LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The No. 5/9 Bellarmine University men's basketball extended a 17-point halftime lead to tally an 86-57 win over the Truman State Bulldogs Thursday night in a Great Lakes Valley Conference in Knights Hall.
The Knights had balanced scoring with five players in double figures and got 38 points off the bench. Yasin Kolo led the Bellarmine attack with his second double-double of the year, netting 15 points and hauling in 10 rebounds.
Bellarmine won for the ninth consecutive time while ending Truman State's eight game win streak.
"I'm really proud of them," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "They responded to a big time challenge tonight. They responded as a team, and that comes from leadership and that comes from within. Coaches challenge, players respond."
The Bulldogs came in ranked third in the nation turnover margin, but the Knights turned the tables by forcing 13 while committing only 11.
"Their attention to detail on the scouting report was tremendous and they transferred it in the competition," Davenport said. "This took an adjustment because of their ability to pressure all over the court. That took some time to adjust to that, but we did with great passing."
The Bulldogs grabbed an early 6-4 lead, but after a layup by Al Davis and a 3-pointer from Kolo, the Knights took a lead they would never surrender. Bellarmine's lead grew to as many as 22 in the first half before setting for a 47-30 halftime advantage.
In the second period, the Knights upped their offensive efficiency by shooting 65 percent from the field while also increasing their defensive pressure by holding TSU to just 30 percent.
For the game, the Knights shot 57.4 percent from the field, while holding the Bulldogs to a 35.8 percent. Bellarmine also held a big advantage on the boards, outrebounding TSU 40-25.
Junior guard Cory Myers of Truman State matched Kolo for game-high honors with 15 points, while Connor Erickson collected eight points and two rebounds for the Bulldogs.