MARTIN, Tenn. – Cleveland State mounted a furious second half rally, cutting a 30-point deficit to as little as four, but fell to UT-Martin, 85-74, on Friday night in the Bluegrass Showcase.
The Vikings fell to 1-2 this year, while UT-Martin improved to 3-1.
• Rob Edwards scored 22 points to lead the Vikings.
• Bobby Word added 14 points and three steals, while Derek Sloan tied his career-high with 10 points (4-5 FG) and added four rebounds.
• Daniel Levitt chipped in eight points off the bench, while Jibri Blount finished with seven points and 11 rebounds.
• Anthony Wright added five points, five rebounds and two assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Bobby Word and Jibri Blount both hit three-pointers early to give the Vikings a 6-2 lead less than two minutes in.
• The Vikings led 8-4 after a Derek Sloan jumper with 17:30 on the clock, but would go scoreless over the next eight minutes as UT-Martin built a 16-8 lead midway through the first half.
• A Kenny Carpenter baseline drive cut the deficit to 16-10, but the Skyhawks used a 27-3 run over the next six-plus minutes to take a 43-30 lead with just under three minutes left in the first half.
• UT-Martin lead, 50-23 at the half as they shot 17-of-27 (.630) over the first 20 minutes.
• CSU opened the second half on an 18-7 run to cut the deficit to 57-41 with 12 minutes left on back-to-back jumpers from Rob Edwards.
• A three-point play from Jamarcus Hairston at the 6:27 mark brought the Vikings within nine points (66-57).
• An Edwards three-pointer with five minutes to play pulled the Vikings within seven points (68-61) and the Vikings would get as close as four points (70-66) on a pair of free throws from Jibri Blount with 2:27 to play.
• However, the Vikings were not able to get any closer the rest of the way.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• CSU shot .380 (27-71), including 18-of-42 (.429) in the second half. The Vikings hit 10-of-33 (.303) from three-point.
• The Vikings were out-rebounded, 42-31, but did force UT-Martin into 25 turnovers.
• UT-Martin shot .537 (29-54) from the floor.
• The Vikings continue play in the Bluegrass Showcase with a 1:00 pm contest at No. 2-ranked Kentucky on Wednesday (Nov. 23).