The No. 7 Bellarmine Knights dominated the host and 25th-ranked Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles in literally every facet of the game and rolled to a 93-48 victory in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game at the Physical Activities Center.
Chivarsky Corbett posted career highs in points and rebounds with 30 and 12 respectively as the 6-7 junior drained 13 of 14 shots and also dished out four assists.
The Knights were simply brilliant on both ends of the floor, shooting a season-high 71.2 percent from the field and limiting the Screaming Eagles to just 34 percent. Bellarmine also won the battle of the backboards 34-22 against a team that came in ranked third in the country in total rebounds and 12th in rebounding margin.
The game opened fairly evenly, but the Knights outscored the hosts 33-11 over the final 11:46 of the first half to take a 47-21 halftime advantage.
Bellarmine scorched the nets by drilling seven of 11 triples and converted 19 of 29 from the field for 65 percent in the first 20 minutes.
There was no let-up from the Knights in the second half. In fact, they stepped on the gas, shooting a sizzling 78.3 percent. Bellarmine missed just five shots in the second period, and three of those were 3-pointers, meaning the Knights made 13 of 15 shots inside the arc.
Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport essentially pulled his starters with six and a half minutes remaining in the game as the Knights had extended the lead to more than 40 points.
Davenport said the extraordinary performance wasn’t extraordinary to him. “I see this this type of effort every day in practice,” he said. “This game was won with incredible poise, execution-and I’ll be honest-class.”
The coach also pointed to the number of minutes played by so many players. “When you get into February, that’s a luxury that you can call on over and over again.”
Davenport was most impressed with his team’s togetherness. “There was one (timeout) where they literally took over the huddle because they were so in tune to helping one another. When they leave that huddle who do they have? They have each other.”
That team togetherness showed in the Knights’ 23 assists while USI dished out only five on the night. Leading the way for BU was Parker Chitty, who handed out five.
In addition to Corbett’s big night, several more Knights posted impressive numbers. Alex Cook hit seven of eight shots for 14 points. Adam Eberhard registered 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting while corralling six rebounds, and Brent Bach contributed 12 points.
Bellarmine pushed its record to 22-2 on the year while improving to 13-2 in league play to remain atop the GLVC standings.
Southern Indiana’s Marcellous Washington netted 16 points to lead USI, which lost its second game in a row to fall to 19-7, 10-4 GLVC.
The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for USI, as it snapped their 20-game home win streak and came on senior night in the final game to be played in the “PAC.” The 45-point margin was the worst loss suffered by the Screaming Eagles in Coach Rodney Watson’s tenure and the worst since Kentucky Wesleyan defeated USI 107-61 back in 1984.
Bellarmine returns to action on Thursday when they travel to Kansas City, Missouri to face Rockhurst. The Knights conclude their regular season road schedule on Saturday at Truman State, who moved into a tied for third in the GLVC point standings with a victory over Quincy on Saturday night.
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by John Spugnardi