By DOUG EADS
Al Gover and the Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers came into the 2019-20 college basketball season with high aspirations, however the local team took one on the proverbial chin to open season number two as a collegiate basketball program on Monday evening at Somerset Christian School.
Taking on a very good and established NAIA program in Marian University out of Indianapolis, Indiana on Monday night in the season opener, coach Gover knew his club had a tall order in front of it, and boy was he right.
The visiting Knights led the homestanding Tigers by just nine points at the intermission, 47-38, but Marian put things in another gear after the intermission, outscoring Somerset 68-35 in the second half.
As a result, it was the Tigers falling to 0-1 on the season, coming up on the short end of the scoreboard in their opener by a whopping 42 points, losing to Marian University by a final score of 115-73.
“They whipped us good tonight,” Gover lamented immediately following Monday night’s contest.
“It was just a nine-point game at halftime,and you go in feeling pretty good about yourself, and then you go out in the second half and you don’t compete very hard, and I just don’t understand that,” added the CU-Somerset head coach. “This game is about competition, and if you don’t compete, there’s no reason to play.”
Competing is exactly what Gover’s club was able to do early on.
Despite the fact that Marian’s dynamic duo of Christian Stewart and Sterling Brown was prolific from behind the three-point arc, Gover’s club hung tough early on.
Titus Ransom tallied 13 of his 20 points in the opening half for CU-Somerset, and despite trailing for the entire half, Ransom’s long three-point bomb just before the horn sounded ending the first half had the halftime deficit under double figures at 47-38.
In the second frame however, this one was all Marian.
Cameron Wolter went to work on the inside for the Knights, and he led everybody in scoring with a game-high 25 points, as CU-Somerset had no answer for the big man down in the paint.
Brown and Stewart remained hot from the outside in the second period, while Christian Harvey came off the bench to score all 15 of his points for Marian University in the second half of play.
Freshman guard TC Wright fought hard to keep the Tigers within striking distance of the Knights, scoring 15 of his team-high 24 points after the intermission, but it would not be enough down the stretch, as Marian put its foot on the gas pedal over the game’s final eight minutes,rolling to the 42-point win over the local club.
“Our competition doesn’t get any easier, and it’s something that we’ve got to continue to work on, and that’s learning howto play and compete hard each and every time we go out there,” pointed out coach Gover.
“Of course this was a tough opponent to start out the year with, but you still have to go out and compete hard, and that means you do it on each and every possession, both offensively and defensively,” added the Tigers head coach. “We practice hard, and we get after it, but when you have a night like this in the second half, you walkaway kind of scratching your head.”
The Tigers — 0-1 on the season — will try to bounce back this Saturday, as Gover and CU-Somerset will travel to Louisville to take on Boyce College at 2 p.m.
MU — 47 68 — 115
CU-S — 38 35 — 73
MARIAN UNIV. — Wolter 25, Brown 22, Stewart 18, Harvey 15, Langkabel 11, Nwankwo 10, Gohmann 7, Taylor 5, Heady 2.
CU-SOMERSET — Wright 24, Ransom 20, Kennedy 10, Cofer 5, Hurt 4, Finnison 4, McKee 2, Owes 2, Cooper 2.