The No. 9-ranked Raven Men's Basketball team erased a two-point halftime deficit to No. 21 Evangel University on Saturday afternoon to hand the Crusaders their first loss of the Heart season.
Benedictine (18-3, 7-2 Heart) hit 50 percent from the floor in the second half while holding Evangel (13-7, 8-1 Heart) to just one 3-pointer as they earned the comeback win, 88-80.
The difference between the Ravens and the Crusaders over the first 20 minutes of play proved to be from beyond the arc.
Benedictine converted on seven 3-pointers at 53.8 percent while Evangel converted on nine 3-pointers at 60 percent.
The Ravens led by seven points early before the Crusaders found their stroke from beyond the arc.
Evangel erased their deficit by converting on four of the first first-half 3-pointers to erase the Ravens lead and move in front, 14-12, with 14:21 left in the first half.
The lead changed hands four more times before the Crusaders took a 43-41 lead into the half.
Jake Schannuth knocked in a 3-pointer to start the Ravens offense off in the second half to erase the halftime defict and push Benedictine back in front.
After two lead changes and three ties, Benedictine was able to convert on some key 3-point opportunities while limiting Evangel's 3-point looks.
Benedictine pushed ahead by nine points with 6:49 remaining only to have Evangel pull even with 3:16 left at 76-76.
John Harris Jr. answered with an old-fashion 3-point play to push Benedictine back in front seconds later.
From there, the Crusaders were forced to foul and the Ravens converted 8 of 12 from the charity stripe to seal the win.
Defensively, Benedictine held Evangel to just 1 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc in the second half while converting on 5 of 12.
Schannuth led four Ravens in double figures with 19 points. He went 5 of 7 from beyond the arc and 6 of 8 from the floor. Harris Jr. added 18 as he went 10 of 13 at the charity stripe while Jonathan Anaekwe chipped in 16. Rafail Tsourakis anchored the Ravens bench, which outscored the Crusaders 24-13, with 11 points.
Benedictine opens up the second half of Heart play with a trip to Peru, Neb., on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. game against Peru State College. The Bobcats took the first meeting of the season with the Ravens, 69-64, back on Dec. 4 to open up the Heart season.