The Cleveland Stater YouTube Channel Visit us at:

The Cleveland Stater Facebook Page The Cleveland Stater Twitter The Cleveland Stater YouTube Channel


 

Dec. 8, 2014

Veteran play carries Vikings on the road

By Jordan Smith


After dropping the season opener to Iona College on Nov. 14, the Cleveland State University Vikings stand at 3-4 after a 59-54 loss to The Univeristy of Toledo at home on Wednesday, Dec. 3.

After the 78-73 opening loss to the Iona Gaels, the team was quick to bounce back with an 85-56 shellacking over the Tiffin Dragons. Vikings junior forward Anton Grady posted a career high 26 points on the Nov. 17 meeting against Tiffin. Point guard Trey Lewis was another major contributor with 15 points and four assists.

Two days later, the Vikings were able to continue their dominance at home against Jacksonville State University. Cleveland State guard Kaza Keane not only led the team in scoring with 13 points and six rebounds, but also scored a Top 10 play on ESPN SportsCenter with a 70-foot three-pointer to conclude the first half.

“It wasn’t a very pretty game,” Gary Waters, Cleveland State head coach, said during the postgame interview following the victory over Jacksonvile State. “But the positive is that we played tough defense and held them to 35-percent shooting.”

The Vikings then hit the road for Savannah, where they lost to the State Tigers. Lewis was one of four Viking starters to score in double-digits. Lewis led the team with 27 points and four assists, followed by senior forward Marlon Mason, who posted 16 points and four rebounds.

After the hard-fought match, the Vikings traveled to Louisville where they lost to the Cardinals in a low scoring affair, 45-33. The loss resulted in storied coach Rick Pitino’s 700th college basketball victory. Prior to the matchup, Waters praised the locally-raised Louisville guard Terry Rozier.

“One of the guards there [Louisville] [is] from Ohio, from Cleveland,” Waters said. “They’re talking about he’s a [future] pro. He played in Chris Paul’s camp this summer, and they said he was the best guard there. They think he’s a lottery point guard, so we got our work cut out.”

Waters always schedules a top program early in the season so he knows what his team is made of. He said he went into the game with these three things in mind.

“I want us to go in there and compete, I want us to go in there and execute,” he said. “They’re going to press us and I want us to execute against the press. I want us to face this and become good at this and one of the things I want us to do is attack to score.”

Lewis lead the team’s scoring with 24 points, followed by Andre Yates who scored 4 points for the Vikings.
Waters said the confidence factor was the biggest takeaway from the contest against the Cardinals.

“They can play against bigger schools regardless of who they are and they can compete against them, which should allow them in the long run to compete against all the other schools that they play,” Waters said. “They’re coming away with strong confidence and that’s good.”

The team bounced back from the loss against No. 6 ranked Louisville with a road victory against the Marshall Thundering Herd. Mason scored 16 points and Grady posted 17 points and four rebounds.

At the time of publication, Cleveland State sits in seventh place in the Horizon League. They are ahead of Oakland University and the University of Illinios at Chicago while remaining five wins behind first place Valparaiso. The next home game is on Monday, Dec. 15 against Mount Vernon Nazarene.