A comeback bid fell just short for the Carlow men’s basketball team in the first River States Conference game of 2018, on Tuesday, Jan. 2. The Celtics were edged by Indiana University Kokomo, 87-77, in a contest that featured five ties and four lead changes.
All the back-and-forth action took place in the first half, with the visiting Cougars (7-10/4-2) leading by as many as five points and the Celtics (1-12/1-3/0-1) leading by as many as six.
The Cougars scored the final four points of the half to take a 40-36 lead to the break. They carried that momentum into the second half, when they used a 23-12 run to take their largest lead, 63-48, with 12:27 to play.
However, the Celtics did not quit and responded with a 24-11 run, fueled by four big 3s from Rece Henneman (JR/Clarksville, Pa.), to cut IU Kokomo’s lead to 74-72 with 5:10 to play.
But Durante Lee collected an offensive rebound for a dunk on Kokomo’s next possession, starting a 13-3 IUK run to end the game. Carlow made four costly turnovers in the final five minutes and Trent Elliott scored seven of the Kokomo's final 11 points to help the Cougars pull away.
Tony Acrie (JR/Johnstown, Pa.) and Charlie Scharbo (SR/Jefferson Hills, Pa.) each finished with a double-double for Carlow. Acrie scored 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Scharbo netted 20 points and grabbed 12 boards, with six assists and six blocks.
Henneman finished with a career-high 15 points, with seven rebounds and three assists. Jamil Tarver (FR/Pittsburgh, Pa.) also had the best game of his young career, with 10 points and four assists.
Eddie Miles led four Cougars who scored in double figures, with 20 points. Elliott tallied 18, Akil McClain 17 and Lee 11.
Carlow won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding the Cougars, 44-39. However, the Celtics made 21 turnovers to IUK’s nine, allowing the Cougars to score 26 points off takeaways.
The Celtics finished the game shooting 42.9 percent (27-of-63) from the field, 44.4 percent (8-of-18) from 3, and 60 percent (15-of-25) from the free-throw line. The Cougars hit 44 percent (33-of-75) from the field, 28 percent (7-of-25) from 3, and 58.3 percent (14-of-24) from the foul line.
Carlow next travels to Midway on Saturday, Jan. 6.