LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Drury fought back in their game at number one ranked Bellarmine, but the Knights held off the Panthers down the stretch for a 78-65 win on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky.
Drury fell to 11-7 and 4-6 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference while Bellarmine snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 15-2 and 8-2 in the league.
The Knights owned a 52-28 halftime lead and went up by 26 before the Panthers chipped away and pulled within 12 with six minutes remaining. Drury missed four opportunities that could have cut Bellarmine’s lead to nine, and the Panthers could only get as close as 11 late in the contest.
Drury ended up outscoring Bellarmine 37-26 in the second half.
“I thought in the last 10 minutes we did some nice things,” said Drury head coach Steve Hesser. “We try to coach our guys and tell them what league play is going to be like, especially going east on the road. But they have to experience it.
“It doesn’t do any good to learn some lessons and not apply what you’ve learned, improve, and get better. That’s what we’ve got to do now – get back to Springfield and get better.”
Conley Garrison led Drury with a game-high 20 points while Isaac Johnson put in a season-high 19.
Bellarmine’s Alec Pfreim, playing in just his sixth game this season, led his team with 16 points scoring 14 of them in the first half.
The Knights owned a 35-24 rebound advantage and shot 57 percent from the field, hitting 31 of their 54 attempts. Drury shot 42 percent going 25 for 59 and were 10 for 27 from three-point range.
Drury returns home to host Missouri S&T on Thursday for a 7:45 pm game at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.