Grace claims exhibition victory over Bellevue

Pogos Trunyan scored 18 points, making six three-pointers against Grace
Pogos Trunyan scored 18 points, making six three-pointers against Grace

OMAHA, Neb. - Junior Pogos Trunyan (Sacramento, Calif.) and freshman Austin Moore (Bellevue, Neb.) combined for 35 points but it was enough as the Bellevue University basketball team dropped a 75-70 exhibition contest at Grace University on Tuesday night. The Bruins, winners of four straight in regular season play, sat all five of their starters in the contest.

The game, a back and forth affair, saw a total of 10 lead changes and two ties with the largest lead reaching eight points for Grace.

Jarrod Sheffield scored 25 points to lead Grace while Jacob Heck (14 points), Hakeem Stewart (13), and Ayotunde Akinbote (12 points) each joined Sheffield in double figures. Akinbote registered a double-double with 11 rebounds to go along with his 12 points.

The Bellevue defensive effort was strong, forcing Grace into 12 turnovers and limited the Royals into a 33.3 percent effort from three-point range. However, Grace, after being limited to a 41.4 percent effort from the field in the first half erupted for a 61.3 percent shooting effort in the second half.

The Bruins trailed by just two at the half but the hot shooting of Grace was too much to overcome in the second period despite Bellevue scoring 44 points on 43.8 percent shooting.

Trunyan scored what easily would have been a career-high 18 points if the game counted towards the standings while Moore's 17 points would likewise have been a career-best. Junior Nicolus Guzman (Delano, Calif.) scored 14 points and pulled down six rebounds. Senior Dimitri Chonis (Tucson, Ariz.) hauled in a team-high eight rebounds to go along with his four points while junior Ian Randolph (Mt. Vernon, Ill.) and Yusuf Shehata (Tucson, Ariz.) each scored eight points of their own.

With a game roster of just seven players, the Bruins were out-rebounded 41-30 for the game but shot 38.9 percent from deep and committed just 10 turnovers for the game.

Bellevue will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 30 with a 7:30 p.m. tilt at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.