Jake Thelen nets career-high 23 as Bellarmine cruises past West Va. Tech
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The No. 2 Bellarmine Knights cruised to an 86-51 victory against the visiting Golden Bears of West Virginia Tech on Monday night in a non-conference game in Knights Hall.
Junior forward Jake Thelen set a career high with 23 points to lead four double-digit scorers for the Knights. Senior Keisten Jones became the 35th member of the Bellarmine 1,000-point club as he picked up the first basket of the game just 10 seconds into the contest.
Thelen, who entered the game as the third-best shooter in the country, improved on his season average by hitting 10 of 11 shots. He also hauled in nine rebounds to share game-high honors with teammate Vance Hall.
"We practiced great all week, so I'm not surprised," Bellarmine coach Scott Davenport said. "I'm very proud of our defensive effort, and equally as proud at having 33 baskets on 26 assists. It was great [Monday] to be able to play everybody."
The Knights' defense limited the Golden Bears (8-7) to just 30 percent shooting, and they bottled up their leading scorer Brandon Burgraff to just four points.
Bellarmine was never seriously threatened in the game and led by as many as 42 after freshman Josh Derksen flushed down a reverse dunk at the 12:05 mark of the second half.
Despite the large victory margin, Bellarmine produced its worst shooting night of the year making just 33 of 75 field goals for 44 percent. The Knights entered play as the best shooting team in Division II at nearly 58 percent on the year.
The Knights enjoyed great individual performances up and down the lineup. In addition to Thelen's performance, Hall neared triple-double numbers in just 21 minutes of action, totaling 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Junior guard Corbin Maynard also had 15 minutes of action that produced five steals, five points and four rebounds.
Bellarmine (5-0) continued to show prowess on the backboard, outrebounding WVT 51-37 including a 20-13 advantage on the offensive glass.