CLEVELAND — Austin Nehls scored seven of his 19 points in the final two minutes to help Central Connecticut State hold off Cleveland State for a 74-73 victory on Friday night.
Joe Hugley added 14 points for Central Connecticut State (3-3). Mustafa Jones had 13 points and Tyler Kohl chipped in 10.
Dontel Highsmith scored 17 points to lead Cleveland State (1-4). Bobby Word added 15 points and Stefan Kenic finished with 11.
CCSU had a 14-point halftime lead, and Cleveland State used a 13-0 surge and made seven 3-pointers to pull to 59-57 with nine minutes left.
Kenic’s 3-pointer gave the Vikings a 69-67 lead with 2:36 to play, but Nehls answered with a 3-pointer and made four free throws and CCSU led 74-71 with 32 seconds left.
Tyree Appleby was fouled making a layup but missed the ensuing free throw that pulled Cleveland State to 74-73. Appleby forced a turnover on the next possession but Kenic missed at 3 at the buzzer.