Nate Bellhy Nets 37 As W&J Wins In Kentucky 92-82
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. -- Sophomore forward Nate Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) poured in a career-high 37 points, the most by a Washington & Jefferson player since 2006, to lift the Presidents to a 92-82 PAC men's basketball victory over previously-undefeated Thomas More on Saturday afternoon at the Connor Convocation Center.
Bellhy's 37-point outburst was the most by a President since all-time leading scorer Jon Koch '07 erupted for 38 points against Thiel on Jan. 21, 2006. Bellhy, who missed the last two games due to injury, made 13-of-19 shots overall, including 7-of-8 from three-point range. He also grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out a pair of assists in 35 minutes of action.
The Presidents (3-6, 2-2 PAC) snapped a six-game losing streak on TMC's home floor, while the Saints (7-1, 2-1 PAC) lost for the first time all season.
W&J shot 76 percent in the second half, making 16-of-21 shots, to erase a 36-35 halftime deficit. The Presidents trailed by eight points with five minutes remaining in the opening half, but sophomore guard Mike Resnik's (White Oak, Pa./McKeesport) three-pointer just before the horn cut the deficit to one.
The Presidents came out firing after the break with a 19-6 run to post a 54-42 advantage at the 13:34 mark. Nate Bellhy bucketed 10 points, while his brother, senior shooting guard Zach Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry), added back-to-back baskets.
Thomas More crept back into the game as Cameron Clemons' triple brought the Saints to within 66-63 with 5:04 left, but Nate Bellhy answered with his own trifecta 23 seconds later. Sophomore forward Connor Deckard's (Aurora, Ohio/Gilmour Academy) basket 90 seconds later stretched the lead back to 12 (75-63) and W&J iced the game from the free throw line.
W&J shot 55 percent (30-55) overall and limited the Saints to 35 percent (22-63). The Presidents, who held a 44-35 rebounding edge, overcame 23 turnovers by recording an assist on 23 of their 30 buckets. Washington & Jefferson made 11-of-14 three-point shots.
Zach Bellhy was the only other President in double figures with 18 points. He added six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Sophomore point guard Doug Johnson (Greensburg, Pa./Latrobe) made all three of his three-point attempts and finished with nine points, while Deckard contributed eight points and four rebounds. Senior forward Ben Cecchini (Jamestown, N.Y./Jamestown) totaled eight points, seven assists and five boards.
Eight different Presidents got into the scoring column, while 12 different Saints scored, including Chris Richard's team-high 17 points.
W&J is idle next week, but returns to action on Dec. 17th at Hiram for a non-conference game (7:30 pm) in Ohio.