(Bellarmine University Release )
ROMEOVILLE, Ill.-As the conference leader in scoring margin, grinding out victories is something that Bellarmine isn't necessarily accustomed to doing, but it's precisely how the Knights earned their 15th win of the season.
Shrugging off their fourth-worst shooting night of the year, Bellarmine outbattled the Lewis Flyers 69-65 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference contest at Neil Carey Arena.
Finding themselves down 62-60 with less than three minutes to play, the Knights dug in and made crucial plays down the stretch. First, Nick Fredrick stepped up and drained a big 3-pointer to give the Knights the lead with 2:14 remaining. Then, after a Lewis turnover, George Suggs connected for just his second field goal of the game, and the Knights' lead grew to 65-62.
Lewis' Max Strus was then whistled for a double dribble, and Rusty Troutman responded on the offensive end by sinking a pair of free throws to raise his career point total to 999 and give the Knights a five-point cushion.
The Flyers answered with just 30 second remaining in the game when Kyle Nelson rebounded a Lewis miss and got the put back basket and was fouled on the play. The Lewis big man completed the old fashioned three point play to keep the Flyers' hopes alive as his free throw made it 67-65 in favor of the Knights.
Upon putting the ball in play, Bellarmine's Michael Parrish was called for a travel as he tried to split two defenders. The Flyers couldn't capitalize, however, as Al Davis came up with a steal with 18 seconds on the clock. Bellarmine quickly got into front court where Parrish was grabbed and fouled.
After a lengthy delay caused by a timeout and a monitor review to determine if the foul should be ruled as intentional (it was ruled not to be), Parrish calmly drained both free throws to seal the game for the Knights.
Parrish said, "I told myself, 'This is my time to keep cool,' and I stepped up and knocked them down as a senior and a leader should do."
Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport was elated after the game. "It's a conference win on the road against a really, really good team," he said. "I'm so proud of them, because it was everybody... It's Nick Fredrick doing his job; it's Brent Bach doing his job; it's George Knott. This was such a program win."
Troutman led the Knights with 21 points and eight rebounds. The two-time GLVC Player of the Week couldn't get a shot to fall inside the arc, but he found the range of five of his seven three pointers and converted all six of his free throws.