By DOUG EADS
The Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers arguably saved their best game for last.
Taking on arch-rival Campbellsville-Harrodsburg in the final game of the regular season on Thursday night at Somerset Christian School, Al Gover’s club turned in one of its best performances of the season.
Meith Reclow and Titus Ransom came off the CU-Somerset bench to score a combined 47 points, in helping lead Gover and crew to an impressive and emphatic, 98-73 beatdown over CU-Harrodsburg.
Reclow poured in a game-high 25 points in the win, while Ransom also came off the bench to add 22 points for CU-Somerset, but it was the play of Reclow — early and often — down on the blocks that was instrumental in sending the homestanding Tigers into the post season with some much-needed momentum.
“Tonight was kind of the Meith of the first couple of weeks of the season,” stated a very happy coach Gover after the contest.
“Meith can play the game, especially when he’s focused,” continued the CU-Somerset coach. “He’s really good offensively, and he’s gotten a lot better on defense. Titus meanwhile, is just Titus. He’s a kid that can put the ball in the basket in a number of different ways.”
Reclow got out to a hot-start from the outset as soon as Gover inserted him into the lineup.
The 6-seven-inch freshman tallied 15 of his game-high 25 points in the first half of play, coming off the bench as Gover shook up his starting lineup before the game.
In fact, it was Reclow’s three-pointer just before the horn sounded to end the first half of play that gave CU-Somerset a huge boost headed into the locker rooom, leading CU-Harrodsburg by a 48-35 margin.
Meanwhile, it was Ransom that caught fire in the second frame.
The freshman guard from Bourbon County tallied 15 of his 22 points after the intermission, and he was the catalyst for a second half run that sealed the deal for Campbellsville-Somerset.
With a 19-point second half lead whittled down to just eight points at 65-57 midway through the second half by the visitors from Harrodsburg, that’s when Ransom went to work.
Ransom scored seven quick points over a two-minute stretch that began an impressive, 33-16 run over the game’s final 10 minutes by CU-Somerset, enabling Gover’s club to blow this one wide open for the 25-point win.
“We had the lead in the second half, and our shot selection got real bad, and we just starting coming down the floor and jacking up some bad shots,” pointed out Gover.
“Defensively, we lost focus, and I had to take a timeout there to remind our guys that if they let up, they were going to get beat,” continued the CU-Somerset coach. “This team (CU-Harrodsburg) had gotten us three different times this year. If you have any pride at all, I told our guys they had to step up and be ready to play tonight, and they did.”
Former Southwestern standout Hunter Stevens played a stellar floor game as well in the win with 17 points, while AJ Thomas added 15 points for the Tigers.
CU-Somerset — 7-18 on the season with the win — will now take some momentum into the Christian College National Invitational Tournament, which will begin next Thursday afternoon at Oakland City University in Oakland City, Indiana.
“I think coming off the Miami trip we played pretty well, and I thought we played pretty well tonight,” stated Gover.
“I feel good about what we’re doing right now,” he added. “It is spring break coming up next week, but hopefully we’ll be ready to go next Thursday.”
Check out The Doug Out next week for game stories and information, as the Tigers will play three games in next week’s tournament, with games next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.