CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State women's basketball team had three players record double-digit points Sunday afternoon, but that wouldn't be enough, as the Vikings came up short against Eastern Michigan, 84-70. The loss puts the Vikings at 1-2 on the season, while EMU improves to 3-0.
The junior trio of Imani Gordon, Cori Coleman and Kiersten Green led the CSU offense, Gordon and Coleman with 15 points each and Green with 13. Haley Schmitt added nine points for the Vikings, while Khayla Livingston, Brooke Smith and Olivia Voskuhl combined for 18 points off the bench.
Gordon and Schmitt each grabbed a team-high six rebounds against the Eagles, while Livingston posted a game-high six assists. Gordon and Smith both tallied two steals on the day, while Gordon and Livingston both posted a blocked shot.
During the opening half, Eastern Michigan was able to gain a double-digit lead – which eventually proved to be too much for the Vikings to overcome. Eight minutes into the opening period, the Eagles held a 21-9 advantage, after going on a 13-0 run and then held a double-digit lead for the majority of the first half. During the first 20-minutes of action, EMU scored 20 points off of 16 first half Viking turnovers.
The Vikings limited their turnovers to just five during the second frame, while they were also able to chip away at the EMU lead. After the Eagles extended their lead to 20 (70-50) midway through the second half, Cleveland State finally got going offensively posting a mini 6-1 run to close the gap to 15 points (71-56) at the 5:02 mark. During this stretch CSU got a three-point basket from Smith, the first of her collegiate career.
Over the next 2:28 the two teams traded baskets, until the Vikings were once again able to go on a run, outscoring the Eagles 11-3 over a two-minute span. With this run, CSU was able to close the gap to single-digits, coming within nine points at the 78-69 mark with just 34 seconds remaining. The Vikings were then forced to foul EMU in the closing seconds, and the Eagles were able to convert all six of their free throw attempts, giving them the 14-point victory.
As a team, Cleveland State shot 35-percent from the floor (23-64), while the Eagles posted a .508 clip (31-61) from the field. The Vikings recorded 19 assists on their 23 made field goals, while they also forced EMU into 20 turnovers throughout the contest. The Eagles ended the contest with the slight advantage in rebounds, 43-36.
Cleveland State will continue its four-game homestand next Saturday (November 23), hosting Florida Atlantic at 1:00 p.m. This will be a doubleheader with the CSU men's team, as they will take on Robert Morris following the conclusion of the women's game.