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Tom Mieskoski

CSUButlerComing off impressive home wins last week against Illinois-Chicago and Loyola of Chicago, the Cleveland State Vikings hit the road again for the Indiana trip—arguably the toughest road trip of the season.

The Vikings (14-3, 4-1 Horizon League) face its rival Butler (9-8, 3-2 HL) tonight in a national televised game on ESPNU (7 p.m.) and Valparaiso (10-7, 3-2 HL) Sunday (2:35 p.m.).

"No one over the last five or six years have won both of those games," said CSU head coach Gary Waters. "If you can (sweep this road trip) it changes the dynamics of the league."

UW-Milwaukee, who leads the Horizon at 5-1, split the Indiana trip—losing to Butler and defeating Valpo. The Panthers are a half-game ahead of CSU and Youngstown State, who are both 4-1 in the conference.

CSU has been one of the best road teams this season as they are 7-1 in road games. The seven road wins are tied for most in the nation.

"I don't think these kids fear the road," said Waters. "They just go out and play."

The Vikings will try to end the stigma that they can't beat Butler.


Tom Mieskoski

Trevon HarmonThe Cleveland State men's basketball team put together their second straight dominating performance as the Vikings easily handled Loyola of Chicago, 69-48, Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.

CSU (14-3, 4-1 Horizon League) finished their three-game homestead at 2-1.

After losing their Horizon home opener to Youngstown State last week, the Vikings rebounded with impressive wins against Illinois-Chicago (Thursday) and Loyola.

Senior guard Trey Harmon returned to the lineup for the Vikings after missing Thursday's UIC game with a concussion and immediately returned to form. The Pasadena, Calif. native hit a career-high six three-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points.

"The first couple of minutes I had to catch my wind, but I felt good," said Harmon. "I had a lot of time to rest and recover."

CSU head coach Gary Waters said that Harmon is now using a special mouthpiece that absorbs some of the pain if he gets hit in the head again.

Two minutes into the game, Harmon hit his first three-pointer to give CSU an early 3-1 lead. His second three-pointer gave the Vikings the lead for good (13-11) with just over eight minutes left in the half.

"I let the game come to me," said Harmon, who hit his first five three-pointers and finished 6-for-7 from downtown. "I took the shots that were open and the hard work that I've been putting in the gym is finally coming around."


Ryan Aroney

Jeremy MontgomeryCleveland State enters Horizon League play on Saturday at 12-2 overall, including 2-0 in league play after sweeping the first set of Horizon League games in early December.

The Vikings picked up solid wins in the non-conference portion of the schedule including a top-50 RPI win at Vanderbilt and top-100 wins at Kent State and at Robert Morris and home vs. St. Bonaventure. The Vikings also knocked off MAC contender Akron and rounded out the non-conference slate on Wednesday with a win at Toledo to improve to 3-0 against the MAC this season.

On the other hand, the two losses were not-so-good as they came to 6-7 Hofstra in a neutral site game and on the road to 7-7 South Florida.

With the focus now fully on the Horizon League (save the annual ESPN Bracketbuster game in February), the Vikings are in good shape to make a run towards a conference championship thanks to their tough defense and their 2-0 head start on the rest of the league (only Milwaukee remains unbeaten in conference play).

Even with a stingy defense that has propelled CSU to its fast start, the Vikings will need improvement on offense and the continued development of its talented freshman class in order to go dancing in March.

Here are my keys for a Horizon League Championship:


Tom Mieskoski


Saturday was Jeremy Montgomery's day to play the hero.

The senior guard from Chicago swished a three-pointer from the top of the key with 21.2 seconds left to give Cleveland State a 69-66 victory over Akron at the Wolstein Center.

"I heard the crowd screaming that the shot clock was going down. So I had to step up and knock down a shot for my team," said Montgomery, who was 1-for-11 from the field and 0-for-7 from three-point distance before the game-winner. "You have to stay positive and keep shooting. That's a shooter's attitude."

"Jeremy and Trey (Harmon) have the same mentality, it doesn't matter if they miss 15 in a roll, they think they will make number 16," said CSU head coach Gary Waters.

On CSU's final shot, Waters said he wanted to get the ball to either Montgomery or to Aaron Pogue inside.

"I don't think Jeremy was looking to throw it inside to Aaron," said Waters. "In his mind, he was thinking it was his turn (to be the hero). When a guy feels that confident I don't mind if he shoots it."


Tom Mieskoski

Cleveland_State_logoCleveland State concludes its seven game road trip tonight when the Vikings travel to Moon Township, Pa. to take on Robert Morris of the Northeast Conference.

The Colonials (7-2) are off to their best start in school history and have won three straight after knocking off host-Duquesne 64-60 on Tuesday. They are 3-0 at home.

"(Robert Morris) maybe the best team we have played so far," CSU head coach Gary Waters said at Tuesday's media gathering. "They remind me of one of my old teams that I had at Kent State. They're tough and gritty and you don't know their names very well, but they take care of business."

Waters also said that the Colonials are a senior-laden team that has NCAA tournament experience (2009, 2010).


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