Benedictine Women Move on to NACC Semifinals

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LISLE, Ill. - The Benedictine University women's basketball team reached the semifinals of the NACC Tournament by taking down visiting Lakeland 78-66 on Saturday night.

Benedictine was able to control the first half of the game. The Eagles, who ever trailed in the contest, embarked on an 8-0 run to grab a 25-10 lead with 8:17 remaining in the first half. DeKayla Crayton opened the run with a layup and followed suit just over two minutes later to finish the stretch. Benedictine led by as many as 16 points in the first half and held a 37-25 lead at the break. The Eagles shot over 51 percent from the floor in the first half and received 20 points from the bench, 10 of which came from Crayton.

Lakeland surged in the second half, opening with a 14-3 run to pull within a point at 40-39 with 15:01 to play. The visitors, who made nine three-pointers in the game, were able to tie the game at 43 with 13:42 left. Benedictine slowed the momentum, holding a 56-48 lead with 8:37 left in the game. Lakeland pulled within 60-55 with just over six minutes remaining, but Benedictine pressed on and extended the lead to double figures, avenging a loss from last Saturday.

Benedictine netted 32 points in the paint and scored 20 second-chance points. The Eagles held a 42-27 edge on the glass and netted 23 points from the line while shooting over 50 percent for the game. Meghan Novak scored 20 points to pace Benedictine. The senior, who is one of the top free-throw shooters in the country, finished a perfect 10-for-10 from the stripe. Crayton added a career high 19 points to go with nine rebounds. Shannon Ryan also reached double figures with 13. Nicole Botich snared 11 rebounds.

Benedictine (17-9) will welcome third-seeded MSOE on Wednesday night in the semifinals at 7:00 p.m.