Vikings Fall To ECU In Tournament Finale

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – Despite three players scoring in double-digits – led by Imani Gordon with a career-high 25 point effort – the Cleveland State women's basketball team fell short against East Carolina, 75-66 Sunday afternoon. Sunday's contest was the final game of the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament, as the Vikings finished the weekend with a 1-1 record, and a 3-4 mark overall this season.

The Vikings had two representatives on the All-Tournament Team – Imani Gordon and Haley Schmitt. For the tournament, Gordon tallied 39 points, 21 rebounds and eight assists, while Schmitt notched 30 points, seven rebounds and six steals. Gordon shot 51-percent from the floor (14-27) through the two games, while Schmitt shot 63-percent (12-19).

Gordon's 25 points came off of a 10-15 performance from the field, including a 2-3 mark from three-point. Along with Gordon, Haley Schmitt and Kiersten Green also tallied double-digit points, Schmitt with a career-high 18 and Green with 10. Schmitt's career-high performance came with a 6-for-9 effort from the field, including a 4-for-5 mark from behind-the-arc.

During the first half the Vikings got 18 of their 28 points off of three-point shots, including three from Schmitt, heading into the halftime break trailing 34-28. East Carolina then opened the second frame with a 17-4 run, gaining a 19-point lead at the 51-32 mark – their largest lead of the contest. With 13:39 left to play, the Vikings responded with 12 straight points, closing the margin to single digits at 51-44 with 11:37 remaining.

During this 12-0 run, the Vikings got points from six different players, including another three from Schmitt – her career-high fourth of the contest. Seven points would be as close as the Vikings could get at this point, as the Pirates answered with a 9-0 run of their own, extending their lead back to 16 points at the 60-44 mark with 8:54 left to play.

The Pirates then held at least a 13-point lead over the next 3:02, before a pair of Schmitt free throws and a Schmitt layup brought CSU within 11 points at the 66-55 mark. The two teams then traded baskets over the next three minutes, until a Green three-pointer at the 2:04 mark closed the gap to single digits once again at 72-63.

After ECU gained another 10-point lead following a free throw with just over one minute to play, Adesuwa Aideyman converted her lone three-pointer of the game to bring the Vikings within seven, at 73-66 with 39-seconds remaining. With just 30-seconds remaining, the Vikings were forced to foul, putting the Pirates at the free throw line four times, with ECU capitalizing on two of those shots, ending the contest with the nine-point victory.

As a team, the Vikings shot 46-percent from the floor (24-52) and 41-percent from three-point (10-24). CSU notched 12 assists on the day, and forced ECU into 17 turnovers – turning the 17 turnovers into 16 points.

The Vikings will return home on Thursday (Dec. 5), hosting Ohio at 7:00 p.m. in the Wolstein Center.

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