Knights to Remember in NCAAs at Bellarmine in Louisville KY

You may have heard this around town, but if you haven’t been to a basketball game at Knights Hall on Bellarmine’s campus, you really should put it on your list of unique experiences in Louisville KY.

On Saturday, the gym was full and the top-seeded Knights were primed for Coach Scott Davenport. It was a little like watching Kentucky play, in that the home team seemed to toy with the visiting Drury for a while, but midway through the second half the only mystery was the margin of victory. (24, 84-60).

Coach Scotty Davenport gets a little intense during timeouts.
Coach Scotty Davenport gets a little intense during timeouts.

It wasn’t anything like a Kentucky game in every other way. Emotional players, slick passing, diving for loose balls and gritty performances are the hallmark of Davenport’s teams. The crowd was loud. The cheerleaders cheered. The visitors from Missouri never really had a chance, but kept fighting. Guard Ben Fisher kept bombing away 3s to keep it close, but Bellarmine pulled away.

The Knights play in Louisville KY again tonight at 7:30.

Here’s part of the actual game story from Paul Najjar at Catholic Sports Net:

The No. 1-seed Bellarmine Knights turned the shooting tables on the No. 8-seed Drury pounding the Panthers 84-60 in the first round of the Midwest Regional before a capacity crowd at Knights Hall Saturday night.

What a difference a week makes. And what a difference a full complement of players makes.

Sophomore forward Josh Derksen, who missed last Sunday’s GLVC tournament title game, scored 14 first-half points and his 6-foot-9 frame helped hound the Panthers on the perimeter. 

Last week, Drury made 11 of its 18 three point attempts and shot 61 percent from the field en route to a 77-70 win. Tonight, it was the Bellarmine defense limiting the Panthers to 45.7 percent shooting and only 8-of-18 from three point range (44.4 percent). It was a masterful performance against a very good perimeter shooting team.

“That was two great basketball teams playing,” Bellarmine head coach Scott Davenport said. “But we defended one-through-five for forty minutes as good as you can defend and they still shot 46 percent. We defended the heck out of them. We played with tremendous poise and tremendous unselfishness not only on offense (Bellarmine had 22 assists on 31 made baskets), but on defense as well. We gave for each other defensively tonight.

“If you’d been around this team all week, the way we said it (was): be willing to make sacrifices, but understand that your teammates are willing to make those same sacrifices for you,” Davenport continued. “And we transferred that into competition. When you get that feeling with a lot of talented guys, that’s really special.”