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Cleveland State Vikings Head to Kent State for Saturday Evening Showdown (Preview)

GAME #7
Cleveland State (2-4) at Kent State (4-3)

Saturday, December 2, 2017 | 7:00 pm
Kent, Ohio | Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center
Live Stats | ESPN3 | AM 1420 & AM 1220

PDF GAME NOTES
Cleveland State at Kent State

GAME PREVIEW:
•     Cleveland State begins a two-game road swing with a 7:00 pm contest at Kent State on Saturday (Dec. 2).
•    The Vikings are 2-4 this year and are coming off a 75-72 win over Arkansas State on Wednesday in the Wolstein Center.
•    Kent State is 4-3 this year after a 79-70 win at Norfolk State on Wednesday night.
•    Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on AM 1220, AM 1420 and AM 1440 with Al Pawlowski on the call.
•    The game will also be shown live on ESPN3.

THE KENT STATE SERIES:
•     Saturday’s game will be the 49th all-time meeting with Kent State holding a 29-19 lead in the series.
•    Kent State won last year’s meeting, 79-74, in overtime. It was the season opener with the game at Youngstown State.
•    KSU has won two straight in the series and three of the last four.
•    CSU is 9-15 all-time in Kent, including a 78-70 win in the last game played at KSU in the 2013-14 season.

GAME 6: @CSU 75, ARKANSAS STATE 72 (11/29/17):
•     CSU topped Arkansas State, 75-72, at the Wolstein Center on Wednesday night.
•    The game was close throughout, featuring nine ties and 10 lead changes.
•    Kenny Carpenter led four Vikings in double figures with 17 points and six rebounds.
•    Bobby Word had 11 points, Anthony Wright scored 11 points with six rebounds and Dontel Highsmith had 10 points. Tyree Appleby finished with seven points and seven assists.

CARDIAC VIKINGS:
•     The Vikings have played in three straight one poessession games.
•    CSU fell at ECU, 72-69 on Nov. 20, lost at home to Central Connecticut, 74-73, on Nov. 24, and knocked off Arkansas State, 75-72, on Wednesday night.
•    It’s the first time CSU has played in three straight one poessession games since the 1999-2000 season when CSU fell at St. Bonaventure, 71-69, on Dec. 30, 1999, and won at Loyola, 70-68 (1/6/00) and at UIC, 91-89 (1/8/00).

FELTON EARNS FIRST WIN AT CSU:
•     First-year head coach Dennis Felton earned his first victory at CSU with an 80-56 win over Coppin State (Nov. 17).
•     Felton, who made his CSU regular season debut on Nov. 11 at Akron, was named the 15th head coach in CSU history on March 24.
•    Felton is a coaching veteran with more than 30 years of experience, is in his 12th season as a head coach, having spent five years at Western Kentucky and five-plus seasons at Georgia.
•    During his time on the sidelines Felton has amassed 186 victories, won seven conference championships and led six of his teams to the postseason, including four NCAA berths.

CARPENTER NETS CAREER HIGH:
•     Senior Kenny Carpenter scored a career-high 26 points against Coppin State (Nov. 17), bettering his old career-high of 24 points set at UIC as a sophomore.
•    Carpenter – who scored 24 points in the first half – hit 10-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-11 from three-point.
•    The six three-pointers are tied for the fourth most in a game in program history and the 17th time a CSU player made six three’s.         •    Carpenter is the first CSU player to make six three’s since Charlie Lee hit six at Oakland on Feb. 6, 2014.

CARPENTER DOUBLES UP (x2):
•     Kenny Carpenter has posted two double-doubles this year, the first two of his career.
•    Carpenter recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 12 boards in the season opener at Akron (Nov. 11).
•    He posted a career-high 26 points and 11 rebounds against Coppin State (Nov. 17).

… AND BEGINS SENIOR YEAR STRONG:
•     Through five games – he missed the game at ECU due to illness – Kenny Carpenter leads the team in scoring (14.2), rebounding (7.8) and assists (3.2).
•    Carpenter is shooting .580 (29-50) from the field this year, including 10-of-23 (.435) from three-point.
•    He ranks ninth in League in scoring, fourth in rebounding, 10th in assists and third in field goal percentage (.580).

