Holmes records double-double
The Knights grabbed a double digit lead just 8:20 into the action as the hosts converted numerous Yellow Jacket turnovers. Senior Nick Holmes helped establish Bellarmine's early dominance on his way to his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"Nick Holmes came out and set the tone early," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport, who added that West Virginia State changed their game plan from the teams' Nov. 26 meeting (a 103-79 victory by the Knights). "They pressed Jeremy (Kendle) out tonight, and to his credit, he looked to get the ball to his teammates. We have no team ego--that's what we've built this season on."
After taking a 46-28 lead into halftime, Bellarmine and WVSU played relatively even over the final 20 minutes as 14 Bellarmine players saw action, with 11 hitting the scoring column. Bellarmine, which shot a blistering 55.2 percent for the game, was led by Justin Benedetti, who tallied 16 points on six of seven shooting, including going two for two beyond the 3-point line.
Chris Dowe had another solid outing for the Knights, coming off the bench for 15 points. Luke Sprague also hit double figures with 10 points while Braydon Hobbs registered eight assists.
Game high honors went to West Virginia State's Josh "Cookie" Miller who poured in 23 second half points to total 29 for the game.
With the win, Bellarmine improves to 6-0 while the Yellow Jackets fall to 5-3.
The Knights square off against Indiana University Southeast tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Knights Hall. The Grenadiers dropped a 105-96 decision to Southern Indiana in tonight's opening game of the Fern Valley Hotel Classic. The 5 p.m. game features Southern Indiana taking on West Virginia State.