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Balanced Vikings pull away from YSU

CLEVELAND — Torrey Patton scored 17 points off the bench to carry Cleveland State to an 87-69 win over Youngstown State on Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.

D’Moi Hodge added 14 points and Chris Greene supplied 13, as the Vikings improved to 3-3 overall and 3-0 in the Horizon League. Tre Gomillion had six rebounds.

The Penguins fell to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the league. Freshman Shemar Rathan-Mayes scored 17 points and senior Garrett Covington added 13 for the Penguins. Michael Akuchie had nine rebounds and three blocks.

The Vikings shot 68 percent from the floor and made six 3-pointers in the second half to finish the game shooting 55.4 percent from the field.

Youngstown State was limited to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor. Naz Bohannon, who led the Penguins in scoring entering the contest at 19.0 points per game, failed to make a shot (0 of 5).

The Penguins jumped out to a fast start and led 19-11 with 9:40 remaining in the first half. Rathan-Mayes sparked the Penguins with 11 points before intermission.

Cleveland State went on an 10-0 run over the next three minutes to take a 21-19 lead. Rathan-Mayes hit a 3-pointer to put the Penguins up 22-21, but the Vikings then outscored YSU 17-6 to close the half with a 38-28 lead heading into the lockerroom.

The Penguins and Vikings close the two-game series today. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. at the Wolstein Center.

sports@tribtoday.com

BOTTOM LINE: Cleveland State looks for its fourth straight win over Youngstown State at Wolstein Center. The last victory for the Penguins at Cleveland State was an 80-77 win on Jan. 1, 2018.

SUPER SENIORS: Youngstown State’s Naz Bohannon, Michael Akuchie and Garrett Covington have collectively accounted for 44 percent of the team’s scoring this season, including 46 percent of all Penguins points over the last five games.

DIALING IT UP A NOTCH: The Vikings have scored 79.7 points per game and allowed 70 points per game across three conference games. Those are both noticeable improvements over the 79 points scored and 79 points allowed per game to non-conference foes.DOMINANT D’MOI: D’Moi Hodge has connected on 43.8 percent of the 32 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 12 for 22 over his last three games. He’s also converted 92.9 percent of his free throws this season.

THREAT FROM DISTANCE: Youngstown State’s Shemar Rathan-Mayes has attempted 35 3-pointers and connected on 34.3 percent of them, and is 9 for 30 over the past five games.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Vikings have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Penguins. Cleveland State has an assist on 50 of 84 field goals (59.5 percent) across its previous three contests while Youngstown State has assists on 27 of 65 field goals (41.5 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: Youngstown State is ranked first among Division I teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 40.8 percent. The Penguins have averaged 17 offensive boards per game.

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