Scotty Davenport’s Bellarmine Knights continue to steamroll through this season. Their school record 15th consecutive W has them standing as conference regular season champs. 23-1. Now that’s a glossy record. The Spugs Report (As always, apologies for formatting gliches.):
LOUISVILLE, Ky.–The No. 2 Bellarmine University men’s basketball team had to work a full 40 minutes to claim an 80-70 victory over the visiting Indianapolis Greyhounds tonight in a Great Lakes Valley Conference match-up in Knights Hall tonight.
The win—Bellarmine’s 23rd on the season—was the Knights’ 15th consecutive win, which marks the longest winning streak in school history. Bellarmine also clinched the No. 1 seed and GLVC regular season title as Southern Indiana lost 84-77 to Kentucky Wesleyan in Owensboro tonight.
Braydon Hobbs led five Bellarmine double-figure scorers with 18, and the New Albany junior added seven assists, seven rebounds and two key steals to his stat line for the night. Fellow junior Luke Sprague recorded his first double double of the year with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Adrian Moss of UIndy led all scorers with 20.
The game was tightly contested most of the way, and neither team led by more than four in the game’s first 20 minutes as the Knights held a narrow 33-32 advantage at halftime.
After the break, Bellarmine got a little separation and took a 7-point lead at the 17:27 mark on a pair of Justin Benedetti free throws.
The Greyhounds battled back, however, and tied it at 50 with 10:52 to go on a Moss 3-pointer. After a Bellarmine miss, UIndy got a four-point offensive trip after Chris Dowe was whistled for a foul and compounded the problem by getting slapped with a technical.
The technical seemed to fire up the Bellarmine team as the Knights reeled off nine unanswered points to take a 59-54 lead. The Greyhounds came back to get as close as two on several occasions, but back-to-back treys by Dowe and Hobbs gave the Knights an 8-point lead with 3:05 left in the game.
Indianapolis didn’t go down without a fight, but Bellarmine—the 15th best free throw shooting team in the country—made eight of 10 charity tosses in the last minute to salt the game away.
It was a tremendous team defensive effort,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. “They’re really a good team. They’re very explosive. Last Saturday, after seven minutes they were 15 behind Kentucky Wesleyan, and in the next 33 minutes, they won by 31 points. …so this is a great, great win.
“I’m seldom at a loss for words,” Davenport said, “but in the locker room after the game I told them that I didn’t have the words in my vocabulary to tell them how proud I was and how much I admire them as basketball players and as people. They were just tremendous. Their resolve tonight was one you could just bottle and sell to every coach at every level.”
The Knights, who gave up 15 triples to the Hounds in their first meeting, limited UIndy to just six of 22 3-point shooting for the game. Conversely, Bellarmine shot 65 percent in the second stanza to finish shooting 53.2 percent for the game. The Knights were also solid on the boards, owning a 36-27 rebounding advantage.
Bellarmine improves to 23-1 on the season and remains perfect in GLVC play with a 16-0 conference mark. UIndy drops to 18-7 overall and 11-6 in the GLVC.
The Knights get another stern test on Thursday night when the 6th-ranked Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles visit Knights Hall. Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m.
– Seedy K