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Drury Athletics | January 17, 2014

DII: Panthers down Rockhurst 104-69 in GLVC play

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Lonnie Boga led six Panthers in double figures with a career-high 17 points as No. 7 Drury throttled Rockhurst 104-69 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game on Thursday night at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.

Kameron Bundy and Mike Nwelue added 16 points each -- a DU career high for the latter, who got his first start as a Panther -- while Cameron Adams had 13 points, Sean Osler scored 12 and Drake Patterson added 11 points.

Drury improved to 13-1 overall and 5-1 in the GLVC, while Rockhurst fell to 5-8 and 1-5. It was the 18th consecutive win at The O' and 30th in their past 31 games there for the Panthers.

And this one was in DU's control very early. The Panthers raced out to a 14-2 lead after just 3 minutes and 45 seconds, pushed that 30 points (38-8) just 11:29 into the contest and went on to a 61-26 advantage at the half.

The Panthers hit 18 of 29 shots (62 percent) during the first 20 minutes -- including 7 of 11 shooting from 3-point range -- and held a 25-11 rebounding advantage, committing just four turnovers in the half against a Rockhurst team that was coming off a 95-84 victory at Saint Joseph's in GLVC play last Saturday.

"I thought we did some very good things in the first half," Drury head coach Steve Hesser said. "I really liked, on several occasions, in the first half where we went to the offensive boards, and rather than take some hard shots, we made some extra passes to get better shots.

"Obviously that's why you shoot 62 percent in the first half. I thought our ball movement and teamwork was something I was proud of."

The Panthers led by 40 points early in the second half before substituting liberally down the stretch and eventually playing the Hawks even (43-43) for the second half.

Boga hit 5 of 7 shots and scored his career-high 17 points in just 20 minutes in reaching double-figures for a third consecutive game.

"Lonnie has been a lot more assertive," Hesser said. "He's had some success, and if you do things the right way and you have some success, that builds more confidence for more success. We want him to continue doing what he's doing and to play within the framework of what we do, and he's doing that. His contributions have been very helpful these last three games."

Hesser also praised the efforts of Nwelue, the Southwestern Assemblies of God transfer who, in his first start (in place of senior Ian Carter), made all four of his field goal tries, 8 of 9 free throws and added five rebounds and an assist in 20 minutes.

"I thought Mike did a good job ... he chased the basketball on the backboard and made his free throws," Hesser said. "He had some things to build upon."

"We just made a change," Hesser added on the Nwelue for Carter lineup swap. "I thought Ian handled it in a very professional way, and I'm proud of him for how he responded ... it wasn't about him, it was about us. And my hat's off to him. That's some growth."

Drury finished with a 42-26 rebounding advantage, with Carter pulling down eight rebounds to lead the way. The Panthers also had just 11 turnovers while forcing 12 by the Hawks, who got 20 points from senior guard Brandon McCann.

Drury shot 56 percent from the field for the game (33 of 59), and finished 11 of 23 from 3-point range (48 percent).

Rockhurst made just 39 percent (24 of 61), including 8 of 27 on 3-pointers (30 percent).

Indianapolis 81, No. 2 Bellarmine 79

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Second-ranked Bellarmine suffered its first loss of the season as No. 14 Indianapolis pulled off the 81-79 upset in Knights Hall on Thursday night in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game.

The Knights led 77-74 with 2:03 remaining, but Bellarmine came up empty on their next three possessions while UIndy converted an old-fashioned three-point play, then went 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the final 30 seconds to complete the upset. Keisten Jones' follow basket as time expired made the final margin just two.

Until the Bellarmine drought late in the game, the teams traded the lead 13 times in the closing period and there were six ties.

Jones and UIndy's Tyrae Robinson each notched 19 points to tie for game-high scoring honors. Four more Knights hit double figures with Jake Thelen netting 18, George Suggs scoring 12, and Tanner Gibson and Derksen scoring 10 each. Reece Cheatham was UIndy's only other double-digit scorer with 17.

Shooting percentages were well off each team's season averages as Bellarmine and UIndy entered the game as the first- and sixth-best shooting teams in Division II, respectively. The Knights hit on just 46.6 percent (27 of 58) of their shots, while the Hounds managed just 28 of 63 for 44.4 percent. Free-throw shooting was also poor for both squads with Bellarmine converting only 19 of 32 attempts for a season low 59.4 percent. Indianapolis was just slightly better at 60.7 percent (17-28).

Bellarmine claimed a one-rebound advantage (40-39) as Thelen and Jones led the way with 10 apiece; Jones set a career high in rebounds.

Bellarmine slipped to 12-1 overall and 4-1 in the GLVC, while UIndy improved its record to mirror the Knights at 12-1, 4-1 GLVC.

No. 10 Southern Indiana 97, Saint Joseph's (Ind.) 78

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Southern Indiana senior forward Taylor Wischmeier came off the bench to score a season-high 20 points and dish out a career-high five assists in leading the 10th-ranked Screaming Eagles to a 97-78 victory against Saint Joseph's (Ind.) on Thursday evening in the Physical Activities Center. USI improved to 12-1 overall and 4-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while Saint Joseph's fell to 4-11 overall, 1-4 GLVC.

Wischmeier shot a blistering 76.9 percent from the field (10 of 13) that produced 20 points in just 12 minutes of action. He also led a devastating USI bench attack that outscored Saint Joseph's 54-16.

USI senior forward Aaron Nelson followed Wischmeier in the scoring column and produced his 13th consecutive double-double with 15 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Nelson, who grabbed 11 of the 13 rebounds on the defensive end of the court, also was credited with a career-high six assists.

Joining Wischmeier and Nelson in double-figure scoring was senior guard Ben Jones, who recorded a season-high 13 points and tied a season best with five rebounds, and senior guard Gavin Schumann, who came off the bench to drop in 12 points.

As a team, USI bounced back from its 0-for-11 3-point shooting slump in the loss to Drury last weekend to hit seven field goals from long range, including six of its first eight attempts. The squad also posted a 62.7 percent field-goal percentage (42 of 67) overall.