CRAWFORD | No. 7 Bellarmine is breathtaking in spoiling No. 25 USI's Senior Night, 93-48
Bellarmine shot better than 70 percent from the field to blow out No. 25 USI on its Senior Night and its final game in PAC Arena.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – One of my favorite experiences covering college basketball came back in 2011, when Bellarmine opened its exhibition season at Duke. Knights’ coach Scott Davenport was gracious enough to let me make the trip with the team, and to be around for the shootaround and in the locker room.
At halftime, trailing by only five points, the players shuffled in and took their seats. While coaches were putting statistics on the board and Davenport was collecting his thoughts in the back before making some comments, the players started diagnosing the first half themselves.
They talked about some problems with their ball screens on offense. They talked about what Duke was doing offensively. They identified some problems on the defensive boards.
That’s what a team looks like that understands the game and has ownership in the program.
During his team’s game Saturday night at conference rival Southern Indiana, Davenport saw that kind of thing from his players again. The result was a rout: Bellarmine beat No. 25-ranked USI on its home court, 93-48.
“There was one (timeout) where they literally took over the huddle because they were so in tune to helping one another,” Davenport said in a release from the school. “When they leave that huddle who do they have? They have each other."
This wasn’t just any game for USI. If it wasn't quite Cameron Indoor Stadium, it was an emotional night for the home team. It was Senior Night. The crowd on hand was a sellout, 2,600 fans. It was the last game to be played in USI's on-campus home, PAC Arena. The Screaming Eagles had won 20 straight games in the building. And it wound up being USI’s worst loss since 1984.
It wound up being an historic night all right, but for the visitors.
I’ve double-checked these statistics. There’s no misprint. Bellarmine missed only five shots in the second half, shooting 78.3 percent. The Knights were 11 of 13 from two-point range in the half. For the game, Bellarmine shot 71 percent from the field and 68 percent from three-point range. It dished out 23 assists, and seven different players had multiple assists.
Chivarsky Corbett had a career night, with 30 points on 13 of 14 shooting, to go with 12 rebounds. That led an effort against a USI team that ranked third in Division II in rebounds and 12th in rebounding margin coming into the game in which Bellarmine outrebounded the Screaming Eagles 34-22.
Alex Cook had 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Adam Eberhard, playing in his hometown, had 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting. Brent Bach added 12 points. Parker Chitty came off the bench to lead the Knights with five assists.
“Their team was very well prepared and I felt inadequate with my preparation,” USI coach Randy Watson told The Evansville Courier & Press. “I didn’t have our guys ready to play at a championship-caliber level and it really bothers me personally. I got out-coached, man. There’s no two ways around that.”
With six and a half minutes to play, Davenport pulled his starters, leading by more than 40.
“I see this this type of effort every day in practice," he said. "This game was won with incredible poise, execution—and I'll be honest—class.”
The Knights (22-2, 13-2) continue their four-game road trip on Thursday night when they face Rockhurst in Kansas City, Mo.
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