Score: Evangel 90, Benedictine 81
Records: Evangel (5-14, 3-5); Benedictine (10-9, 4-4)
Location: Springfield, Mo. | Ashcroft Center
By Derek Roberts (Evangel Athletic Communications)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel men's basketball team relied on several big runs Wednesday night in a 90-81 victory over conference opponent Benedictine.
The Crusaders and Ravens were matching basket for basket for the majority of the first half, as neither team managed to hold more than a 5-point lead until 3 minutes left before intermission. Down 16-21 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, the fast-paced Crusader offense created opportunities and went on a 10-0 run, followed by a 9-2 run in the final 3 minutes to gain a 10-point halftime advantage.
The Ravens struggled offensively in the first half, committing 10 turnovers and shooting just 33 percent from the 3-point line.
The second half was much like the first, as baskets were traded early on. However, Evangel's Justin Washington took charge and helped guide the Crusaders on an 8-2 run in the middle of the second half, providing a game-high 16-point lead.
Benedictine seemingly tried everything to dig out of the hole, cutting the lead down to just 7-points with 2 minutes remaining in the game. Nevertheless, Evangel had an answer for every attempted Ravens' comeback, knocking down its free throws down the stretch, which helped secure the win.
The Ravens had five players finish in double digits in scoring. Thomas O'Connor led the team with 19 points.
Washington notched another double-double, finishing with 30 points and 16 rebounds. It is the second time Washington has scored 30+ points this season.
Dylan Bekemeier logged another key performance in helping lead the Crusaders to victory, finishing with 23 points, tying a season high, on 12 of 15 shooting from the free throw line. Braden Adams also finished in double digits in scoring with 12.
The Crusaders hit the road this Saturday as they take on conference opponent Peru State. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.