The William Woods Owls led from start to finish Tuesday night, defeating the Graceland Yellowjackets 80-74 at Anderson Arena.
The Owls opened the game with a 14-2 run, starting with a 3-pointer by Mike Robinson on the game's opening possession. Makenzie Fessler scored eight of the team's next 10 points to build a 12-point advantage less than five minutes in.
Seth Compas scored a basket in the lane for Graceland, cutting the lead to 16-8, but Fessler made a basket to put the Owls back ahead of double digits.
William Woods never led by less than 10 points the rest of the first half, going into halftime with a 35-22 advantage.
The Owls led by as many as 14 points on three occasions in the second half, the last time coming on a 3-pointer by Andrew Nett to push the score to 62-48 with less than seven minutes to play.
Graceland's Carson Newsome was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and made all three free throws, cutting the Owls' lead to 67-60. Jared Crutcher scored William Woods' next seven points to stretch the lead back to 74-64 with about a minute to play.
Although a 3 by Graceland's CJ Wilson cut the Yellowjackets' deficit to five points in the final minutes, William Woods' Spencer Yoggerst shot 6-of-8 at the free-throw line in the final minute for the Owls.
Yoggerset led William Woods with 20 points, shooting 9-of-13 at the free-throw line.
Fessler added 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting and had a team-best six assists. Mike Robinson finished with 11 points and Crutcher came off the bench to score 10 points and grab a team-high seven rebounds.
The Owls shot 54.9 percent (28-of-51) from the floor and outrebounded the Yellowjackets 36-28.
Newsome scored 26 of his game-high 30 points in the second half for Graceland (3-5). Wilson chipped in 14 points off the bench and Compas added 10 points.
William Woods (3-6) will play two games this weekend in the St. Francis (Ill.) Thanksgiving Classic. The Owls open against East-West University of Chicago at 8 p.m. Saturday and then face host St. Francis at 4 p.m. Sunday.