HIGHSMITH MAKES CSU DEBUT:
•     Dontel Highsmith made his CSU debut at ECU (Nov. 20) after missing the first three games of the season.
•    He posted nine points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals at ECU.
•    He scored a team-high 17 points vs. CCSU (Nov. 24), going 8-of-12 from the floor.
•    Highsmith is a graduate transfer from Northern Illinois where he spent the 2013-17 seasons, missing two years (2014-16) with knee injuries. He started all 32 games last year, averaging 6.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

JUST A KID FROM BELGRADE, SERBIA:
•     Freshman Stefan Kenic has had a strong start to his collegiate career, ranking third on the team in scoring (10.7) and adding 3.2 rebounds.
•    He scored in double figures in each of his first five games.
•    Kenic tallied career-highs in points (14) and rebounds (8) at ECU (Nov. 20).

APPLEBY HAS STRONG START TO FRESHMAN YEAR:
•     Freshman Tyree Appleby has also had a solid start to his collegiate career, averaging 9.3 points, 1.5  rebounds and 3.2 assists, while leading the team with nine steals.
•    The Arkansas native dished out a career-high and CSU season-high seven assists in a win over Arkansas State (Nov. 29).
•    Appleby scored a team-high 13 points in the season opener at Akron (Nov. 11) and tallied a career-best 15 points – all in the second half – at ECU (Nov. 20).

WORD UP:
•     Senior Bobby Word is the top returning scorer from last season as he averaged 11.1 points per game, while also ranking seventh in the League with 2.1 three’s per game.
•    After a slow start to the season in which he scored just five points in the first two games, Word is averaging 13.8 points in the last four contests.
•    He scored a season-high 17 points at ECU (Nov. 20), hitting 6-of-12 from the field, including three three-pointers.
•    Word nailed 5-of-6 from three-point on Friday (Nov. 24) vs. Central Connecticut.
•    He is 11th in the Horizon League with 2.0 three-pointers per game.

THE WRIGHT STUFF:
•     Anthony Wright is averaging 6.7 points and 6.7 rebounds, eighth in the League.
•    After coming off the bench in the first two games, Wright has drawn a starting assignment in each of the last four contests.
•    Wright grabbed 10 rebounds against Coppin State (Nov. 17) and had a career-high 11 rebounds at ECU (Nov. 20).

THOMAS IN THE STARTING LINEUP:
•     Kasheem Thomas has started all 37 games in his CSU career.
•    He started all 31 games as a freshman last year, the most starts for a first year player in program history and has started all six games this season.
•    Last year, Thomas averged 7.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists (9th in HL) last ranking third in the League in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1) with 102 assists and 49 turnovers.

IMPROVEMENT AT THE LINE:
•     CSU opened the year by going a combined 13-of-37 (.351) at the free throw line for the first two games.
•    Over the last four games, the Vikings have shown dramatic improvement, hitting 45-of-61 (.738) at the charity stripe.

VIKINGS TIE THREE POINT MARK:
•     The Vikings went 14-of-32 from three-point against Coppin State (Nov. 17), tying the single game mark for three’s made in a game.
•    It marked the fourth time in school history that CSU hit 14 three’s in a game and the first since Feb. 6, 2014 at Oakland.
•    CSU hit 13 three’s vs. Central Connecticut (Nov. 24), tied for the second most in a game in program history.
   
FOR THREE:
•    CSU has hit a three-pointer in a school record 603 consecutive games.
•    The Vikings have hit at least three three’s in 152 straight contests, extending the streak with five trifectas against Arkansas State on Wednesday night.
•    The last time CSU failed to make a three-pointer was Feb. 21, 1998, when the Vikings were 0-for-8 in a 60-57 win over Detroit.

UP NEXT:
•    The Vikings travel to Western Michigan on Wednesday (Dec. 6) for a 7:00 pm game.

 

Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.

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