- Freshman Rashad Williams scored 23 points to lead Cleveland State
- Stefan Kenic was 4-of-8 from the floor and finished with 11 points
- Kasheem Thomas added 10 points and four assists for the Vikings
- Cleveland State shot 47.3 percent from the floor, which marked the Vikings best shooting performance since shooting 50.0 percent against Bowling Green on Dec. 5
- Cleveland State returns to action on Saturday (Jan. 19) when it hosts Wright State at 1 p.m. in the Wolstein Center
CLEVELAND -- Freshman Rashad Williams scored 23 points in his first career start, but Northern Kentucky shot 46.9 percent from the three-point line on its was to a 91-76 Horizon League victory over Cleveland State on Thursday in the Wolstein Center.
Williams posted his second-highest scoring performance in a Viking uniform against the Norse as he was 8-of-14 from the floor and 5-of-9 from the three-point line to lead the Vikings. He finished just two points shy of tying his career high of 25 points he scored against Illinois State on Dec. 16.
Williams led three players in double figures for the Vikings as Stefan Kenic had 11 points and Kasheem Thomas finished with 10 points. Leading scorer Tyree Appleby missed the game due to illness, which resulted in Thomas playing a season-high 36 minutes.
The Vikings, who dropped to 5-15 overall and 0-7 in the Horizon League, posted their best shooting performance in the last 10 games as they finished the contest shooting 47.3 percent from the floor. CSU also shot 40.7 percent from the three-point line and 76.5 percent from the free throw line.
Northern Kentucky shot 49.2 percent from the field and was 15-of-32 from the three-point line to win for the third straight time and the seventh time in the last eight games. Drew McDonald posted a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while Tyler Sharpe led the Norse with 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field.
Jalen Tate and Zaynah Robinson each scored 17 points for Northern Kentucky.
After Cleveland State took an early 5-3 lead, Northern Kentucky answered with a 27-14 run to take a 30-19 lead with 11:01 to play in the first half. The Norse connected on seven three-pointers during the run.
Northern Kentucky, which improved to 15-4 overall and 5-1 in the Horizon League, held a 48-36 lead with 2:11 to play before halftime but the Vikings closed the half on a jumper by Deante Johnson and a halfcourt buzzer-beating three by Dibaji Walker to cut the lead to 48-41 at the break.
Northern Kentucky opened the second half on an 11-3 run that pushed the lead to 59-44 with 16:10 remaining in the game. The Norse increased the lead to 79-59 with 8:07 to play, but the Vikings would respond.
Williams scored 12 points during a 14-4 run that trimmed the NKU lead to 83-73 with 2:14 to play in the second half, but Northern Kentucky went 8-for-8 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the victory.
Cleveland State returns to action on Saturday (Jan. 19) when it hosts Wright State in a Horizon League game at 1 p.m. in the Wolstein Center.