by Tom Brown
Despite a slow start and a seven point halftime deficit, the Benedictine Eagles men’s basketball team was able to come back and defeat the Aurora Spartans 69-63 Thursday night at the Dan and Ada Rice Center.
The Spartans jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on the Eagles and were able to hold that lead for much of the first half thanks in large part to their defense, which held the Eagles to 26.7 percent shooting from the field.
One bright spot for the Eagles in the first half was the play of their bench. Senior Raphael Oglesby and sophomore Mike Woolf gave the Eagles some quality minutes and kept their team in the game.
“Mike and Raphel are both first year guys [in the program] who were very frustrated at the beginning of the season with how things were going,” Eagles Head Coach Keith Bunkenberg said. “They are both now getting settled into their role and it is beginning to show on the court.”
That energy carried over into the second half for the Eagles. Senior Nate Green stole the show, scoring 15 of his game high 20 points after the intermission.
“I noticed they were kind of sagging off me in the first half, so I took advantage of it and went to my jump shot.” Green said.
Green led the Eagles to a 46-33 advantage in the second half, in which the Eagles shot 54.8%, and Bunkenburg was pleased with his team’s poise despite being down early.
“Tonight I saw something in our eyes,” Bunkenburg explained. “We had a look of calmness and also a look that we were going to win this game. This was one of those games we would have not won a month or even three weeks ago.”
The Spartans were led by Ryan Crow, who had 19 points. Joel Iventosch and Contino Hunter each had 17 points.
With the win, the Eagles improve to 6-10 and 4-4 in the Northern Athletics Conference. The Eagles host Maranatha on Saturday at 4:15 p.m with the hopes of building on their winning streak.