By Dalton McGlone, staff writer
Bellarmine University’s men basketball team kept its winning streak alive after defeating Drury University 81-59 in Knights Hall Thursday.
Bellarmine is now 17-0 on the season and 8-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Drury (9-10, 3-4 GLVC) has lost five of its last seven games.
Although Drury has struggled this season, the team has kept its games close. Before playing Bellarmine, Drury hadn’t lost by more than six points all season.
Despite the final score, the win didn’t come easy for the Knights. Drury shot the ball well in the first half, going 7-for-14 from the 3-point line. Thanks to efficient shooting, seven turnovers forced on the defensive end and 24 points from bench players, Drury trailed by only four at the half.
After a brief run in the second half, the Panthers tied the game. Allen Billinger came off the bench to lead Drury in scoring with 19 points on five 3-pointers for the game.
Bellarmine held the Panthers to only 21 points in the second half. Drury didn’t find the same success from the 3-point line, as the team only made three out of 14 attempts.
Bellarmine head coach Scott Davenport said defense was the key to limiting Drury’s success at the 3-point line.
Davenport said: “The players deserve all the credit. They played with a little more urgency in the second half. Give Drury a lot of credit. They average 10 threes on the year, and they made 10 tonight. But we dug in as a team on defense. Not as individuals. That’s something that we stress at all times. I’m very proud of them.”
By continuously getting the ball inside, Bellarmine broke away from the Panthers. The Knights shot a very efficient 63 percent from the field and scored 54 of their 81 points in the paint.
Junior forward Alex Cook played a major role in helping Bellarmine secure the win. Cook finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.
Senior forward Adam Eberhard led the Knights in scoring with 22 points and made a difference on defense with three steals. With a turnaround jumper in the second half, Eberhard passed Braydon Hobbs for eighth on Bellarmine’s all-time scoring list.
“It’s a great accomplishment, but it just means I’ve played a lot of games here,” Eberhard said. “Either way, it means a lot to be on a list with those names.”
Bellarmine will face Missouri S&T in Knights Hall at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday. Missouri S&T is 3-13 on the season and sits at the bottom of the GLVC standings.