TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There were eight ties and seven lead changes. Camron Reedus made sure they were all in the first half. Reedus led Three Rivers College with 31 points, nearly half of that on 3-pointers, and was a catalyst in the Raiders' 61-48 win over Pensacola State on Friday afternoon.
"He had two really good scoring games in that tournament," Three Rivers coach Gene Bess said. "He just hit one big shot after another one. In that last game, the other team would make a little run and he would either take it to the basket and make a layup or shoot a 3. His shots were very timely." Three Rivers was up two at halftime and then by one after Kani Coles opened the second half with a free throw. After that, though, Reedus scored six straight points, including one of his five 3-pointers.
Aidan Saunders sank a 3 of his own to put Three Rivers ahead by double digits 5 minutes into the half. "That's a thing the guys say when they leave the dressing room," Bess said. "They want to get after them hard for 5 minutes and I think that is a pretty good motto." Another 3 by Reedus near the 9 minute mark extended the lead to 14 points. Pensacola never got within eight points in the closing minutes and the Raiders led by as much as 15. Reedus was the only Raiders in double figures after shooting 9 for 16 from the field and 5 for 10 on 3-pointers. He also went 8 for 10 at the free-throw line. His 31 points was a new collegiate high, eclipsing the 29 points he scored in a 116-114 loss to Harcum on the same day during his freshman season. This season, Reedus has twice scored 28 points. He did so on Thursday against Tallahassee, and on Nov. 12 against Johnson County. While the Raider offense again struggled, hitting a third of their shots against Pensacola, the defense rebounded. After allowing 47 percent shooting Thursday against Tallahassee, the No. 9 ranked team in the country, Three Rivers limited Pensacola to 28 percent. "I thought this was about as good as defense that we've played in awhile. We didn't give up very many easy shots," Bess said. "We had several guys play pretty good defense today." Mamadou Diakhaby, who Bess called his energy guy, had eight rebounds. Kavion Pippen led the Raiders with 10 rebounds and had four blocks, as well.
Daniel Soetan led the team with four steals and also had three blocks and five rebounds. Harrison Curry led Pensacola with 11 points on 4 for 7 shooting and 3 for 5 on 3-pointers. He was the only player to shoot better than 50 percent against the Raiders. Nobody on the Pensacola bench scored more than one basket and the bench as a whole was 3 for 20 and scored 14 points. Pensacola led 9-3 in the early going before the Raiders sank a pair of jumpers and Reedus got a layup to tie the game at 9. That six point lead would be the largest until the Raiders' run to start the second half. Curry gave Pensacola a one point lead, its final lead, when he sank a 3 with just over a minute to play. Reedus immediately got to the line and put the Raiders head with a pair of free throws and then Soetan tacked on one more free throw before the half.
The Raiders will play their first home game since Dec. 4 on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Southeastern Illinois.