Bellarmine Sports Information

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The No. 1 Bellarmine University men's basketball team turned back a solid challenge from the Tornado of King College to record a 75-64 non-conference victory Saturday in Knights Hall.

The victory marked the 100th by Bellarmine head coach Scott Davenport, making him just the second Bellarmine men's coach to reach that milestone. Joe Reibel was 346-277 from 1971-94.

The Knights got a balanced attack with Justin Benedetti collecting 18 points to lead four Bellarmine players in double figures. Game-high honors went to King's Mark Dockery, who tallied 20.

Coming into the contest Bellarmine was one of the nation's best shooting teams, but the Tornado managed to out-shoot the Knights 51.1 percent to just 47.3 percent.

"I thought we played very well [Saturday]," Davenport said, "but you have to give [King] credit. They run so many sets, and they are not fazed by pressure or the clock. As far as execution goes, we won't see a better team all year."

After a tight opening 13 minutes, Bellarmine spurted to a 14-point lead thanks to hitting four of six three-pointers during a 5-minute span. A deep 3-pointer by Dockery as time expired in the opening half got the Tornado back to within 13 as the Knights went in to the locker room leading 45-32.

In the second period, King simply refused to go away. After Bellarmine opened up a 16-point advantage with just more than nine minutes remaining, King dug in its heels a made a comeback. The Tornado whittled down the Bellarmine lead to just four as Dockery completed a rare 4-point play.

Bellarmine, however, maintained its composure as Braydon Hobbs calmly drained a 3-pointer late in the shot clock on the ensuing possession. Then, after King missed the front end of a one-and-one, Benedetti connected from beyond the arc to stake the Knights to a 10-point lead with 3:17 remaining. From that point, Bellarmine coasted for the 11-point victory.

Following the game, Bellarmine athletic director Scott Wiegandt and Bellarmine president Joseph J. McGowan presented Davenport a souvenir basketball to commemorate his 100th win. During the photo op, Davenport called over his team to share in the moment. "It's all about the players," Davenport said. "Our seniors have been around for 74 of these wins, and because of them, I think I'm the luckiest coach in America."