The No. 7 Bellarmine Knights dominated in the early going and rolled to an 87-64 victory over Rockhurst in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game in Mason Halpin Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
Bellarmine bolted out of the gates, scoring the game’s first eight points and extended its lead to 21 less than nine minutes into the game.
The Knights, who shot better than 70 percent for the game in their last outing, kept that torrid pace going against the Hawks. In the opening half, Bellarmine made 17 of 24 shots (70.8%) and did not miss inside the arc as all seven missed shots were 3-pointers. Even with the seven misses, the Knights were still hot from deep, making nine of 16 three pointers for 56.3 percent in the first half.
Bellarmine led by as many as 29 points in the opening frame and took a 55-28 advantage into halftime.
After the break, the host Hawks came out and played hard, slicing the BU lead to 19 points at the 11:53 mark. Paving the way for the Rockhurst comeback was cold shooting by the Knights, who made just three of their first 10 shots in the second period. However, Bellarmine pulled out of its mini-slump to re-establish a 26-point cushion and coasted in for the 23-point win.
“I thought their kids played incredibly hard played hard,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport of the Rockhurst team. “But it was a 23-point road win. We shoot 54-5 and have 19 assists and we shot 78 percent from the free throw line, so it was a very solid game. They (Rockhurst) hit some tough threes, but our urgency defensively just wasn’t there the second half.”
Bellarmine, who was without reigning GLVC Player of the Week Chivarsky Corbett due to back spasms, got contributions from up and down the roster in tonight’s game. Jarek Coles poured in a career-high 19 points as the senior guard found the range from long distance, making four of six triples.
Ben Weyer also had a hot hand early, dropping in 13 points-all in the first half-and converted three of his four first half 3-point attempts.
Adam Eberhard, who earlier in the day was named to the top 50 of the Bevo Francis Watch List, proved why he should be considered for the award by hitting six of seven shots and finishing with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Other double digit scorers included Brent Bach with 13 and Parker Chitty with 11. Alex Cook turned in an all-around solid performance with eight points while leading the team in assists with four. He also tied Weyer for game-high rebounding honors with seven.
Quinton Curry and Curtis Lewis led the way for Rockhurst with 17 and 12 points respectively.
Bellarmine improves to 23-2 (14-2 GLVC) to make it 10 years in a row with at least 23 wins. Rockhurst slips to a game under .500 at 12-13 and falls to 5-10 in league play.
The Knights play their final regular season road game of the year on Saturday, when they travel to Kirksville, Missouri to face Truman State. The Bulldogs moved into third place in the GLVC standings with a 29-point win over Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday night.
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by John Spugnardi