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Benedictine Men Win First Outright HAAC Championship

The ninth-ranked Ravens beat Evangel 68-65 for first outright HAAC Championship on Saturday.
(ATCHISON, Kan.) Benedictine men's basketball capped off a memorable regular season on Saturday with a 68-65 win over No. 19 Evangel, capturing the Ravens' first outright Heart of America Conference Championship. 

Benedictine, currently ranked ninth in the country, joined the HAAC in the 1992-1993 season. The win also provides the Ravens with one of the conference's three automatic bids to the NAIA National Tournament, marking the first time Benedictine will play in it since 1970. 

The Ravens (21-7, 14-4) started the game on a 10-2 run and led by as many as nine in the first half. An 11-0 spurt gave Evangel the lead midway through the half before Benedictine established a 36-35 lead by the break. The Ravens shot just 44 percent in the first half. 

The Crusaders (21-9, 12-6) quickly grabbed the lead back out of the locker room and extended it to six. The Ravens came back to put Evangel back in a five-point hole with just under 10 minutes to go as the two traded lead changes for the rest of the game. 

Charlie Wallrapp, who finished with 15 points, nailed a pair of free throws to break a 64-64 tie with 45 seconds left to put Benedictine up for good. John Harris Jr. led the Ravens with 17 points, while Brett Fisher added 10.

The Ravens open the HAAC Tournament as the top seed against Baker on Wednesday. 
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