Score: Evangel 86, Benedictine 74 | Box Score
Records: Evangel (9-6, 5-4); Benedictine (8-7, 6-3)
Location: Springfield, Mo. | Ashcroft Center
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – An all-around team effort helped the Evangel men's basketball team to an 86-74 victory Wednesday night over Benedictine in Heart Conference action.
The Crusaders and Ravens went back and forth most of the first half before a pair of Cade Coffman free throws at the 7:44 mark gave Evangel a 29-22 lead. It would be short-lived as Benedictine answered with an 8-2 run to pull within a point just over a minute later.
"We played with great intensity tonight," said head coach Steve Jenkins. "Our effort helped spark us on offense and defense. Even though the lead never felt comfortable, we had guys step up when we needed them."
In the second half, Benedictine trimmed the Evangel lead to five at the 15:44 mark.
That momentum would quickly swing towards the Crusaders.
Ike Egwu finished at the rim and Coffman followed with a three-pointer in the corner to push the Crusader lead to nine. Coffman led Evangel with 18 points going 4 of 5 from behind the three-point line while adding four assists.
A layup by Nate Davis continued a 13-2 run by Evangel to lead by as many as 19 points with 4:02 left in the game.
Martinborough added 15 points, while Brewington tallied 12, and Egwu finished with 14 points and five boards.
"Every player contributed in a way tonight," Jenkins added. "When someone needed a break or we went to the bench, there wasn't any letdown. Winning at home is important. I see us keep getting better each game still if we continue with the effort and intensity of tonight."
Evangel finished with 19 assists as a team and turned the ball over just eight times in the win. The Crusaders also shot 51 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Ravens, 40-30.
Jaiden Bristol led Benedictine with 14 points and 10 assists.
The Crusaders head to Iowa to face Clarke on Saturday who sits half a game ahead of Evangel in the league standings. Tipoff from Dubuque, Iowa is scheduled for 2 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.