VIDEO | Highlights
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Playing at Quicken Loans Arena for the first time this season, the Cleveland State men's basketball team fell to Kent State, 66-62, on Saturday afternoon.
The Vikings fell to 2-6 this year, while Kent State improved to 4-2.
Andre Yates led the Vikings with 14 points, including four three-pointers, while Vinny Zollo tallied his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and added four assists. Rob Edwards scored 14 points and Jibri Blount finished with nine.
Chris Spicer led the Golden Flashes with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Jimmy Hall scored 14 points with nine rebounds and six assists.
"I thought this was a good game by both teams," head coach Gary Waters said. "But we just couldn't stop them inside. They scored 40 points in the paint and we have to correct that. Their zone hurt us and was just enought to get them ahead and we couldn't recover.
"I felt we had an opportunity to win tonight, but we didn't execute down the stretch and had too many break downs on defense."
CSU scored the first six points of the game, but Kent State responded with six straight of its own to tie the contest at 6-6 five minutes in. A three-pointer by Yates – his first of three in the first half – put the Vikings back in front and CSU would maintain the lead until Jimmy Hall hit a jumper that gave the Golden Flashes their first lead of the game (28-27) with 29 seconds left.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were back and forth with the Vikings opening up a four point lead (45-41) on a pair of free throws from Yates with 11:27 left. However, the Golden Flashes used a 13-1 run to open up its largest lead of the game (54-46) with 7:08 to play.
The Vikings would cut the lead to as little as three points four times with less than five minutes to play, but could not get any closer as CSU had several chances to slice into Kent State's 64-60 lead with 1:29 to play, but could not convert.
CSU shot .436 (24-55) from the field and hit six three-pointers. The Vikings also dished out a season-high 17 assists and made six steals.
Kent State shot .490 (25-51) from the floor and scored 40 points in the paint. The Golden Flashes also held a 34-29 advantage on the boards.
The Vikings will have this week off for final exams before returning to action next Saturday (Dec. 12) when CSU hosts Ohio at 1:00 pm at Quicken Loans Arena.