BALDWIN CITY – The No. 16-ranked Raven men's basketball team gutted out a defensive battle on Thursday night as they traveled to Baker University.
Benedictine (17-6, 10-3 HAAC) used timely three-point shooting in the second half to hold off a Wildcat squad as they beat Baker (9-15, 3-10 HAAC), 62-51.
The two teams combined for just 13 second-half field goals with the difference coming down to Benedictine's 3-point shooting.
The Ravens hit 5 of 9 3-pointers in the second half while holding the Wildcats scoreless from beyond the arc over the final 20 minutes of action.
After combining for just eight points over the first seven minutes of the game, Benedictine turned a 4-4 tie at the 13 minute mark into a 21-11 lead with five minutes and 43 seconds left in the first half.
Benedictine was able to use their size advantage to make the run with three of their four field goals coming in the paint. Luke Norville added the remaining field goal while the rest of Benedictine's points came from the free throw line.
The Ravens finished the first half hitting 52.4 percent from the floor while also knocking in 11 of 12 free throws to take a 36-27 lead into halftime.
Baker cut Benedictine's' lead to seven points midway through the second half but couldn't get any closer as the Ravens used a pair of 3-pointers from Brett Fisher and Charlie Wallrapp to extend their lead back to 11 points with three minutes and 10 seconds left in the game.
Wallrapp scored a game high 17 points to lead the Ravens. Steven O'Brien added 11 points as he continued a strong second half of HAAC play. Shawn Fleming Jr. and Rafail Tsourakis gave the Ravens a spark off the bench with 8 and 7 points respectively.
With the win, combined with losses by Culver-Stockton College and Evangel University, Benedictine regains a one-game lead for first place in the HAAC standing with five games remaining.
Benedictine hosts MNU at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium. MNU knocked off Evangel 95-81 on Thursday night in Olathe. Saturday marks the Ravens annual White Out-Basketball Alumni Day. Fans are encouraged to wear their favorite white Raven gear while the Ravens will honor their alumni in attendance during halftime of the game.