CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Mount Mercy men's basketball team struggled from the field in a Heart of America Athletic Conference matchup, falling to 17th-ranked Benedictine (Kan.), 77-57, at Ralph Nolan Gymnasium in Atchison, Kan.
The Ravens (10-4, 7-3 Heart) controlled the game from the tip-off, scoring the first basket and never losing the lead. The Mustangs closed the gap to two points five minutes into the game on a three-pointer by Ben Struss, but Benedictine outscored Mount Mercy, 35-10, the rest of the period to hold a 47-20 advantage at the break. The Ravens carried the momentum through the second half to stay a game back of William Penn for the Heart lead.
The Mustangs shot just 27.9 percent from the field due in large part to the 10 steals and 11 turnovers created by Benedictine. Despite equaling the Ravens on the boards, Mount Mercy was limited to it's lowest point total of the season. They hadn't been held under 77 points in any game this year.
CJ Parker was the lone Mustang in double figures with 15 points, putting him over the 500-point mark in a season-and-a-half with Mount Mercy. Struss chipped in eight points, Thomas Dillard added seven off the bench. Parker had a team high eight rebounds followed closely by Chris Ford with seven.
Benedictine's Andre Yates cashed in 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting to lead all players. AJ Goss added 13 points of his own and generated a game high five steals.
Mount Mercy (7-6, 6-4 Heart) has a busy week ahead. On Monday, they travel to Lamoni to take on Graceland at 7:30 p.m. before returning home on Thursday to face Grand View at 7:30 p.m. at Hennessey Recreation Center. The Mustangs close out the week on Saturday against Peru State (Neb.) at 2:00 p.m. in Peru, Neb.