Bellarmine Snaps Two Game Skid

Bellarmine Snaps Two Game Skid
Bellarmine men's head basketball coach Scott Davenport. (Source: WAVE 3 News photo. Cleared for use.)

(Courtesy: Bellarmine Athletics) LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The Bellarmine fans at Knights Hall knew they were in for something different today when they saw five new faces in the starting lineup. And, the new-look Knights delivered. With a starting lineup of Ethan Claycomb, Chris Palombizio, Garrett Tipton, Cobe Penny and Parker Chitty, Bellarmine snapped a rare, two-game losing skid with a 78-65 victory over Great Lakes Valley Conference foe Drury on Saturday afternoon. Perhaps even more surprising than the starting five was the performance turned in by freshman Alec Pfriem. Heading into today’s game, the Cincinnati native had seen action is just five games and scored seven points, a total he had doubled by the time halftime rolled around. Entering at the 16:54 mark of the first half, Pfriem made an immediate impact by blocking a 3-point attempt by Drury’s Isaac Johnson then hustling downcourt where he was rewarded with a beautiful feed from Dylan Penn for a layup. Pfriem continued his solid play and finished the game as Bellarmine’s leading scorer with 16 points on a perfect shooting night: 7-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 on free throws. Bellarmine Coach, Scott Davenport said the adjusted line up and player rotations weren’t done to shake things up after dropping two straight games, but rather as a reward to the players’ efforts in practice. “That lineup wasn’t based on Monday and Thursday night,” Davenport said. “That lineup was 100 percent based on practice. Literally every drill (in our practices) is a competition, and the guys who started have been winning all the segments of practice, so we started them. And, they played great.” The Knights rolled to 52-28 halftime lead, making 18 baskets on 14 assists while shooting at a 69.2 percent clip. Pfriem led the way with 14 of his 16 points coming in the opening 20 minutes. In the second period, Bellarmine got a little careless with the ball, making 11 second half turnovers which the Panthers converted into 19 points as Drury outscored the Knights 37-26 after halftime. “We have to get better,” said Davenport. “The numbers don’t lie. In the first half, we took five challenged shots and 21 open shots, and we hit 17 of our 21 (open shots). In the second half, (we took) 12 challenged shots, 16 open shots. We make two of the 12 and 11 of the 16 open shots, so there are the numbers, and they don’t lie.” Bellarmine finished the game shooting 57.4 percent while racking up 23 assists, the team’s third-best effort of the year as 10 different players recorded at least one. Defensively, the Knights held Drury to 42.4 percent shooting while outrebounding the Panthers 35-24 with 11 players corralling at least one board. Davenport, who celebrated his birthday today, singled out Penny and Penn for their work on the glass. “Cobe Penny and Dylan Penn had 11 of our 35 rebounds...they just went and got them.” The Bellarmine scoring line also was quite balanced with only Tipton joining Pfriem in double figures. The redshirt freshman also recorded a career-high with 13 points while making five of eight from the field and nailing two of his three triples. Conley Garrison paced the Panthers with 20 points. He and Johnson, who tossed in 19 points, combined to go nine of 18 from beyond the arc, meaning the rest of the team was just one of nine from downtown. Bellarmine improves to 15-2, 8-2 GLVC while Drury slips to 11-7, 4-6 GLVC. The Knights are now on the road for their next four GLVC contests. Next up is a trip to Illinois Springfield on Thursday followed by a game at Lewis on Saturday. For more coverage of Bellarmine athletics, follow us on Twitter (@BUKnights), Instagram (BUKnights) and Facebook (BUKnights).

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.