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March 20, 2014

Vikings make it to CIT Tournament

By Brendan Samsa

The Cleveland State Men’s Basketball team headed to the CIT Tournament to play Ohio University Wednesday in the first round of the 32 team bracket.

The Vikings found themselves in the CIT (College Insider Postseason Tournament) after a tough loss in the semifinals of the Horizon League Championship March 8, against the Wright State University Raiders.

Lead by Charlie Lee’s 16 points, and Anton Grady’s solid double-double posting 10 points and 13 rebounds--the Viking men would come up just short losing 68-63 to Wright State.
Finding offense wasn’t the problem for the Vikings against the Raiders. Defense on the other hand was, giving up 55 percent shooting and 26 points in the paint was the backbreaker.

The team fought down to the wire as they exchanged leads with the Raiders numerous times throughout the game. After going down five points with four minutes left, Cleveland State would cut the lead back down to three twice more, but inevitably come up five points short in the end.

Unfortunately the loss ended any hopes that the Vikings had of receiving an invitation to the NCAA Tournament this year.

The CIT invitation marks the fifth time in the last seven seasons that Cleveland State finds itself in the postseason, and the first ever appearance in the CIT.

Head coach Gary Waters knows that to win he is going to need his team to stay focused.--beginning with Anton Grady, the Vikings standout sophomore forward.

“He’s our presence inside, he creates a lot of mismatches that other teams can’t deal with,” said Waters.

As well as Grady the Vikings will need to find a defensive presence as they try to climb their way up the bracket in the CIT. One player who has been a defensive presence at guard for the Vikings all season is Sebastian Douglas who has been battling injuries in recent weeks.

Waters explained that Douglas has reinjured his ACL and also is dealing with meniscus pain.

“The positive thing is that he can’t hurt himself any further for the future if he plays, it’s all about if he can handle the pain,” said Waters.

Douglas played 16 minutes against Wright State scoring six points with a steal and two rebounds.

Before Wednesday’s matchup with Ohio University the Wildcats held a 9-2 all time record against Cleveland State. The last time the two teams played each other was the season opener in the 1999-2000 season.