As the No. 8 seed, Cleveland State was one of four teams who had to begin the Horizon League tournament Friday.
That meant Tuesday’s championship game against Wright State was the Vikings’ fourth game in five days, which might explain them missing 10 of their first 11 3-point shots and then fading down the stretch as the Raiders won 74-57.
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But Wright State coach Scott Nagy said he didn’t think it was that much of an advantage for his team, which was in its third game in four days and second in less than 24 hours after playing a 9:30 p.m. semifinal Monday and 7 p.m. final Tuesday.
“We didn’t get back to the hotel until 12:30 a.m. (Tuesday morning),” he said. “I was more concerned about that. We were turning around and playing two games in less than 24 hours, so they had a jump on us there.
“But I did think as we got going there in the second half, I kept telling our guys, particularly offensively, just continue your movement,” he added. “It did feel like to me that they looked tired. I’s hard.”
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Cleveland State was dealing with mental fatigue as well after winning a double-overtime game against Youngstown State in the season finale before beating the Penguins by one point in the first round. Then the Vikings upset top-seed Northern Kentucky in the quarterfinals before scoring another one-point win against Oakland in the semis.
“How many emotional games did they have,” Nagy said. “I can’t image the emotions they’ve been through the last four or five days. What a great job their coaching staff has done. (Dennis Felton) is such a great coach, and I know they’re proud to have him.”
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