The top-seeded Raven men's basketball team advanced to the HAAC Semfinals on Wednesday night with a 15-point win over eighth-seeded Baker University inside the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.
Benedictine (22-7) fed off the home crowd energy inside the Nolan Gymnasium to lead wire to wire over Baker (11-19) and earn a 66-51 win over the Wildcats.
The Ravens advance to take on fourth-seeded Evangel University at 7 p.m. Friday night back inside the Nolan Gymnasium fo the second time in less than 10 days.
Wednesday night, the Ravens jumped out to a 10-point advantage with a 14-4 run and never looked back.
Baker closed within seven points near the midpoint of the first half but Benedictine turned that seven-point advantage into a 10-point lead, 31-21, by halftime.
The Ravens knocked in 50 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes of the game while holding the Wildcats to just nine first-half field goals.
The Wildcats pulled within 14 points with 11 minutes and 26 seconds remaining in the game before Charlie Wallrapp connected on three striaght 3-pointers to push the Ravens lead to 23 points – its largest of the night.
From that point, the Ravens settled in and worked through their offensive sets to limit the Wildcats' scoring chances en route to the 15-point win.
Baker converted 11 second-half field goals but just couldn't find an answer for the Ravens defensively as Benedictine connected on 57.1 percent from the field in the second half, which included a 6 for 12 effort from beyond the 3-point arc.
Wallrapp finished with a game-high 20 points, going nearly perfect from the floor. He connected on 8 of 9 field goals and hit 4 of 5 3-pointers in just over 27 minutes of action.
EJ Carter led Baker in scoring with 14 points.
Benedictine now turns its attention to Evangel, who needed double overtime on Wednesday to dispose of fifth-seeded Central Methodist University, 125-114, in Springfield.
The No. 10-ranked Ravens took the regualar-season series over No. 24 Evangel, most recently earning a 68-65 win over the Crusaders on March 1 in the Nolan Gymnasium.
No. 2 seed Culver-Stockton College advanced to the semfinals on Wedensday night with a 105-89 wn over seventh-seeded Graceland. Culver-Stockton will host No. 3 seed MNU who beat No. 6 seed Missouri Valley on Wedensday in Olathe, 87-80.