Northern Kentucky Athletics

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – No. 2 ranked Bellarmine completed the school’s first road sweep of all conference opponents in 32 years with a 71-59 victory against No. 18 Northern Kentucky on Saturday night at The Bank of Kentucky Center.

Chris Dowe scored a career-high 22 points off 6 of 9 shooting from the field and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. The scoring output included a five-minute stretch where he tallied nine consecutive Bellarmine points off a trio of layups and a pull-up jumper from the right elbow, giving the Knights a 64-49 lead heading into the game’s final media timeout.

Bellarmine led by as many as seven points on three separate occasions in the first half, but trailed 37-36 at the break. It was just the fourth time this season the Knights were behind after 20 minutes of play.

“I think tonight’s game was a mirror of the first meeting (with NKU),” Bellarmine Head Coach Scott Davenport said. “I thought our second half defense was tremendous, and we were able to grind the game out. We held them to 38 percent shooting in the second half, and in a nutshell, that was the game.”

Braydon Hobbs paced the Knights with 15 points off 6 of 10 shooting, including an important 3-point basket from the top of the key with 12:21 remaining, giving the Knights a 47-41 lead. He also added five rebounds, a team-high he shared with Keisten Jones.

Despite being plagued by foul trouble throughout the contest, Justin Benedetti managed to pour in 16 points off 7 of 10 shooting to complement his two assists. Luke Sprague added 10 points, while Jeremy Kendle produced six points.

Bellarmine outrebounded Northern Kentucky 35-28, and finished the game with eight offensive rebounds, including seven in the second half.