Score: Evangel 65, #20 Clarke 60 | Box Score
Records: Evangel (19-10, 17-7); Clarke (24-6, 18-6)
Location: Springfield, Mo. | Ashcroft Center
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The senior class for the Evangel women's basketball team fought off No. 20 Clarke on Saturday for a 65-60 victory on Senior Day in the regular-season finale.
The Crusaders clinched a home game for the First Round of the Heart Conference Tournament that starts on Wednesday, March 4. Evangel will likely host Culver-Stockton at 6 p.m. inside the Ashcroft Center.
"What a great win for our seniors today, and our entire program," said second-year head coach Megan Leuzinger. "I thought the energy and atmosphere from our fans was amazing! Our girls stepped up to the challenge today and beat a very good team. Hats off to Clarke with the year they have had so far."
On Saturday, Evangel needed all 40 minutes to knock off the 20th-ranked Clarke Pride. The Crusaders will also ride a seven-game win streak into the conference tournament.
"Our girls bought into the game plan and executed it, especially on defense," Leuzinger added. "I thought our girls did a tremendous job."
The Crusaders forced 21 turnovers and held the Pride to just 34 percent shooting from the field and just 18 percent in the first half. Evangel finished with 14 steals as a team, the third-highest mark this season as Lexie Vaught recorded six and Bayley Harman finished with five.
Harman knocked down four three-pointers and finished with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Clarke was led by 16 points from Tina Ubl as the only player in double figures.
"I am very thankful to have been given a chance to coach our seniors," said Leuzinger. "Our four seniors have first and foremost brought glory and honor to the Lord in how they handle themselves on a daily basis. I am most proud of that! I am also thankful for how they have represented Evangel University. It is always a great feeling to win on Senior Day."
The win over a ranked team was sponsored by St. George's Donuts.
Evangel opens the Heart Conference Tournament on Wednesday against Culver-Stockton at 6 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EUAthletics 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.