Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bellarmine Opens Conference Play with Two Wins

The Bellarmine Knights opened Great Lakes Valley Conference play with wins over Rockhurst and William Jewell.

Here are recaps from BU:

Bellarmine 73 Rockhurst 56

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The No. 6 Bellarmine University Knights made their Great Lakes Valley Conference debut a successful one by riding a strong first half to a 73-56 victory over the visiting Rockhurst Hawks Friday night in Knights Hall.

Sophomore forward Josh Derksen paced the Knights with a career high 20 points while senior Jake Thelen hauled in 12 rebounds to continue to lead the GLVC in that category.

After the Knights and Hawks battled back and forth for the first eight and a half minutes, Bellarmine reeled off 15 unanswered points to take a 28-12 lead on a Derksen trey at the 8:00 minute mark. The Knights would see the lead swell to as many as 20 and took a 41-23 lead into the locker room.

Bellarmine opened up a 25-point lead about midway through the second half, but Rockhurst battled back and actually outscored the Knights 33-32 in the second period.

"The first thing, this crowd on Friday night with no students was absolutely tremendous," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "Secondly, the first half our ball movement and passing was tremendous; the second half it wasn't, and it showed. The first half we had 10 assists on 13 baskets. In the second half we only get four assists."

"Individually," Davenport said, "Rusty Troutman and George Suggs played tremendous basketball, but they came back from the break with great practices. Josh Derksen tonight played so much more like a Bellarmine player that he went to another level. He took a bad shot and he responded with a monster block on the other end."

"All in all to be 1-0 is great, but in the whole sum of things, I'm not too pleased," Davenport said.

Complete Recap

Bellarmine 70 William Jewell 50

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-After facing a five-point halftime deficit, the sixth-ranked Bellarmine University soared past the Cardinals of William Jewell with a strong second half to post a 70-50 victory in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game played at Knights Hall on Sunday afternoon. Bellarmine's Jake Thelen turned in another spectacular performance, hitting 11 of 12 shots while tying his career high with 29 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. It was his sixth double-double of the season.

The opening 20 minutes saw each team go on runs. William Jewell opened the game with a 7-2 advantage, but Bellarmine strung together an 18-4 run to go ahead 20-11 at the 9:52 mark. The Cardinals answered by outscoring the Knights 19-5 to take a 30-25 lead into the locker room.

After the break, the Knights ratcheted up both their offense and their defense to outscore the visitors 45-20 to win by 20. Bellarmine scorched the nets with 62.5 percent second half shooting while limiting Jewell to just 28 percent from the field. "Really, really proud of the guys to hold them to 35 percent shooting for the game and 28 in the second half," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "We didn't let offense dictate how we played defense in the second half-we did in the first half. This was a great win."

Davenport added, "26 field goals on 22 assists, that's Bellarmine basketball. What portrays Bellarmine basketball even more is that Jake Thelen goes for 29 points and 15 rebounds and he's a better teammate and a captain than he is player. That's a big statement, but that's the way I really feel."

For the game the Knights shot 55.3 percent from the field despite struggling from behind the arc. Making just one of 11 from long range, the Knights were 25 of 36 from inside the arc for just under 70 percent. Meanwhile, Jewell went five of 11 from long range in the first half but was 0-8 in the second period.

Four Knights hit double figures with George Suggs and Chris Whitehead tossing in 10 apiece and Josh Derksen finishing with 12 including a pair of rim-rattling dunks off alley-oop plays. Nine Bellarmine players had at least one assist with Thelen, Rusty Troutman and Michael Parrish leading the way with four each.

Complete Recap

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