Bellarmine University is currently in finals week for the fall semester, and if tonight’s men’s basketball game were treated as an exam, Knights Head Coach Scott Davenport may have graded his team’s performance as an “A” after dispatching the visiting Midway Eagles 93-49.
Bellarmine scored just 10 seconds into the game and never trailed as they quickly jumped out to a double-digit lead and held a 45-27 cushion at the intermission.
Despite the comfortable lead, the first half performance didn’t warrant an “A” from Davenport nor his players at halftime. “The key was that they (the Bellarmine players) were not happy (about the first half). It’s one thing if the coaches aren’t happy, but they came out and played (in the second half)…the numbers don’t lie. “(Midway) shot 47.6 (percent) in the first half and 30 percent in the second half.”
By the final horn, both coach and players were pleased. Offensively, the No. 3 Knights scorched the nets for 55.9 percent shooting while sharing the ball generously–26 assists on 38 made baskets.
Defensively, the Knights were maybe even better, holding the Eagles to just 39.1 percent shooting and forcing 20 turnovers.
Bellarmine also turned in its best rebounding performance of the year, owning a 42-20 advantage on the boards while not yielding a single second chance point.
Bellarmine junior Adam Eberhard led all scorers with a season-high 23 points. The preseason All-American also hauled in a game-high seven rebounds and dished out three assists.
Senior Brent Bach was a model of offensive efficiency for Bellarmine. “The Augusta Rifle” netted 19 points in just 20 minutes of playing time, making seven of his 10 field goal attempts-including 3-of-4 from long range-and sinking both of his free throws.
Other top performances included Ben Weyer’s 13-point, 6-rebound effort and Caleb Taylor’s night of 10 points in just nine minutes of action.
In all, 13 Knights hit the hardwood for Coach Davenport with 11 scoring and 11 registering assists.
On the other side of the court, Louisville native Bryson Harris had a strong game for Midway (4-7). The Western High School graduate totaled 18 points, duplicating Bach’s seven of 10 shooting performance.
The Knights improve to 9-0 on the season and extend their home court win streak to 48 games, tops in the NCAA–regardless of division.
Bellarmine now will concentrate on the final exams in the classroom as they take a nine-day break from competition. However, the Knights will face a stern test on the basketball court in their return to action when they host No. 12 Le Moyne in a 7 p.m. game on Dec. 18.
“They were a No. 1 seed in last year’s NCAA tournament and they have eight seniors,” Davenport said of Le Moyne. “This is going to be a big time basketball game.”
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by John Spugnardi