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February 27, 2014

Vikings win last two home games of season

By Brendan Samsa

The Cleveland State Men’s Basketball team beat Milwaukee 74-50 Saturday afternoon, followed by a dramatic one point victory in Overtime Tuesday night against Youngstown State.

With Saturday being Senior day and Tuesday being the last home game of the season, both wins were just that much more special.

Before Saturday’s game, the team honored its four seniors Jon Harris, Devon Long, Ludovic Ndaye, and Raphael Veira at midcourt with framed jerseys for each player with their numbers on them.

Saturday’s game was dominated by the Vikings from the tipoff. But it wasn’t the usual explosion on offense. The defense stifled the Panthers all day, recording 10 steals, three blocks, and 34 rebounds.

Head coach Gary Waters praised the team’s defensive presence especially in the first half of Saturday’s game.

“When we play our defense it’s hard for any team to stay with us,” said Waters.
Tuesday’s game was more of a dog fight as both the Vikings and Penguins were neck to neck for most of the game.

The two sides went to overtime where once again it came down to the final seconds. With four seconds left in the overtime and the Vikings up one, Penguins guard Kendrick Perry hoisted a last second shot at the buzzer that was blocked by Anton Grady, throwing the Wolstein Center crowd into a frenzy!

Grady had a stellar night considering he was playing with the flu, recording 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Bryn Forbes, Vikings leading scorer on the season had 15 points and broke the single season record for three pointers with 73 on the season.

But it all starts with 5’8 ft. junior point guard Charlie Lee, who has been a dynamo all season, sparking the Vikings offensive attack and facilitating his teammates with stellar leadership.

“I just tried to control myself, play solid, hit open shots when I could and get everyone going,” Lee said following Saturday’s game against Milwaukee. “I’m just mad that I had four turnovers.”

Following Tuesdays big win, Cleveland State has locked up the second seed in the Horizon League standings and a bye in the Horizon League Tournament until the semifinals.

“It doesn’t matter where the tournaments at this year, it’s going to be tough wherever it’s at,” said Waters. “But that being said, I think our guys will be ready to play.”