Bellarmine romps by 25 over Wheeling Jesuit

( Bellarmine University Release)

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Using a balanced attack, the No. 5 Bellarmine University Knights rolled past the visiting Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals 92-67 this afternoon in a non-conference game in Knights Hall.

Bellarmine's Keisten Jones poured in a season-high 20 points to lead all scorers, and Ryan Burton recorded a new career-high with 18 to help carry the Knights to the 25-point victory.

"It was just an impressive game literally by everybody," said Coach Scott Davenport in his postgame comments. "We break the game into segments, and we won seven of the eight segments."

Davenport lauded the passing of his Knights team, which posted a season-high 25 team assists, leading to a season high 62.3 percent shooting night. "It was every distributing the ball," Davenport said, reading off the individual assist totals. Vance Hall and Jones led with five assists apiece, but six players had three or more.

At the outset of the game, however, it was the Cardinals of Wheeling Jesuit with the hot hand, burying four of their first five 3-pointers to stay close with the Knights through the first eight and half minutes. However, the Knights went on a 20-9 run to close the half and took a 41-29 lead into the locker room.

The second half was more of the same, with the Knights extending their lead to 26 by the 4:20 mark of the game on a Burton triple. Meanwhile, the Cardinals remained cold from the outside. After their initial start, they finished just four of 22 from beyond arc and shot just 29.6 percent from 3-point land.

The Knights (6-0) actually got better as the game progressed. After hitting 16 of28 shots (57.1%) in the first half, Bellarmine came out in the second half and made 17 of 25 for 68 percent.

Defensively, Bellarmine held Wheeling Jesuit's leading scorer, Ben Siefert, to just 12 points, which is 10 below his average. The Cardinals (2-3) were paced by 18 points from freshman Justin Fritts—last year's Mr. Basketball in the state of Ohio.

In addition to Jones and Burton hitting double digits in scoring, Hall continued his solid play with 16 points. Chris Dowe chipped in with 13 points and led the Knights with seven rebounds.

Bellarmine returns to action this coming weekend when they host the Fern Valley Hotel Classic with games on Friday against UC-Clermont and on Saturday against Nova Southeastern. Both games are scheduled to tip and 7:30 p.m., and each will be preceded by 5 p.m. games with Southern Indiana playing Nova on Friday and UC-Clermont on Saturday.