ROCHESTER, Mich. – Cleveland State dropped its Horizon League opener on Saturday afternoon, falling at Oakland, 86-68, at the Athletics Center O'rena.
The Vikings fell to 5-9 overall and 0-1 in the League, while Oakland improved to 9-5 overall (1-0 HL).
Rob Edwards led the Vikings with 15 points and three steals, while Kenny Carpenter added 13 points. Vinny Zollo finished with 10 points and eight rebounds and Jibri Blount tallied six points and eight rebounds.
Kay Felder led four Oakland players in double figures with 20 points and 10 assists, while Jalen Hayes added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
A Zollo layup 90 seconds in started the scoring, but the Golden Grizzlies scored the next nine points to take a 9-2 lead at the 16:20 mark. But the Vikings came right back, using a 12-6 spurt – including six straight from Carpenter at one point – to pull within one point (15-14) on a Daniel Levitt jumper with 11 minutes left in the half.
But Oakland scored the next 10 points to open up an 11-point advantage (25-14) before taking a 41-27 lead at the half.
Oakland pushed the lead to as many as 17 points early in the second half, but the Vikings cut the deficit to eight points on two occasions, the final time coming on a three-point play from Carpenter midway through the second half that made it 59-51.
But Oakland responded with a 14-2 run to open up a 20-point advantage (73-53) with 6:40 to play and went on to win the League opener for both teams.
The Vikings continue Horizon League play on Monday (Jan. 4) when CSU plays at Detroit at 7:30 pm. It will be a doubleheader with the CSU women playing at Detroit at 5:00 pm.