By Doug Eads
The Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers returned to action over the weekend playing a pair of games in the Bluefield State Classic in West Virginia, and Al Gover’s squad — still playing with a depleted lineup due to injuries and other factors — came up on the short end of both games, falling to 1-3 on the season.
In their first game on Friday night, the Tigers put together an impressive rally in the second half, but came up on the short end of a 100-93 score, falling to Bryant and Stratton.
“We got down early, but the kids played really hard and we played much better in the second half,” stated Gover.
“However, we only had eight guys that dressed due to injuries and other issues, and we had one leave the game early with an injury, so that just made it tough to be able to come all the way back,”added the Tigers head coach.
After shooting only 34 percent from the field in the opening half of play, the Tigers caught fire after the intermission,shooting 50 percent from the floor, attempting to rally from a 45-37 halftime deficit.
Gover’s club was able to score 56 points in the second frame, but it would not be enough, falling to Bryant and Stratton by a final score of 100-93.
Freshman guard TC Wright led the Tigers with a game-high 24 points, while Kenyan McKee added 14 points, and Trevon Cooper and AJ Thomas each chipped in with 12 points, and Jacorion Johnson added 11.
On Saturday, the Tigers had the daunting task of taking on the home team, Bluefield State which is a Division II school.
And, Somerset struggled mightily against a bigger team — both physically and in level of competition.
Campbellsville-Somerset fell behind by 21 points at halftime, trailing in this one 55-24, and things only got worse for Gover and company in the second half, in a 120-76 setback.
“I am not making excuses, but Bluefield State is a D-II school, so we were playing up in competition level, and we had some guys out, and compounding things for us, we just flat out did not play well at all,” lamented Gover.
“They were much bigger than us, as we only maybe one guy above six-feet tall in the game, and they were a bunch of men that just pushed us around physically,” Gover stated. “That’s not an excuse. We should have played better than we did, but we didn’t, so it’s all a learning process for a lot of these guys, and we just have to get back into the gym and work and try to get better.”
Keelan Kennedy — who missed a couple of games including the opening in the event on Friday night — returned to the Somerset lineup and led the Tigers in the loss with a game-high 26 points.
Wright added 11 points and Thomas chipped in with 10 points, as Campbellsville-Somerset with the loss fell to 1-3 on the season.
On a winning note, the CU-Somerset Tiger JV team picked up a win this past Monday night, rolling past Union College at Somerset Christian School by a final tally of 86-71.
Malik Lovan came off the Somerset bench to pour in a game-high 26 points, while Kennedy also hit for double figures with 16 points.
TJ Owes added 11 points, and McKee and Wright each notched 10 points.
The Tigers — 1-3 on the season — will return to action this Saturday with a game at Berea College at 7:30 p.m., before returning home next Tuesday at Somerset Christian School to host Welch College.
That game is set to get underway at 7:30 p.m. Admission is FREE.