By DOUG EADS
The Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers gave head coach Al Gover an early Christmas present on Monday night at Somerset Christian School.
Playing Elizabethtown Community College in the final game of the first half of the season, Gover’s club turned up the intensity at the defensive end of the floor, forcing the Barons into a mind-boggling 38 turnovers for the contest.
The Tigers tallied 30 steals, and put six players in double figures, on their way to an impressive, 114-75 beatdown over Elizabethtown CC.
The win improved Campbellsville-Somerset’s won-loss record to 4-10 on the season, and it was a win that was a much-needed victory.
The Tigers had lost their previous three games by a total of 12 points, but on Monday night, Gover and crew put this issue away early on in an impressive performance.
“I told our guys that we needed to pick up the tempo tonight, because we came out a little lethargic and let them hang around with us for a while,” pointed out coach Gover.
“I told our guys to get up and down the court, play defense, and just go play,”added the Tigers head coach. “When we started to doing that, defensively, I thought we got a little better. We held them to 75 points, and that was our goal before the game, to hold them to 75 points or less.”
The Tigers – after the first five minutes of the contest – to this game by the throat.
Still, Elizabethtown CC stayed close, only trailing the Tigers 52-39 at the intermission thanks to 18 points from Trey Richardson.
However,the Barons wilted in the second, turning the ball over 38 times, thanks to those 30 steals by the Tigers.
Meanwhile,at the offensive end of the court, Gover’s club – with only eight players dressed in uniform – put on an offensive clinic at times.
Keelan Kennedy – who has been on a tear of late – led the Tigers with 29 points. Kennedy was one of six players that CU-Somerset had hit double figures for the contest.
Deion Finnison added 19 points, while leading the Tigers with a game-high 15 rebounds, while Antwan Hurt and TJ Owes each added 17 points.
TC Wright chipped in with 11 points and Jacorion Johnson added 10 points, on a night when the Tigers deserved and got a much-needed victory.
“Everybody that came in tonight contributed to this win, and I think we had six guys in double figures, and Nick (Longmire) had eight points and had seven rebounds, so he contributed in more ways than just scoring,” stated Gover.
“It is gratifying to see kids that work hard every day and come into the game and produce while they’re in there,” added the CU-Somerset head coach. “I’m proud of Nick and all of our guys with their performance tonight.”
The Tigers – 4-10 on the season – will have about a four-week layoff before resuming play in January.
CU-Somerset’s next game will be on January 13th at Somerset Christian School, when the Tigers will host Simmons College out of Louisville.
That game is set to get underway at 7:30 p.m.
ECC – 39 36 – 75
CU-S – 52 62 – 114
Elizabethtown CC – Richardson 32, George 18, Pearsol 7, Height 6, Mumford 6, Garrison 4, Boulware 2.
CU-Somerset– Kennedy 29, Finnison 19, Owes 17, Hurt 17, Wright 11, Johnson 10, Longmire 8, Thomas 3.