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Defense key to CSU victory

December 1, 2011

By Roman Verzub

It was Viking defense and continued solid offense that lead to Cleveland State’s victory against Vanderbilt Sunday 71-58.

Vanderbilt, the number-seven-ranked team was the highest ranked team to fall to CSU in what was the Viking’s season opener, but the opposition’s second game of the season, Vanderbilt having already defeated Oregon a few days earlier.

“I thought the kids played extremely hard,” Coach Gary Waters told CSUVikings.com.

The team, Waters said, played well together as a group, with the younger stars supporting already-established athletes.

“The young kids... did a great job,” he said. “But I thought our upper-classmen lead the show.”

The Vikings basketball team was formerly lead by All-American Norris Cole, who was drafted to the NBA and as a result was the only upperclassman not to return this season. Coach Waters was able to adjust quickly, however, he said.

“I wanted to see how quickly we could adjust and make things happen,” he said. “And when you’ve got four seniors on the floor it makes good things happen.”

Cleveland State lead for most of the game, though at one point Vanderbilt lessened that lead to six, but eventually the Vikings triumphed 71-58, but with 15 steals it was the team’s defensive efforts that lead to this hard-fought victory.