The Crusaders survived for the win despite making just three shots from the field in the second half connecting on 3 of 22 shots and Evangel made no baskets from the field in the last 9:51 of regulation. Evangel led 30-24 at halftime and held Avila to 29 percent shooting from the field in the game.
Emily Akins hit two free throws with nine seconds left that gave Evangel a five-point lead which proved enough for the win as Avila hit a three at the buzzer to pull within two.
Amanda Landolt led the Crusaders with 14 points scoring all of them in the first half. Akins added 10 for Evangel.
Rebekah Capeder had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead Avila.
The Crusaders won their first straight game and improved to 7-13 and 6-8 in the Heart of America conference. Avila dropped to 5-18 and 4-11 in the league.
Evangel is at home Saturday and will honor their senior players following the game as part of Senior Day. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. against Culver-Stockton at the Ashcroft Center.