EVANSVILLE, Ind. – On the second day Bill Joergens Memorial Classic hosted by University of Southern Indiana, the King University men's basketball team faced their second ranked team in as many nights, taking on #3 Bellarmine University. The Tornado stayed with the Knights most of the game, but ran out of gas late as the fell 84-71.
The three-point baskets fell early and often in the first half as Scottie Hendricks drilled three straight in the first two minutes to give King (2-4) a 9-3 advantage. Logan Lyle followed with another triple to give the Tornado a 12-3 lead and force Bellarmine's second timeout of the game.
However, the Knights (4-0) hit back-to-back triples to get back within three points. After a pair of free throws and layup, Josh Derksen hit another three-point basket to give the lead back to Bellarmine. Josh Stoner followed with another three-point basket, and Derksen hit another to stretch the lead to 22-14 before C.J. Good took a pass from Michael Fortune and connected on his first triple of the game. Nathanael Hughes stole ensuing inbounds pass and drilled another from long range to pull King within 22-20 with just under 11 minutes remaining in the first stanza. Good made in a 9-0 run, giving King the lead with another triple following a Lyle steal.
The game was then played within a two point spread until Rusty Troutman connected on another triple to give the Knights a 36-33 lead with 3:39 left in the first half. Bellarmine stretched their lead to five before Good cut the deficit to 38-36 with another three-point basket. However, the Knights closed the half on an 8-2 run, including a triple as the horn sounded to give Bellarmine a 46-38 halftime lead.
King shot 9-for-18 from three point range while going 12-for-26 (46.2 percent) from the floor. However, the Knights shot 65.2 percent from the floor, making 15 of their 23 shots, while going 11-for-16 from long range for a 68.8 three-point percentage.
Hendricks stayed hot in the second half, connecting on his first two attempts to pull King within 49-44 just over a minute into the frame. The Knight lead reached as many as 10 points on two occasions before Shamarae Watts and Drew Standifer pulled the Tornado within six twice, the second time at 61-55 with 9:33 left.
However, Bellarmine quickly scored five straight points to stretch their lead to 11 points before Hendricks answered with another triple. Malcolm St. Louis cut the deficit to seven with jump shot with just more than seven minutes remaining.
The Knight lead grew to as many as 17 points with more than three minutes remaining before Fortune made a layup, and Hughes converted a three-point play to cut the King deficit to 80-68 with less than three minutes left. However, the Tornado couldn't get any closer than seven points as they fell to their third ranked team this season, 84-71.
King shot 41.7 percent from the floor, including 36.6 percent from three-point range while the Knights shot 57.4 percent from the floor and 53.6 percent from long range. The Tornado outrebounded Bellarmine 30-28.
Hendricks led the Tornado with a career-high 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting from long range. Good added 12 points while St. Louis and Lyle chipped in with seven points apiece. St. Louis grabbed a team-high seven rebounds while Fortune dished out eight assists.
King will be in action again on Wednesday when they open Conference Carolinas play at Erskine College. Tipoff from Due West, S.C., is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.