Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bellarmine University Rolls Into Sweet 16 with Big Win Over Quincy

Bellarmine hammered Quincy 93-64 Sunday to roll into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

The Knights will battle Findlay tonight at 7:00 p.m. for a shot at that national quarterfinals.

Here's a recap of Saturday's win from BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With a little over five minutes left in the NCAA Midwest Region semifinals, Rusty Troutman and Adam Eberhard exited the court together and took a seat.

The Bellarmine University men's basketball duo helped create a masterpiece Sunday evening at Knights Hall. And they got to soak it all in as the finishing touches were put on it.

The second-ranked Knights got 27 points apiece from Troutman and Eberhard as they steamrolled into the Sweet 16 of the DII NCAA Tournament with a 93-64 lambasting of Quincy.

"It was an incredible, extraordinary performance against a very, very good basketball team," Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport said. "They're a senior team, five of the seven seniors redshirted. We have as much respect for them as anybody we've had all year, because they're winners. They proved that last night (in a win over Kentucky Wesleyan)."

Freshman forward Ben Weyer added 12 points for top-seeded Bellarmine (30-3), which will meet sixth-seeded Findlay at 7 p.m. (ET) Tuesday in the regional final. Fifth-seeded Quincy finished the season 25-7.

Winners of 16 straight games, Bellarmine shot 54.5 percent and limited Quincy to 41.4 percent. The Knights took exceptional care of the ball, tying a season best with only six turnovers while forcing 16, and posted a plus-four rebounding advantage. Led by junior guard Tyler Jenkins, Bellarmine amassed 24 assists, the same amount of field goals compiled by Quincy.

"The preparation from last night through the walk-through today to our film session left me speechless," Davenport said. "From the assistant coaches to the players to the captains, it was one through 14 locked in. I'm very, very proud of them. I've been at a lot of levels in this game, a lot of tournament competition, that turnaround and that execution from game plan to competition was incredible."

First-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selections Troutman and Eberhard were unstoppable. A senior guard, Troutman erupted for 21 points in the first half as he drilled five 3-pointers in leading the Knights to a 48-28 lead. Troutman finished 9 of 16 from the field, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. He also had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Eberhard scored 14 points in the first half and 13 in the second. The sophomore forward made 11 of his 14 shots and added eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Behind Eberhard, Bellarmine had a 44-28 advantage in points in the paint against a Hawks squad that often possesses a dominant interior game.

Troutman spotted Eberhard for a layup on Bellarmine's opening possession and the Knights were off. Eberhard scored 10 points and Troutman nailed his first 3-pointer as Bellarmine blazed out to a 15-2 lead.

Quincy responded and got back within four before trailing 31-24 with 5:42 left in the first half. Bellarmine followed with the decisive run of the game, a 17-2 surge where the sizzling Troutman drained three 3-pointers in a span of a little over two minutes. The result was a commanding 48-28 advantage at the intermission.

Quincy opened the second half on a 5-0 run, but the Hawks' comeback hopes were extinguished when Eberhard scored the first seven points in a 9-0 burst that extended the lead to 24. The advantage never dipped below 19 thereafter.

"They had a blast when they were getting each other shots, and that's what extraordinary teams do," Davenport said.

Evan McGaughey scored 19 points and Marcus Hinton added 14 for Quincy. Bellarmine shot 59.4 percent in the second half against the Hawks.

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