LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.-For the No. 11 Bellarmine Knights, it was a wire-to-wire 67-61 victory over Southern Indiana in the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship Tournament, but the win came with plenty of drama.The Knights exploded out of the games with a 9-0 run, and despite a couple of mini-runs by the Screaming Eagles, Bellarmine went into halftime with a comfortable 39-25 lead. Bellarmine shot a scalding-hot 68 percent in the first half while USI was held to just 32 percent.Southern Indiana came out firing in the second period, however, and trimmed the Bellarmine margin to just eight in the first minute and a half.
Although Bellarmine eventually responded and re-established 14-point lead, the Knights hit a cold spell starting at the 12 and a half minute mark that lasted until 6:57 remained. Over that time period, the Screaming Eagles went on a 13-0 run. Southern Indiana carved its deficit to just one on a pair of Emmanual Little free throws at the 5:24 mark, but the Knights dug in and scored the next seven points, taking a 63-55 lead on a CJ Fleming 3-pointer with 3:56 on the clock.The Screaming Eagles didn’t go away quietly, pulling to within five on two occasions, but the Knights put the game away at the free throw line where they finished the day making 14 of 17.
“I don’t think anyone realizes how difficult this is to do,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. “They don’t just give you byes and let you advance. Southern Indiana is one of the best teams in the region with great players and staff. I know there were faults,” Davenport added. “We didn’t do a great job of rebounding the ball in the second half, giving them second chance opportunities, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. At the end of the day, you’ve got to give those kids a lot of credit.”
Daniel Ramser continued his strong play. In addition to drawing the defensive assignment against USI’s Alex Stein, he turned in another strong offensive performance with 13 points and two assists. Stein, meanwhile, was Southern Indiana’s co-leading scorer with, but he made only five of 15 shots.Bellarmine’s Ben Weyer led the Knights with 15 points, making five of six shots and one of two triples. Chivarsky Corbett also came up big for the Knights with 13 points and eight rebounds.For the game, the Knights ended up shooting 51.1 percent from the field while holding the Screaming Eagles to 36.2 percent. However, USI was able to keep it close with offensive rebounds, hauling in 13 on the day while winning the overall rebounding battle 32-29.Bellarmine improves to 25-4 with the victory while Southern Indiana slips to 22-8.The Knights move on to face Drury in Sunday’s Championship game at 2 p.m. (1 p.m. CT). The Panthers knocked off the Lewis Flyers 69-67 in overtime.