Fleming, Betz fuel 72-47 Bellarmine win at Stetson
DELAND, Fla.-The Bellarmine Knights jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead then cruised to a 72-47 victory at Stetson on Thursday night behind 21 points from CJ Fleming and a career-high 19 points from Juston Betz.
After suffering through their worst shooting game in more than a decade on Monday night, the Knights scorched the nets with 57.4 percent shooting while limiting the Hatters to under 30 percent. Bellarmine delivered a solid 1-2 punch with strong play both inside and outside. The Knights owned a 42-20 advantage in points in the paint, and outscored Stetson 24-12 from 3-point range.
”An incredible team just shot 57-point-4, and all I’m going to talk about is our defense,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. “We gave up 18 points in the first half, and then in the second half...we’d given up 25 when we got to the under 2-minute mark. Our defense of the three was a big-time key of the game.” (Stetson finished four of 26, 15.4 percent, from the 3-point line.)
Bellarmine also showed great ball control, limiting turnovers to just two in the first half in building a 35-18 advantage at the intermission.
Coming back after the break, however, the Knights stumbled a bit. They coughed the ball up three times in the first 2:39 of the second period, prompting Davenport to call a timeout. After the pep talk, the Knights got back on track, turning it over just once more in the game to finish with just six turnovers while forcing the Hatters into 13.Fleming’s 21 points came in a variety of ways. He sank three triples, scored on post-ups, and converted driving layups. “What a night CJ Fleming had,” Davenport said. “He made shot after shot after shot. He got good shots early, then as they pressed out on him, he made great decisions with the ball.”
Betz also had a stellar night, converting nine of his 10 shots and leading the team with six rebounds and four assists.
Dylan Penn, the reigning ASUN Player of the Week, also made a solid contribution with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Chase Johnston was the lone Hatter to reach double digits, scoring 13 on 5-of-16 shooting. Mahamadou Diawara posted a game-high 10 rebounds as Stetson enjoyed a 39-26 advantage on the glass.
With the win, Bellarmine improves to 6-1 in ASUN play and 12-9 overall. The Hatters fall to 8-12, 2-5 ASUN.
The Knights return to action on Saturday night when they travel to Fort Myers to face Florida Gulf Coast University at 7 p.m. The Eagles (13-8, 3-4 ASUN) were 77-73 winners over Eastern Kentucky in game played earlier on Thursday.
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