CINCINNATI—The Bellarmine University Knights kicked off their 2012-13 men's basketball season with an exhibition game against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, dropping an 86-51 decision at Fifth Third Arena.
The Bearcats slowly extended a lead and took a 45-24 advantage in the locker room at halftime, then blew the game open with a 19-0 run to start the second half as the Knights misfired on their first nine shots of the second period.
Bellarmine managed to cut into the Bearcats' advantage, but Cincinnati coasted in for the 35-point victory. Five Bearcats hit double figures, led by freshman JaQuon Parker's 16-point performance, fueled by seven of nine shooting. Bellarmine was led by Chris Dowe with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Sophomore transfer Jake Thelen also hauled in seven boards for the Knights.
"I'm very disappointed," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "They took us out of the game at every spot." The eighth year Bellarmine coached added, "But, that's Mick's (Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin) best team he's had here. He's done a whale of a job with them.
Much of Bellarmine's problems arose from a lackluster shooting performance, making just 32.1 percent while giving up 54 percent shooting.
"Our lack of offense was because we didn't defend," Davenport said. "In the second half we started to defend and went on a 10-2 run."
The 2012-13 Knights have eight new faces and most got the opportunity to play as 13 players hit the hardwood tonight.
Bellarmine gets little time to recover as they take on the No. 2 University of Louisville Cardinals in an exhibition on Wednesday at the KFC Yum! Center.