LIBERTY, Mo.-The No. 7/11Bellarmine Knights men's basketball team was nearly perfect over the first 10 minutes of the game as they rolled over the homestanding William Jewell Cardinals 90-59 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game at the Mabee Center on Thursday night.
The Knights hit nine of their first 10 shots including four of five from 3-point range as they raced out to a 27-9 lead at the 9:39 mark of the first half. Bellarmine just kept on applying the pressure and by the time the horn sounded at halftime, the scoreboard read Bellarmine-52, William Jewell-19.
The first half numbers are staggering. Bellarmine hit 18 of their 25 shots (72%) and was 7-for-11 (63.6%) from 3-point range. Perhaps even more incredible is that six different players hit the seven trifectas. To go even further on the "amazing" scale, reigning GLVC Player of the Week Rusty Troutman didn't even attempt a shot the first 19 minutes of the game.
"That was an amazing performance," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "I told the team at halftime, 'I know good basketball, and that was extraordinary basketball.'"
While the offensive numbers steal the attention of most fans, the defensive effort was just as impressive. In the first half, the Knights held William Jewell-a team that came into the game averaging more than 80 points a game-to just 19 points and 7-of-27 shooting (25.9%). Bellarmine also dominated the backboard in the first 20 minutes with a 20-9 rebounding edge.
In the second period, Davenport substituted liberally, but the Knights backed up their first half performance by hitting 60.9 percent of their second half baskets. Fifteen different Knights saw at least six minutes of floor time, and 14 of those players hit the scoring column.
The game's leading scorer was BU's Brent Bach, who came off the bench to pour in 16 points in 16 minutes of action. The sophomore guard hit all five of his shots from the floor, including two 3-pointers and was 4-for-4 from the line.
Other outstanding performances for the Knights included: Al Davis, who dished out seven assists in his 21 minutes of action while committing just one turnover; George Suggs, who scored 11 points in 15 minutes of game time as he went 4-of-5 from the field and made 3-of-4 from long range; and Yasin Kolo, who made the most of his floor time with 14 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes of action.
For the second straight game, the Knights set season highs in shooting percentage and assists by making 32 of 48 baskets (66.7%) on 22 "dimes." Bellarmine also set a season best on the defensive side by holding the Cardinals to just 29 percent shooting.
The Cardinals, who dipped to 5-6, 0-3 GLVC on the season, were led by Darius Tomlin and Emil Ostafiiciuc with nine points apiece.
Bellarmine, which improved to 10-2, 3-0 GLVC, now move on to play Rockhurst in Kansas City on Saturday afternoon. Game time is set for 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. CST).