Bruins race past Lopers, 80-67

Thomas Hammock hit a game-high five threes in BU's 80-67 victory
Thomas Hammock hit a game-high five threes in BU's 80-67 victory

BELLEVUE, Neb. - The ninth-ranked Bellevue University men's basketball team received strong performances across the board on their way to an 80-67 non-conference intra-state victory over NCAA Division II University of Nebraska at Kearney on Wednesday night at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.

Senior Alex Worthen-Harris (Phoenix, Ariz.) led four Bruins (9-2) in double-figures with 18 points while narrowly missing a double-double, finishing with nine rebounds on the evening. Senior Thomas Hammock (Compton, Calif.) canned four first-half trifectas on his way to 15 points and reigning MCAC Player of the Week senior Percy Lemle (Carson, Calif.) scored 17 points and played distributor, finishing with a game-high seven assists. Junior Pogos Trunyan (Sacramento, Calif.) added 10 points, including a pair of second-half treys, to fall just two points short of his season-high.

Nebraska-Kearney (4-2) started fast, using a 12-0 run over a span of 2:15, to claim a 19-10 advantage as five different players scored during the streak. During that stretch, Bellevue missed all four of their field goal attempts and had a turnover.

The Bruins got back to basics, making five of their next nine field goal attempts to knot the game at 24-24 with 6:25 to play on the third of Hammock's four first half three-pointers.

Connor Beranek hit a three on the ensuing possession to give the Lopers their final lead of the game at the 6:15 mark of the first half. A pair of lay-ups by Lemle gave the Bruins their first lead since the 15:35 mark at 28-27. Lemle would drop in another lay-up, sandwiched between threes from Hammock and junior Ian Randolph (Mt. Vernon, Ill.) as the Bruins built a 38-34 lead on their way to taking a five-point advantage (43-38) into the locker room at half-time.

The Bruins wasted little time imposing their will on the visiting Lopers, scoring a 9-2 run out for the gate in the first 4:14 of the second half, capped off by a pair of free throws from junior Anthony Rounds (Riverside City, Calif.).

Bellevue claimed their biggest lead at 80-61 on a lay-up by Worthen-Harris with 4:56 to play but that was the last time the Bruins scored as Nebraska-Kearney tallied the final six points of the game.

Beranek paced the Lopers with 15 points while Trey Lansman and Lane Rohrich joined him in double-figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively.  Ty Danielson pulled down a team-best seven rebounds to go along with eight points.

The Bruins held a 36-29 edge on the boards thanks to Worthen-Harris and a season-high eight rebounds by senior Dimitri Chonis (Tucson, Ariz.) and the BU bench out-scored UNK's 38-25. Bellevue also held advantages in points off turnovers (16-9), points in the paint (40-22), and fast break points (17-7) while the teams were equal with seven second chance points apiece.

Bellevue will return to the court on Saturday, Dec. 13 when they host No. 21-ranked William Penn University at 3:00 p.m. at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center before a two-week lay-off.