KINGSTON, R.I. – Cleveland State began a four-game stretch in the Cancun Challenge with a 73-45 setback at Rhode Island on Saturday night.
The Vikings fell to 1-2 with the loss, while the Rams improved to 2-1.
Rob Edwards, who was making his first career start, scored 16 points and added five rebounds and three steals. Kenny Carpenter tallied nine points and two rebounds, while Jibri Blount added five points, two rebounds and two assists. Jeron Rogers scored five points.
The Viking defense forced 23 URI turnovers and also had 11 steals.
Rhode Island had four players in double figures, led by 16 points from Hassan Martin. Kuran Iverson added 15 points and eight rebounds, while Jared Terrell scored 14 points and Jarvis Garrett added 13.
Rhode Island raced out to a 9-2 lead less than four minutes into the game, but the Vikings managed to pull within four (11-7) at the 12:36 mark. After the teams traded baskets to keep the URI lead at four points, the Rams used a 20-7 run to open up a 17-point lead (33-16) with just under four minutes to play in the first half.
The Rams hit 14-of-20 (.700) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes and 10-of-14 from the free throw line. URI finished the game shooting .634 (26-41) from the field and held a 37-26 advantage on the glass.
The Vikings are back in action on Tuesday (Nov. 24) when CSU plays Rider in Cancun, Mexico at 12:30 pm.