Kevin Zabo added 17 points, but he was just 1 of 8 from 3-point range as the Golden Flashes (5-3) connected on 5 of 26 (19.2 percent) from long range. Jalen Avery had 15 points and BJ Duling scored 10 for Kent State (5-3).
Anthony Wright finished with a double-double for the Vikings (2-5), scoring 21 on 8-of-11 shooting, including 4 of 6 from long range, with 11 rebounds. Kenny Carpenter had 14 points and Tyree Appleby scored 13 for Cleveland State.
Kent State led by six when Danny Pippen's dunk sparked a 13-0 run over the next six minutes to push the Golden Flashes' advantage to 31-12. Back-to-back 3s by Wright in the final 64 seconds left the Vikings trailing 35-24 at the half.
Cleveland State was down by 10, but Wright had a tip-in, Carpenter hit a 3 and Appleby had two straight layups to pull the Vikings within 55-54 with 4:47 to play. It was as close as they would get. De La Rosa hit back-to-back layups in a 6-0 run and the Flashes held from there.
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