Viking men bounce back in big way
CSU blows out Ball State at home after falling short against Kentucky
December 5, 2013
After taking a tough loss against national powerhouse and the number three ranked team in the country Kentucky University, the Cleveland State men’s basketball team, 3-3, was looking to rebound against Ball State University Cardinals from the MAC conference. In a game where the team led for most of the contest, the Vikings used a lot of energy to run the Cardinals out of the gym.
Ball State entered the game having a record of 2-3 with losses to Indiana State, Butler and Utah. All three of the defeats have come against teams with a combined record of 15-3.
Cleveland State started the game making their first few baskets by Anton Grady, Bryn Forbes, and two free throws by Marlin Mason to take an 8-0 lead before the Cardinals called their first timeout of the game. The Vikings had Ball State on their heels before they were able to get on the scoreboard with a three pointer. Coach Gary Waters praised the team for their effort in the game. He said it was a team effort.
“Most everyone that came to the floor contributed, Grady set the tone with his inside presence,” Waters said.
Trey Lewis is a Penn State transfer and he gave fans a glimpse of what he brings to the floor for Cleveland State. Lewis made his first start at point guard against Kentucky and he finished with 15 points and 4 assists. He followed up with a great performance against the Cardinals finishing with 23 points a career high, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
“The focus starts in practice, it was a team win and we’re just getting better every day,” Lewis said. “We knew our potential and our performance in the Kentucky game validated it.”
The back court of Lewis and Forbes proved to be tough for Ball State. The two guards were very instrumental in holding the Cardinals freshman starting point guard Zavier Turner to only 9 points, 4 assist and 3 turnovers. Turner is leading his team with averages of 15.2 points per game and 4 assists per game. He also leads his conference in free throw shooting percentage at 93 percent and ranks amongst the top 10 in all three categories.
“We usually do a decent job on a point guard because we trap them,” Waters said. “We doubled him pretty hard to neutralize him.”
Current NBA, two time world champion and former Cleveland State star, Norris Cole wasn’t able to catch the Vikings game against Kentucky because of their game but he did see the highlights. He praised the team and said it felt good to back in Cleveland.
“We had them, I’m pleased with those guys because they worked hard and gave themselves a chance to win,” Cole said. “I love coming back to Cleveland to see familiar faces and familiar territory.”
In the second half of the game the Vikings took complete control over Ball State and ran away with it. Other players like Jon Harris, Sebastian Douglas Devon Long and Marlin Mason all added their piece to the big win. They played with a lot of confidence and expectation they can play with anybody.
“I think they have more confidence after the Kentucky loss,” Waters said. “They see they can play with anyone, we just have to do it on consistent basis because one night doesn’t give you a championship.”
The Vikings play state rival Akron University to start a three game home stand before traveling to Toledo to take on the Rockets.