After Graceland’s Jerica Smith made one out of two free throws with 23 second remaining, the Crusaders got the ball back trailing by one. Akins drove to her right to get to the basket an scored giving Evangel the win.
Evangel won the game overcoming an icy-cold start. The Crusaders did not make a shot from the floor until 6:32 remaining in the first half when Sierra McSpadden hit a three-pointer. Graceland led at that point 20-9 and was up 33-19 at halftime. The Crusaders were just 4 for 23 from field in the first half.
Evangel returns home Thursday to play Missouri Valley. Tipoff is 5:30 p.m. at the Ashcroft Center.
McSpadden ended the game with a game-high 21 points and had 11 rebounds. Tiaunshe Brown added 11 points and Akins finished with 9.
Smith led Graceland with 17.
The win prevented Graceland from getting their first conference win and was their 13th straight loss overall as they fell to 2-21 and 0-15 in the Heart of America conference. Evangel won their second straight and improved to 6-13 and 5-8 in the league.
Evangel plays again Thursday at Avila. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. in Kansas City.