Down 7 at the half, 311-38, the Norris Placers had tied it at 41 on an old fashioned three point play by Justin Benedetti.
The lead see sawed until that two and a half minute mark. Benedetti, Luke Sparague and Jeremy Kendle were all saddled with four fouls. The team, hitting just under 40% on the year from beyond the arc, was 0/7 after the break. Braydon Hobbs had missed treys on consecutive trips down the court.
Then Hobbs took the game into his own hands.
His three — the only one by either squad after the break — at 1:47 upped the lead to 80-75. He forced a walk. He blocked a shot. He got the assist on Chris Dowe’s +1.
Bellarmine broke it open, scoring the tilt’s last 9 points, for the 85-75 W.
Bellarmine stands 12-1 (5-0 GLVC) on the season, heading into Saturday afternoon’s homer against Rockhurst. (More about that vexing L in a moment.)
Hobbs, a gamer of the highest order, finished with 16 points, 4 boards, 6 assists, 3 steals and that important block. Chris Dowe, Nick Holmes and Kendle also tallied in double figures.
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Bellarmine’s lone L was over the holidays to NAIA school, St. Catherine’s. The game came two days after the Knights completed the NCAA-mandated 7 day off period. Thus were noticeably rusty, while St. C hadn’t labored under such restrictions.
Not an excuse. An L is an L. Just sayin’.
* * * * *
I remain amazed at how well coached — and coachable — the Knights are. Scotty Davenport has done a boffo job. They get quickly into the offense. Players are where they’re supposed to be. Their defensive fundamentals are solid.
I also remain amazed at how much energy Davenport expends during the games, yelling about calls to the zebras. Last night he got a T, as well as an Official Warning from one of the refs for his complaints.
Yes, the officiating was a bit schizzy. But even handedly so. Twenty three fouls were called against the Knights, 3 less than the Panthers.
It just seems so wasteful, game in and game out, to exert such energy to no avail about refs calls.
* * * * *
Three more reasons why I love Bellarmine games:
1. During one of the timeouts, they honored, Dr. Bob O’Conner, a member of the very first Bellarmine team in the 50s. He was cited for his major contribution: The most foul outs during the season.
2. Kelly Hall didn’t hit enough shots during a halftime Impellizzeri promo to win the big prize. But, as consolation, she earned a free order of breadsticks. (If you’ve ever had any of Benny Impellizzeri’s garlic butter-laden delicacies, you know this is a prize of the highest order.)
3. Professor Knight. He’s the adjunct mascot, who roams the sidelines like a Max Patkin of the Hardwood.
– Seedy K