Courtesy Bellarmine Athletics

There’s an old theory in college basketball that the first five minutes of the second half are the most important of the game. The top-ranked Bellarmine Knights certainly made a strong case for that tonight.

Facing a one-point deficit at halftime after Northwood drilled 10 of 17 triples in the first period, the Knights came out after intermission and steamrolled the Timberwolves with a 15-0 run over the first 5:22 of the second half. Northwood never recovered as Bellarmine posted an 88-77 victory in the game that was played in Saginaw Valley’s O’Neill Arena.

The win pushed Bellarmine to 2-0 on the year with both victories coming at the GLIAC-GLVC Challenge.

“It’s an absolute great weekend,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. “That’s two in-region wins with one being a true road win. And it was two different styles of play. Tonight we had to weather a 3-point barrage from a team that makes 10 in the first half…that was just amazing.”

At halftime, Davenport said he threw down the gauntlet to his team. “We were getting way too spread in the first half,” he said. “We just made fundamental defensive mistakes…and when you play team defense and one guy makes a mistake, you’re going to get exposed. We challenged them at halftime, and they responded in a fabulous way.”

In addition to increased defensive pressure from the Knights, a major factor for the Bellarmine turnaround was senior All-American Adam Eberhard, who tossed in a career-high-tying 30 points on 10 of 14 shooting while draining nine of 10 free throws. Eberhard added a pair of steals, six rebounds, and four assists. Two of his helpers came on perfect alley-oop passes that Alex Cook converted with authoritative two-handed dunks.

Five Knights reached double figures in scoring, and senior Chivarsky Corbett recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Cook tossed in 12 for Bellarmine, and Ben Weyer and Tyler Jenkins each totaled 11.

Northwood (0-2) finished the contest 14 of 27 from beyond the arc with Alec Marty making five of seven treys and leading the Timberwolves with 17 points.

The Knights, who were six of 15 on deep balls, ruled inside the paint, outscoring Northwood 42-12 from close range. The solid shot selection and good passing helped Bellarmine shoot nearly 60 percent from the field in the game, and the better second half defense limited the Timberwolves to just seven of 21 shooting as they cooled to 45.1 percent for the game.

Bellarmine returns to action on Wednesday, when they’ll travel to Owensboro to take on Kentucky Wesleyan at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST).

The Panthers, who are coached by former Bellarmine assistant Drew Cooper, opened the season with a 22-point victory over Kentucky State earlier today. 

Tickets to the Kentucky Wesleyan game can be purchase online: https://ev2.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetGroupList?groupCode=GS&linkID=global-owensboro&shopperContext=&caller=&appCode

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