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CSU Vikings Drop Season Opener To Akron 67-57

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Games notes provided to NEOSI by Greg Murphy

AKRON, Ohio – Kenny Carpenter notched his first career double-double, but Akron used a strong second half to top Cleveland State, 67-57, in the season opener on Saturday night in James A. Rhodes Arena.

The game was the first in the NE Ohio Coaches vs. Cancer Doubleheader.

STAT LEADERS

  • Kenny Carpenter finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double. He added four assists and a steal.
  • Tyree Appleby scored a team-high 13 points in his collegiate debut. He also had three rebounds and two steals.
  • Stefan Kenic tallied nine points, three rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
  • Derek Sloan chipped in eight points and four rebounds, while Anthony Wright added seven points and four rebounds.

COACH SPEAK

  • “We had solid control of the game until the second half,” head coach Dennis Felton said. “In the second half, they wrestled away control with offensive rebounds and second shot opportunities. We fell apart when momentum turned and stopped doing things we needed to do to get momentum back. It was a poignant lesson learned for our team.”

FIRST HALF RECAP

  • The Vikings opened up an 11 point lead (19-8) at the 8:55 mark of the first half on Stefan Kenic‘s three-pointer, which forced an Akron timeout.
  • The lead would reach 12 points (24-12) on Bobby Word‘s three-pointer just one minute later.
  • Akron sliced the deficit to six points (24-18) with 5:18 to play, but a 6-1 spurt by CSU extended the lead back to 11 points (30-19) with 1:27 to play.
  • CSU led at the half, 30-22, holding the Zips to 8-of-30 (.267) shooting from the floor in the opening stanza.

SECOND HALF RECAP

  • The Zips used a 24-9 run over the first eight minutes of the second half to take a 47-39 lead on a put-back from Eric Parrish at the 10:37 mark.
  • A three-pointer from Kenic with 4:39 to play brought the Vikings back within five points (54-49), but Akron responded with a 7-1 run to regain an 11-point lead (61-50) with 2:34 to play.
  • The Vikings had one final run, cutting the deficit to six points (63-57) on Appleby’s driving layup with 32 seconds left, but the Zips hit four straight free throws to seal the win.

KEY STATS

  • The Vikings shot .400 (22-55) from the floor, while holding the Zips to .313 (20-64).
  • CSU was just 10-of-26 from the free throw line, while Akron hit 19-of-23 at the charity stripe.
  • The Zips held a 46-38 advantage on the boards, while both teams had five steals.
  • Tonight was the first game for CSU head coach Dennis Felton who was named the 15th head coach in program history on March 24.

UP NEXT

  • The Vikings open play in the Showcase on the Banks Classic with a 7:00 pm contest at Rutgers on Tuesday (Nov. 14).
  • CSU hosts Coppin State on Friday (Nov. 17) in the home opener at 7:00 pm in the Wolstein Center.
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