Cleveland, Ohio — The Cleveland State University men’s basketball team defeated Urbana University Tuesday to earn its first victory of the 2018-19 campaign, 94-65. The Vikings are now 1-2 on the season.
CSU jumped out to an early double-digit lead thanks to strong shooting from 3-point territory. The Vikings hit four of their first five shots from long range.
While the Vikings maintained a double-digit lead throughout the first half, sloppy play on offense — CSU turned the ball over 11 times before halftime — did not allow them to pull away until the final minute of the half. CSU went on a 6-0 run just before the half, capped off by a Rashad Williams 3-pointer in the final seconds of play.
While the Vikings cleaned up the turnovers slightly in the second half, Head Coach Dennis Felton said overall the team is not happy with that aspect of their game.
Nine Vikings got on the board in the first half en route to a 43-25 lead.
The second half was much of the same as the first, with the Vikings continuing to pull away. Urbana went on a short run towards the beginning of the half and kept the game close, but an over four-minute scoring drought finally allowed CSU to down Urbana once and for all.
The Vikings’ offense was well-balanced and consistent throughout much of the night. The Vikings finished shooting 52% from the field, including a 54% mark from 3-point territory. CSU had six players in double-digit scoring, led by the freshmen duo of Williams and Seth Millner, who scored 14 and 11, respectively.
CSU also got big games from Algevon Eichelberger (10 points, nine rebounds), Tyree Appleby (13 points, six assists) and Stefan Kenic (12 points, four rebounds).
The Vikings also had a dominant performance on the boards — an area where the team struggled last year — out-rebounding Urbana, 48-30. Felton, however, said the team still wants to be a better rebounding team.
Felton credited the team’s balanced attack to balanced minutes. Since the game was one-sided throughout, Felton was able to get younger players more significant minutes.
“[The younger players] contributed,” Felton said. “They did some good things with their minutes. It was a good night for us in that regard.”
Up next, the Vikings will take on South Carolina State at home Friday at 7 p.m.
For takeaways from tonight’s action, click here.
Photo by Matthew Johns