through sixth-graders playing at halftime of the Raven--Runnin' Eagles game.