Cleveland, Ohio — The Cleveland State University men’s basketball team lost to Northern Kentucky University 78-61 on Saturday. The team is now 6-19 on the season, and 3-9 in the Horizon League.

The Vikings have improved their rebounding the past few games, but today’s game shows it is still a glaring weakness for this roster. CSU lost the rebounding battle, 38-20. Head Coach Dennis Felton attributed the rebounding to NKU’s physical play.

“They have a lot of good qualities, but one of them is that they’re very strong and physical,” Felton said. “Especially those two starting post players.”

CSU spent the beginning of the first half digging themselves out of holes. The Norse got out to a 10-3 lead by the 15:58 mark, but after keeping NKU scoreless for three minutes, the Vikings made it a one-point-game, down 10-9.

After closing in on NKU’s lead, the Vikings let the Norse go on 10-0 run to make it 20-9. NKU would lead by as many as 20 points the the first half. CSU ended the first half down 40-26.

Kenny Carpenter ended the half with seven points, while Kasheem Thomas and Bobby Word added six. CSU ended the first half losing the rebounding battle, 19-7, with no Viking bringing in more than two rebounds.

The Vikings started some the second half with some hot flashes, but NKU was able to hold onto their double-digit lead for the entire second half. CSU was able to get the score within 10, but wasn’t able to make it a single-digit game.

The game ended with NKU handing CSU a 78-61 loss. The Vikings were never able to put anything together in the second half to turn the tide of the game.

Carpenter and and Appleby led the team in scoring, both with 13 points. Kasheem Thomas added nine points off the bench.

Arguably the biggest reason CSU couldn’t fight their way back into this game was Northern Kentucky center Drew McDonald, who scored 19 points, brought in seven rebounds and dished out seven assists.

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Read our takeaway from the game here.

Photo by Sean McDonnell

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