After playing a heavy road schedule to open their season, the third-ranked Bellarmine Knights are now into a stretch of six home games that keeps them in Knights Hall for the remainder of the calendar year.
After knocking off Lewis to extend Division II’s longest home win streak to 46 games on Saturday, Bellarmine welcomes another GLVC foe on Thursday night before hosting a non-conference, in-state rival on Saturday.
On Thursday, the Rangers of Wisconsin-Parkside will make their last visit to Knights Hall as members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, and on Saturday Midway will take on the Knights at 7:30 p.m.
Parkside, which announced earlier this year they will join the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference next season, are off to a rocky start in 2017-18. The Rangers lost their first seven games before walloping Trinity International 106-71 on Saturday.
The backcourt duo of Adam Bonk and Jameel Moore are the offensive leaders for the Rangers so far this year with both averaging 12.7 points per game. Up front, 6-9 center Joe Borcia adds 9.7 points per game while hauling in 6.1 rebounds per contest.
On Saturday, the Knights welcome second-year program Midway to Knights Hall. The Eagles are 4-6 on the season, and interestingly Bellarmine and Midway have a common opponent this season-Indiana University Southeast. One could argue that based on the IUS results, Midway should be a one-point favorite. While Bellarmine escaped with a two-point win over the Grenadiers, Midway defeated IUS by three-66-63.
The Eagles will have one more game before meeting the Knights on Saturday, squaring off against Cincinnati Christian on Thursday night.
Midway, which started its men’s program just last season, is being led by former St. Catharine player and Louisville native Bryson Harris. The 6-2 guard is putting up 14.1 points per game and collecting nearly five boards a game. Lexington native Krizell Mitchell adds 11.2 points a game for the Eagles.
Bellarmine enters this week’s play 7-0 on the season and 1-0 in league play. The Knights continue to battle back from injuries, but have gotten solid contributions from a number of players as nine different players average 16 or more minutes per game.
Preseason All-American Adam Eberhard has endured an ankle injury for most of the season but still leads the Knights in scoring and rebounding at 14 points and 5.4 caroms per game. Sophomore Ben Weyer ranks second on the team in both categories, netting 12.6 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. Senior guard Brent Bach also averages in double digits at 10.9 a game while fellow senior Jarek Coles is setting up the offense by averaging 4.4 assists.
Following this week’s action, the Knights have just one more game before the NCAA-mandated winter break. Bellarmine hosts No. 12 Le Moyne on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.
Coming out of the break, the Knights host Martin Methodist on Dec. 30 before moving into the GLVC-only portion of their schedule.
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by John Spugnardi