February 9, 2016

Cleveland State Vikings drop a tough one to Penguins at The Q

Playing its third game this season at Quicken Loans Arena on Jan. 24, the Cleveland State Vikings men's basketball team lost to the Youngstown State Penguins, 70-55.

The Vikings led for a majority of the first half as a result of good shooting.

They shot 50 percent from the field as well as 50 percent from three-point range with three minutes remaining in the first half.

Youngstown State kept it close thanks to 16 first-half points from junior forward Matt Donlan. Cleveland State's top performer was junior forward Demonte Flannigan, who had 12 points and five rebounds in the first half.

The Vikings' field goal percentage went down steadily in the second half of the game, which head coach Gary Waters attributed to the zone defense played by the Penguins.

“I've got to give them credit,” Waters said. “They played [zone defense] very well. In the first half, they played it very little and that's why it was a close game. When they went to the zone, it really stymied us.”
Turnovers were also a big problem for the Vikings. They had 15 turnovers in the game compared to just nine for the Penguins.

“We went into the game and I told them if you don't turn the ball over, we have a chance to win the game,” Waters said. “We came in at halftime with nine turnovers. I was hoping we could make an adjustment on that. We don't have a lot of room for error.”

The Vikings have yet to win a game at Quicken Loans Arena this season, going 0-3 thus far. But, Youngstown State head coach Jerry Slocum was impressed by the size of the crowd.

“Obviously, [Quicken Loans Arena] is an incredibly special facility,” Slocum said. “I thought they did a great job today.

“It was very well attended,” he continued. “Their marketing people did a great job to get a lot of people down here.”

This loss dropped the Vikings to an overall record of 7-14.

Coach Waters is not placing too much emphasis on this loss, instead focusing on the improvement the team has made so far during this season.

“I think this was just a little chink in the armor,” Waters said. “I felt we've taken some big steps. We didn't take them today, but we'll get back to the drawing board, make some adjustments, and get these boys playing hard.”

The Vikings have just six games remaining in the regular season. When those are finished, the Vikings will be competing in the Horizon League tournament, which will take place from March 5 to March 8 in Detroit, Mich.


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