By Vequan Clark, The Circuit.
The Benedictine College Women’s Basketball team finished the week 2-0 to extend their winning streak to nine straight wins.
Benedictine (17-5, 16-2 Heart) defeated Central Methodist University (12-3, 16-3 Heart) 101-92 on Wednesday night in double overtime, before defeating Clarke University (12-8, 8-8 Heart) 67-62 in on Saturday afternoon.
On Wednesday night in the win over Central Methodist, Benedictine finished the game at 49 percent from the floor and 42 percent from beyond the arc. Tallying a new season high, they shot 11-26 from beyond the arc.
Defensively, the Ravens struggled to stop the Eagles as they shot 19-34 from the field to build a 49-41 at the half.
The Ravens trailed for most of the third but were able to finish the quarter with a 13-3 run that allowed them to go into the fourth quarter tied.
“I thought we came out of the locker room well and fought back into the game quickly in the third quarter,” said Chad Folsom, Benedictine Women’s Head Coach.
With two lead changes in the fourth quarter, CMU had the opportunity to win the game at the buzzer, but came up short as the game was tied at 83 at the end of regulation.
Both teams were firing on all cylinders as they combined for 12 points in the first overtime.
Senior, Ali Taff tied the game at 89 with a late pull up jumper. CMU had yet another opportunity to win the game at buzzer, but fell short.
Benedictine lead the second overtime, holding CMU scoreless for a little less than half of the extended period as they came out with a nine point win.
Sophomore, Serena Parker set a new career high with 35 points and 13 rebounds. Her performance earned her the fourth-most points scored by a Heart player this season.
“Serena is a force for us in the paint on both the offensive and defensive end and is one of the top posts in the conference,” Folsom said.
Junior Kristen Murphy scored 22 while Taff added 20, second half points after a scoreless first half. Senior Haylee Beard tallied 10 points, hitting three, three pointers.
Saturday, The Ravens relied on their defensive efforts as they held Clarke to just 30 percent from the floor, allowing them to connect on 18 made field goals for the game.
The Ravens were up by as much as twenty in the first half as they went into half time with a 43-27 lead.
Clarke came out of the break and held the Ravens to six third quarter points, as they cut the lead to five to end the quarter 49-44.
Although Benedictine had a slow third quarter, they never lost their lead and outscored Clarke by one to earn the five-point win.
“We settled down in the fourth quarter, handled their pressure better, and executed our offense taking good shots and were able to seal up the victory,” Folsom said.
Murphy led the Ravens with a game-high and career 29 points. She was able to go three for four from beyond the arc with a six for eight effort at the charity stripe. Taff went for her second straight double-figure scoring effort as she finished with 11 points. Junior Lexie Villegas also led the Ravens with 12 rebounds extending her streak to four games with double-digit rebounds.
Benedictine is looking for the sweep over Evangel University on Monday, January 30 at 5:30 p.m.