Edwards, Carpenter combine for 35 points in CSU Win
BY TOM MIESKOSKI
With Cleveland State's Horizon League opener just five days away, Vikings head coach Gary Waters used Tuesday nights final nonconference game against Division II Cedarville as an opportunity to work on some things.
Waters made it an emphasis in practice this week to work on rebounding, cutting down on turnovers and making lay-ups.
"Every time they turned the ball over (in practice) they had to run and they hated that," said Waters. "Our goal every game is to be 10 (turnovers) or less."
On Tuesday, CSU turned it over 12 times in a 77-37 blowout victory at the Wolstein Center. Only four turnovers came in the final 20 minutes.
The Vikings (5-8) also held a 42-33 edge in rebounding and made 10 of its 14 lay-ups.
"I think we can be good at rebounding because we attack the offensive glass," said Waters. "If we continue to focus on that one area I think it will help us."
CSU freshmen guard Rob Edwards led all scorers with a career-high 21 points, including 14 in the first half. He also grabbed nine boards.
"I think this game really helped a person like Rob because he really struggled in his last game," said Waters. "He needed to hit some shots and see the ball go through the hoop."
After going scoreless against BGSU and missing all eight of his shot attempts, Edwards was 8-of-10 shooting against Cedarville and made all five of his three-point attempts.
Junior forward Easton Bazzolli had 11 points to lead the Jackrabbits (4-8).
The Vikings, who have won three of its past four games, were 27 of 57 (47.4 percent) shooting as a team, including 12 of 30 from three-point range. The Jackrabbits were 14 of 52 (26.9 percent) shooting as a team, including 4 of 26 from long range.
CSU fell behind 13-3 after three minutes as Cedarville made four of its first five shots. Turnovers once again put CSU in a hole as they turned it over three times in the first four minutes.
However, after a timeout, CSU would start to settle down.
"The starters didn't come out with the energy I wanted, so I took two or three of them out," said Waters. "Before you know things turned around and I thought the guys that came off the bench did a good job."
Waters replaced starters Terrell Hales, Demonte Flannigan and Vinny Zollo with Daniel Levitt, Jibri Blount and Tim Hasbargen.
Coming out of the timeout, CSU would clamped down on defense, holding Cedarville without a field goal for the next six minutes. They also found its stroke from long range.
Edwards (two) and Levitt (one) knocked down three-pointers as CSU scored 11 straight points to take its first lead of the game, 14-13.
Kenny Carpenter's first three-pointer of the game gave CSU the lead for good, 20-17. His second three extended the lead to 24-19.
Cedarville kept the game close, trailing by four with 3:32 to go, but CSU started to pull away with a 14-1 run to close the half that extended the lead to 43-26 at the break.
The Vikings were 13 of 25 shooting (52 percent) in the first half, including 9 of 15 from 3-point range.
A 11-2 run to start the second half put the game away for the Vikings.
Cedarville only scored 11 points in the second half. They were held to just five field goals in the final 20 minutes.
"We have made improvements on the defensive end," said Waters. "The biggest thing is them understanding how to rotate and who to rotate to because there are so many young kids who haven't played this type of defense before and now they're doing a better job."
Carpenter contributed 14 points and dished out a career-high nine assists for the Vikings, while Levitt added 11 points and Blount 10.
Up Next: CSU opens Horizon League play at Oakland's O'rena on Saturday. Tipoff is 3 p.m.