Members of the CSU men’s basketball team huddle during their showdown with Northern Kentucky.
Credit: Cleveland State Athletics
Members of the CSU men’s basketball team huddle during their showdown with Northern Kentucky, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.

CSU men’s basketball falls to Northern Kentucky, 73-71

Cleveland State men’s basketball was edged out on the road against Northern Kentucky in Horizon League battle.

Cleveland State men's basketball team engaged in a nail-biting contest with Northern Kentucky, but fell short 73-71, on the road at Truist Arena, Thursday Feb. 22.

Battling to improve their position in Horizon League standings, the Vikings had the chance to tie the game with Tristan Enaruna's (13) attempted last-minute layup but as the clock hit zero the ball rolled off the rim. 

In the first half, CSU took an early lead, scoring eight of the game's first 10 points to open up an 8-2 lead less than four minutes into the game. They stretched that to a 13 point lead with the help of a Tae Williams’s (1) layup. 

However, a determined Northern Kentucky team fought back, tying the score at 33-33 heading into halftime. 

As the second half started, the Vikings regained control and built a seven-point lead. However, NKU's resilience paid off. Despite leading for over 29 minutes of the game, Cleveland State were edged out in the final moments for the loss. 

The Vikings were anchored by Williams (1), who secured his third double-double of the season, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Enaruna also had a notable game, recording his eighth consecutive game scoring 20 points or more, finishing with 25 points.

Northern Kentucky improved to 15-13, with a 10-7 record in Horizon League play.

With the loss, The Vikings fell to 16-12 overall, 9-8 in league play.However, CSU flipped the script in its next encounter, defeating Robert Morris on the road on Sunday, 73-71.

Next up, Cleveland State hosts Green Bay on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.