For the third-ranked Bellarmine Knights, Saturday’s 7 p.m. home game against Martin Methodist College not only signals the final contest of calendar year 2017, it also marks the final non-conference contest for the Knights in the regular season.
Playing its first game since returning from the winter break, Bellarmine (10-0) is looking to extend the longest home winning streak in men’s college basketball to 50 games against the RedHawks (1-12).
Martin Methodist, which competes at the NAIA Division I level as members of the Southern States Athletic Conference, suffered through 11 straight losses to open the season before knocking off No. 13 (NAIA) Dalton State on Dec. 16. Despite their record, the RedHawks have been competitive this season with six of their 12 losses being by seven or fewer points.
Junior guard Jemeereo Spain leads the Pulaski, Tennessee squad with a 12.0 points per game average while 6-6 senior forward Will Smith chips in 11.5 per contest. JJ Jones is the leading rebounder for the RedHawks corralling 5.7 per game.
Adam Eberhard’s 14.6 points per game average leads Bellarmine with Ben Weyer adding 12.5 a game and Brent Bach dropping in 12.1 per contest. Eberhard also is BU’s leading rebounder at 6.4 a game while Jarek Coles hands out 4.2 assists per game to lead the Knights.
Bellarmine enters the game ranked among nation’s top 16 in seven different statistical categories: Won-Lost Percentage (T-1st, 100%); Scoring Defense (6th, 62.7 ppg), Scoring Margin (15th, 16.2), Field Goal Percentage (2nd, 5.36%), 3-Point FG Percentage (5th, 44.7%), Assists Per Game (11th, 19.2), and Assist Turnover Ratio (16th, 1.56).
In addition, Ben Weyer is among the nation’s most accurate 3-point shooters, ranking eighth in Division II at 53.8 percent. Eberhard, meanwhile, ranks 13th in the nation in overall field goal percentage at 66.7 percent and is 45th in free throw percentage at 88.6 percent.
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by John Spugnardi