The Raiders (1-0) won their first game under new head coach Katie Nelson in her head coaching debut, pulling away from the Foresters (0-2) down the stretch.
Denfeld finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Hilby notched 14 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Kayla Barreto had a strong collegiate debut with 13 points and six assists on the night.
LFC was led by Kelsey Schmitt's 14 points. Hannah Hiland added 12 points off the bench.
The game was tight throughout, heading into the fourth quarter tied at 41-41. MSOE pulled ahead, but was unable to pull away until late. The score was 53-51 in favor of the Raiders when Hilby hit a quick three-pointer in transition and then followed up with a put-back, turnaround jumper.
After a Forester basket, the Red & White closed out the victory with five free throws in the final 36 seconds to ice the game. Denfeld capped her night with a pair of big rebounds in those closing seconds and then knocking all four free throws that followed.
The Raiders shot 43.4 percent from the field and grabbed a 43-26 advantage on the boards. Lake Forest, meanwhile, was held to 33.3 percent shooting, but did force its way to the line 24 times, making 18.
MSOE is back in action Monday, jumping right into NACC play at Concordia Chicago.