Then something happened but I’m not sure what it was.
NKy’s shooting % went up. They were 16/ 28 for the stanza. but, so did Bellarmine’s. The Knights hit 72% after the break. Rebounding was essentially a wash. So too, the number of each team’s turnovers.
Yet the Norse kept coming, driving the lane and relying on Jon Van Hoose’s uncanny shooting from beyond the arc. It wasn’t that the Knights stopped playing, and it wasn’t that Northern was playing in some extraordinary fashion.
Yet . . . the Knights led by only a deuce with :57 on the clock.
Thanks to Chris Dowe, Bellarmine held on to win by 5.
Survive and advance.
Bellarmine faces 24-7 Ferris State in the Regional Final on Tuesday at Knights Hall. Unlike its other post-season foes, the Norris Placers haven’t played the Bulldogs this season.
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Frankly, I’m not sure what the future holds for the nationally #2 ranked Knights.
Their basketball intelligence is off the charts. They run the motion offense better than any college team I’ve seen this season, regardless of division. They can shoot. They have heart. They compete with grit and determination.
But the Knights are relatively slow, and lack of hops.
Which is to say my fear is they will be out-athleticized somewhere along the way to a national title. Certainly hope not.
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I found it odd that there was a less than full house Sunday night. I believe the game was sold out. There were no tickets for sale at the ticket windows before the game. But there were several hundred empty seats.
Northern Kentucky had its band at the game. Bellarmine didn’t. Spring Break?????
But the crowd was loud, and easily drowned out one seriously ardent Norse fan, a guy in a black cowboy hat, with Mardi Gras beads around his neck in Norse school colors of black and gold. At one point, the guy deposited himself behind the Bellarmine bench, and was harassing Davenport . . . until a couple of Louisville Metro’s finest escorted him back to his seat.
– Seedy K