A strong second half defensive performance lifted the No. 9 Bellarmine Knights to their 55th straight home win as they soared past the Quincy Hawks 75-54 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game on Thursday evening in Knights Hall.
Leading just 35-29 at the halftime break, Bellarmine opened the second frame with a 16-4 run to open up a 17-point bulge at the 11:13 mark.
“The turning point in the game was when we came out and really, really defended as team in the second half,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. “Whereas in the first half, we were playing one on one defense. So I’m very proud of them.”
The Hawks, who came in just 7-13 on the year and 3-8 in the GLVC, turned in a game effort over the first 20 minutes. Quincy knocked down five of eight triples in the first half and never let Bellarmine go on a run as Daniel Ramser’s tip-in as time expired in the first half gave the Knights their biggest lead of the half at six points.
“It was a tough game,” Davenport said. “Give Quincy a lot of credit. They dominated the ball and picked their spots. They played with a lot of courage.”
After the strong start to the second half, the Knights eventually built a 25-point advantage as they held Quincy to just 30.8 percent shooting in the final period.
For the game, Bellarmine outshot the Hawks 54.5 percent to 37 percent with the Knights dishing out 20 assists on 30 made baskets while Quincy totaled just six assists. Bellarmine also outrebounded the Hawks 33-27 and committed just eight turnovers while forcing 13.
The Knights got a balanced scoring attack as four player scored in double figures paced by Adam Eberhard’s 13 points. The 6-8 junior also corralled six rebounds and dished out five assists.
Sophomore Alex Cook added 12 points and six boards for the Knights with Brent Bach chipping is 11 points and Ben Weyer coming off the bench to score 10.
Quincy’s Demetrious Houston tied Eberhard for game-high honors with 13 points while The Hawks’ Marsalis Johnson pulled down nine rebounds.
The Knights improve to 19-2 and 10-2 in league play while Quincy falls to 7-14, 3-9 GLVC.
Bellarmine will go for win No. 20 on Saturday as the Knights host Illinois Springfield a homecoming game slated for a 3:15 p.m. tip.
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by John Spugnardi