The No. 1 Bellarmine Knights rolled to an 83-57 victory over the homestanding Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers in the Owensboro Sportscenter on Wednesday night. The game marked the first game between the former Great Lakes Valley Conference rivals since 2013, and it pitted Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport against his former assistant Drew Cooper.
The Knights turned in a complete performance that saw them shoot 53.3 percent from the field while coming up with 15 steals and forcing 18 Panther turnovers.
Davenport said, “We know the job and respect the job that Drew Cooper will do here.” However, the Knights gave Davenport much to be happy about. He was most pleased with his squad’s passing and ball control. “It was 21 assists and six turnovers, which is tremendous, and it was another in-region, true road win over the most the historic team in all of Division II basketball,” he said.
The 14th year head coach also lauded his team’s rebounding-especially on the offensive end–as BU won the battle of the backboards 27-22. “We missed 28 shots and got seven of those back,” Davenport added.
The Knights jumped out to a quick start, draining its first eight shots of the first half and quickly built a double digit lead, extending the margin to as many as 16 in the opening period. The Panthers stayed within striking distance with the help of the three-ball, making six of 16. The first half came to a close with KWC’s Tyler Bezold converting three free throws with no time on the clock to make the score 44-33 at the half.
Bellarmine again had quick start in the second period, going on 6-0 run prompting Cooper to call a timeout. While the Panthers stopped the run, the Knights were able to gradually extend the margin to as many as 30 before settling for the 26-point victory.
Chivarsky Corbett paced the Knights’ offensive attack with 22 points and eight rounds while Tyler Jenkins added eight assists. Adam Eberhard posted another solid stat line with 14 points, four rebounds and six assists.
Other top producers for Bellarmine were Ben Weyer (13 points), CJ Fleming (10 points), and Alex Cook (8 points, 7 rebounds).
The Panthers got 13 points from Erik Bell, who made five of six from the field, including a 3-for-4 performance from beyond the arc.
The Knights improve to 3-0 on the season while Kentucky Wesleyan slips to 1-1.
Bellarmine now gets a 10-day hiatus from game action before hosting Wayne State on Nov. 24 in the home opener. That game time has been moved up to 2 p.m. from its original 7 p.m. start.
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