LOUISVILLE, Ky.- The No. 3 Bellarmine Knights steamrolled the visiting Le Moyne Dolphins with a 22-2 run to open the game, then endured a comeback attempt to post a 79-59 win in a NCAA Division II nonconference game in Knights Hall on Monday night.
Bellarmine nailed six 3-pointers in the opening 6:49 and added a pair of layups to bolt out to the 22-2 advantage. The Knights went on to extend the lead to 34-7 in the first half, but the No. 20 Dolphins fought back to get within nine at the 1:27 mark of the first period. The Knights regrouped and led 44-32 at the break.
Le Moyne's Robert Jones opened the second half by converting a pair of free throws to pull the Dolphins to within 10, but that as close as the visitors would come. Bellarmine turned in a brilliant performance on defensive end in the second period and continued its hot shooting to a draw out to a 24-point lead before coasting the final five minutes to post the 79-59 victory.
Despite the Knights' incredible start to the game, Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport seemed most pleased with his team's defensive effort in the second half. "I'm proud of our defense," he said. "In the second half our basketball team took it upon themselves. Their defensive performance wall all about person pride-as a unit, not five one-on-one guys."
"The three-point goal can be fool's gold," Davenport added. "They (Le Moyne) made their run when the ball didn't go in. The constant has to be defense, and it was the second half."
Bellarmine, which improved its record to 10-0 and extended its home court win streak to 49 games, placed four players in double figures, led by Brent Bach's 17. Adam Eberhard, who played just 21 minutes due to foul trouble, turned in a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Ben Weyer chipped in 14 points.
Another bright spot for the Knights was Alex Cook, who contributed 10 points including a crowd-thrilling one-handed slam off an alley-oop inbounds pass from Bach.
As a team, the Knights shot 56.9 percent for the game, including a hot 13-of-25 performance from the 3-point line.
Meanwhile, Bellarmine held Le Moyne to just 32 percent shooting in the second half as the Dolphins finished the game at 42 percent from the field.
Le Moyne, which was the No. 1 seed in the East Region last season, falls to 9-3 on the year. Tom Brown was the lone Dolphin to reach double figures, scoring 12 on 4-of-7 shooting.
Bellarmine now heads into the winter break and won't play again until Dec. 30 when the Knights host Martin Methodist in a 7 p.m. contest.
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