Saturday, December 11, 2010

Knights extend record to 7-0 with 97-70 victory over Grenadiers

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The No. 1 Bellarmine University men's basketball team blew past the Grenadiers of Indiana University-Southeast 97-70 tonight in the final game of the Fern Valley Hotel Classic in Knights Hall.

Bellarmine (7-0) got huge efforts from freshman Keisten Jones, who scored a career high 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds, and Jeremy Kendle, who tallied 26 points and dished off six assists. Sophomore Chris Dowe also tied his career high with 17 points, and he, too, grabbed seven boards.

The Knights were tested in the early going, but slowly built a 45-31 halftime lead, and extended it in the second half to as many as 28.

Several times in the final period, IU Southeast started clawing their way back into contention.  Any thoughts of an IUS comeback, however, were squelched by Jones, who erupted for 10 points in a span of two minutes in the second half.

The freshman from Ballard started the scoring spree with two free throws after he out-fought Brice Mitchell of IUS for an offensive rebound.  On the Knights' next possession, Jones skied for a thunderous alley-oop slam dunk off a feed from Dowe. Just 25 seconds later, he added an old-fashioned 3-point play and capped the flurry with a deep 3-ball to put the Knights ahead by 20 at the 11:20 mark of the game.

Bellarmine essentially won every phase of the game, with the biggest difference coming in rebounding, where the Knights owned a 46-19 advantage while limiting IUS to just three offensive rebounds.

"The most impressive thing of the night," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport, "was our gang rebounding," pointing out that no Bellarmine player had more than seven. "We rebounded in traffic and we went out got the ball. We didn't wait for it to come to our spot on the floor."

For the second straight night, Bellarmine shot better than 50 percent from the floor, making 33 of 62 attempts.  The Grenadiers, ranked No. 12 in NAIA DIv. II, were held to 43.9 percent shooting.

Senior guard Jazzmarr Ferguson led the IU Southeast attack with 22 points and six assists.  The Louisville Moore product had a tough shooting night from beyond the 3-point line, however, hitting just one of 11 attempts as the Grenadiers fell to 7-5 on the season.

Prior to the game, Bellarmine held a ring ceremony to honor last year's Great Lakes Valley Conference champions.

Next up for the Knights, is a Dec. 18 game at home against King College.  Tip is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Knights Hall.

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