Using their highest point total since Jan. 31, 2009, the No. 12-ranked Raven women's basketball team kicked off the 2013 BC Classic presented by AmericInn of Atchison to beat the Johnson & Wales (Colo.) University Tigers, 96-89.
Benedictine (4-2) used a 26-point effort from his its bench, combined with four players in double figures to earn the win on Friday.
In addition to their strong effort off the bench, the Ravens also converted 11 second chance points en route to the win as they pulled in 16 offensive rebounds.
JWU jumped out quickly, buidling as much as a seven-point advantage before Benedictine used a 12-0 run over a seven-minute span to erase their seven-point deficit and push ahead 24-18 with 12:40 remaining in the first half.
The momentum continued to favor the Ravens as they pushed their lead to 12 points with five minutes left in the first half.
Benedictine converted 17 of 23 free throws in the first half and forced 17 turnovers while knocking in some timely 3-pointer to take a 51-45 lead into the break.
While JWU matched Benedictine in the second half from the floor, they could never regain their early momentum as a 3-pointer from Chayla Rutledge pushed Benedictine's lead back to 12 points with seven minutes remaining.
Rutledge led the Ravens in scoring with a season-high 26 points. She finished with 10 field goals and hit 5 of 8 from the charity stripe to help surpass the Ravens highest point total since Jan. 31, 2009 against Culver-Stockton.
Justice Payne was close behind Rutledge with 25 points as she knocked in a season-high five 3-pointers while hitting 5 of 5 from the charity stripe.
Jackie Zeisel anchored the Ravens bench-scoring effort with 14 points while Katie Barr rounded out the Ravens top scorers with 11 points.
JWU's Kourtney Shirley matched Rutledge with a game-high 26 points to lead four Tiger scorers in double figures.
Friday night's 3-point shooting effort marked a season high as the Ravens converted 10 3-pointers for 38.5 percent from beyond the arc. They also established a new season high from the charity stripe, converting 30 free throw.
Benedictine returns to the floor at 4 p.m. Saturday as they take on Northwestern (Iowa) College. Northwestern knocked off No. 8 MNU 86-73 in game one on Friday.
Only live stats will be available for Saturday's game. That link can be found on the schedule at the top of www.ravenathletics.com.