By DOUG EADS
Coming out of the Thanksgiving break, Campbellsville-Somerset University head basketball coach Al Gover was looking for his club to get back on track on Monday night, hosting a very good Johnson University team out of Knoxville,Tennessee.
Unfortunately,after 40 minutes of hoops on Monday evening at Somerset Christian School, the Tigers head coach didn’t have a whole lot to be thankful for after witnessing his club’s performance against the visiting Royals.
In fact, the numbers in this one was down right ugly for CU-Somerset.
Johnson University shot 54.7 percent from the field for the game, hitting on 41-75 field goal attempts, which included going over 50 percent – 16-30 — from behind the three-point line.
Meanwhile,the Tigers shot under 40 percent from the field, hitting on 32-86 field goal attempts, made an abysmal 4-14 from the free throw line, and were guilty of 23 turnovers on the night.
In all, it added up to a 112-74 blowout loss for CU-Somerset, dropping Gover and crew to 3-7 on the season and the Tigers head man was not a happy camper afterwards as one might imagine.
“That’s a very good team we just played, there’s no doubt, but I’m very disappointed in our energy level tonight and the enthusiasm that our kids played with,”lamented Gover after his team’s latest loss.
“When you can’t play hard as a basketball player and give it your all, something’s wrong, and you probably need to look into a mirror,” Gover added.
In a sign of things to come, the Royals scored the first 10 points of the contest before the Tigers ever saw a ball go through the hoop.
And, despite righting the ship albeit momentarily in cutting the deficit to 17-14 early on, this was not going to be the Tigers night.
Johnson University, shooting a blistering plus-50 percent from the field for the entire night, went on a 9-0 run after CU-Somerset had trimmed the deficit down to only three points to take a 29-14 lead over the Tigers, and were never really threatened again.
Behind the 15 first half points from the Royals’ Cody Jones and 11 from Gavin Grubb, the Tigers found themselves in a big-time hole at the intermission, trailing in this one by 20 points at 58-38.
In the second half, things didn’t get any better for coach Gover and the Tigers.
CU-Somerset trimmed the deficit down to 14 points early in the second frame, trailing the Royals at 60-46, but Johnson University went on another run, this time a 20-4 spurt, to ice this one away by leading 80-50 at the midway point of the second half.
And, it was turnovers, lack of execution at the offensive end, and a lack of hustle and effort that was the demise for the Tigers on this night – all things that didn’t go unnoticed by the head coach.
“The one thing we talked to our kids at halftime about and after the game was that I’m not going to continue to work as hard as we do if a kid is not receptive to coaching,” stated Gover very matter of factly.
“We’ll just put you on the back burner and find someone who is coachable,” added the Tigers head coach. “For the most part, most of these kids are coachable, but some of them are really going to have to work on that.”
TC Wright led the Tigers in the loss with a team-high 22 points, while Deion Finnison joined him in double figures with 16 points.
CU-Somerset will return to action on Sunday afternoon at Pulaski County High School, taking on Great Lakes Christian College at 3:30 p.m.