December 24, 2008
Cleveland State continued to ride the momentum from its victory over No. 11 Syracuse by easily defeating Kent State, 67-41, Tuesday night at the Wolstein Center.
The Golden Flashes led the Vikings 4-0 a minute and a half into the game, but Cleveland State took over and never looked back.
The first half was a rough one for the Flashes. Last year's MAC Champion didn't score a field goal for nearly nine minutes, missing 11 straight shots in that stretch. Cleveland State used that time to build a 26-14 lead.
The Vikings went in to the locker room at the half with a 32-17 lead and all of the momentum after D'Aundray Brown's ally-oop pass was caught and dunked by George Tandy, bringing the large Cleveland State crowd to its feet.
"I thought our guys came to play today especially on the defensive end and they executed on offense," Cleveland State coach Gary Waters said. "We came into this game wanting to do two things, we wanted to hold them under 40-percent [shooting] and we wanted to out rebound them by 10 and we did both things, so obviously we ended up having success."
The Flashes struggled all night from field, shooting just 24-percent (6 of 25) from the field in the first half and 34.5-percent (10-29) in the second.
Last year's MAC Player of the Year, Al Fisher, continued to struggle in the young season. He didn't score his first basket until nearly seven minutes into the second half.
"Al's struggled six straight games. The Vikings didn't really do anything we haven't seen in the last few weeks, he's just really in a funk right now and we're having a hard time figuring out ways to get him going, and that needs to happen for our basketball team," Flashes coach Geno Ford said. "We're just going to hang in there with him. It's tough what he's being asked to do every game, he gets the big bulls eye and we've got to find a way to get him out of it."
Tyree Evans, coming off his 21-point debut against UNC-Greensboro last Wednesday, wasn't nearly as consistent as he was in his first game, but still played strong contributing 12 points to the Flashes' effort.
The Flashes had no answer for forward J'Nathan Bullock as he dominated the post area all night, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, giving him his 14th career double-double.
Viking's guard Cedric Jackson, who hit the game winning shot against the Orangemen, agitated the Flashes in both halves with his intense play. Jackson finished the game with 11 points and six assists.
With the loss, the Flashes fall to 5-6 on the year and have two more upcoming non-conference games before MAC play begins in January.
"We're not playing very well right now," Ford said. "We just got absolutely run off the floor for 40 minutes. The only positive is we've got good kids and they want to win. Hopefully we'll figure out a way to get this thing rolling and start playing a little bit better."
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