After a workmanlike first half gave the No. 9 Bellarmine Knights a 41-35 lead over visiting Indianapolis at the break, the home team exploded in the second half to blow out the Greyhounds in front of a near capacity crowd at Knights Hall on Thursday night.
Bellarmine’s second half numbers were staggering. On the offensive end, the Knights shot 72.4 percent, and drained seven of 10 from beyond the arc while they turned the ball over just two times. Defensively, they held UIndy to 33.3 percent shooting and limited them to just one of 13 from the 3-point line while coming up with seven steals.
“The game, in my opinion, is a beautiful game when you play like that,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. “When you have 24 assists and six turnovers, that’s a beautiful game. It was just an amazing effort. It’s just so rewarding when you’re the coach of a basketball program, and the commitment from 17 players, five student managers, assistant coaches, a strength coach, a trainer is all together for the same cause.”
The Greyhounds jumped out on top 5-0 in the early going, but the Knights responded with a 15-0 run to take a 10-point advantage after five minutes. However, UIndy warmed up from the 3-point and stayed competitive by drilling seven of 14 first half treys.
After UIndy scored on the first possession of the second half to creep within four points, the Knights answered emphatically with a 26-9 run to take a 67-46 advantage at the 12:47 mark. During the run, Bellarmine canned nine of 11 shots including going 4-for-5 from the 3-point line.
The Greyhounds got no closer than 18 points the rest of the way with the final margin of 30 representing the biggest lead.
Adam Eberhard tossed in a game-high 23 points as five Knights reached double digits in scoring. Other top scorers for Bellarmine included: Alex Cook (15), Dylan Penn (12), Ben Weyer (11), and CJ Fleming (11).
In all, 15 players saw court time as the Knights were back at full strength after several injuries disrupted the regular player rotation the past several games.
The full bench was certainly welcome news for Davenport. “We got some guys back,” he said. “C.C. (Chivarsky Corbett) practices just one day and comes out and gets eight rebounds in 18 minutes. Daniel (Ramser) comes out here and goes 17 minutes and gets three assists with no turnovers and two rebounds.”
While Bellarmine’s injuries were detrimental to the team, Davenport saw a silver lining. “Dylan Penn has benefited from (more playing time), and Parker (Chitty) is playing his best basketball of the year without a doubt.”
For the game, the Knights shot just under 60 percent while holding UIndy to 39.7 percent. From the beyond the arc, Bellarmine made 8-of-17 for 47.1 percent while the Hounds cooled to 8-of-27 (29.6%).
Indianapolis grabbed 14 offensive rebounds to win the battle of the glass 34-32, but Bellarmine owned a whopping 58-24 advantage in points in the paint.
Big man Jesse Kempsen was force for the Greyhounds dropping in 21 points and claiming 10 rebounds to lead UIndy.
The victory avenges a 78-69 loss to the Hounds less than two weeks ago and lifts the Knights to 21-3 overall and 12-3 in GLVC play. UIndy falls to 17-8, 10-5 GLVC.
Bellarmine closes its home regular season schedule on Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. game against No. 24 Lewis. The Flyers defeated Southern Indiana 83-73 on Thursday to keep pace with the Knights with a 12-3 GLVC mark.
Prior to the game, Bellarmine will honor its six senior players (Corbett, Ramser, Jenkins, Eberhard, Skyler Hunter and Willie Schurfranz) along with managers Ben Thompson and Joe Simon.
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