January 9, 2014

Vikings Open League Play With 78-71 Victory At Detroit

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VIDEO: Kate Peterson Abiad Postgame Comments

DETROIT, Mich. – Behind double-doubles from Imani Gordon and Cori Coleman the Cleveland State women's basketball team opened Horizon League play with a victory Thursday evening, defeating Detroit, 78-71. The Vikings now stand at 6-8 on the season and 1-0 in league play.

Gordon led the Vikings with 25 points and 12 rebounds – the 25 points tying her career-high – while Coleman tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds – the 10 boards tying her career-high. The double-double was the third of the season for Gordon and just the first of the year for Coleman. Kiersten Green and Haley Schmitt also notched double-digit points for the Vikings, Green with 18 and Schmitt with 10.

The Vikings got out to a sluggish start during the first half, as they entered the halftime break trailing by five, 38-33.

Cleveland State then opened the second half on a 10-2 run, gaining momentum and a three-point lead at the 17:51 mark, 43-40. During this stretch, the Vikings got six points from Gordon, two from Green and two from Adesuwa Aideyman. Over the next 2:14 the Vikings were able to extend their lead to seven points (51-44), closing the run on a Green three-pointer.

The Titans responded with a 9-2 run of their own, tying the contest at 53-53 with 12:39 left to play. This was as close as Detroit would come though, as the Vikings knocked down back-to-back baskets to regain a five-point lead at 58-53 with 11:25 remaining.

Cleveland State was able to hold a small lead for the next 3:46, until the Titans were able to tie the contest for the sixth time, knotting the score at 61-61 with just under eight minutes left in the contest. The Vikings answered with an 8-2 run – which once again ended with a Green three-pointer – gaining a six-point advantage (69-63) with 5:36 left to play.

The two teams traded baskets throughout the next five minutes, until a Schmitt jumper with just 39 seconds remaining put the Vikings up by four (75-71) and gave control of the game back to Cleveland State. The Vikings then closed out the contest going 3-for-4 from the free throw line, earning the seven-point victory.

For just the second time this season the Vikings were able to outrebound their opponent, tying their season-high with 40 boards against the Titans. Included in the 40 rebounds was a season-high 18 offensive boards, including eight from Gordon.

The Viking defense was able to force Detroit into 20 turnovers, turning them into 16 Cleveland State points.

Cleveland State will continue Horizon League play on the road this Sunday (Jan. 12), traveling to Wright State for a 4:30 p.m. contest.

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