The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Misc Vikings
Ryan Aroney

Tim_KamczycCleveland State saw its season come to an end Friday night in Indianapolis with an 82-75 loss to the Milwaukee Panthers in the second round of the Horizon League Tournament.

The short-handed Vikings played without Horizon League all-Defensive team member D’Aundray Brown, who missed the game after having surgery to repair a detached retina suffered in Tuesday’s first round victory over Loyola. CSU was also limited with center Aaron Pogue playing with a splint on his broken left thumb and normal starting shooting guard Trey Harmon playing limited minutes off the bench a week after returning from a concussion.

The new-look lineup featured redshirt freshman Tim Kamczyc making his fifth consecutive start in place of Harmon, redshirt freshman Charlie Woods making his first career start in place of Brown and little used Joe Latas and Lance James playing big minutes off the bench. James, a junior college transfer, played in only 11 games this season and was making just his fourth appearance after missing 21 games with a broken foot.

To put it mildly, Gary Waters and the Vikings were grasping at straws trying to find a lineup that would recapture last year’s magic, but as was expected, the new and inexperienced lineup struggled early against Milwaukee.

The fourth-seeded Panthers feature a lot of size and with Brown, an undersized power forward and defensive specialist, out of the game, the Vikings struggled to match up and compete down low with the big bodies from Milwaukee.


Ryan Aroney

Trevon_HarmonCleveland State wraps up the regular season this week with two home games against Detroit and Wright State. The Vikings (14-15, 9-7) lost two conference games last week to fall to fifth place in the Horizon League and must win one of the final two games to secure a home game in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament on March 2nd.

CSU can climb as high as third if it wins both games this week. Although the chance at the double-bye that comes with the top two seeds vanished with last week’s losses, the third seed is still important as it avoids a potential meeting with undefeated Butler until the championship round. The three seed also has an outside shot at hosting the championship if it advances to the championship and Butler gets knocked off in the semi-finals.

The Vikings are familiar with making a post season run as the Horizon League’s third place team. Just last season the Vikings won four games in a week as the third seed to win the Horizon League and clinch the automatic birth in the NCAA tournament.

 The Vikings will have to tweak the starting lineup down the stretch as starting guard Trey Harmon missed Saturday’s non-conference victory over Toledo with a concussion and is doubtful for this week’s games. Harmon is third on the team with 11.0 points per game.

 Detroit (16-13, 7-9) Thursday 7:30 p.m.

After a hot start, Detroit has lost five straight league games and seven of its last 11 overall.


Ryan AroneyCleveland State takes the road this week looking to continue a three game winning streak. The road-trip is a short one as the Vikings play two games in Chicago before returning home next week for big matchups with Valparaiso and Butler. 

The Vikings (10-12, 6-4) are now a half game out of second place in the Horizon League, although CSU is tied in the loss column with the two teams directly ahead in the standings (Wright State and Detroit at 7-4). 

This week's trip takes CSU to Illinois-Chicago on Thursday and Loyola on Saturday. Despite both Chicago schools having disappointing seasons (tenth and eighth place respectively), the trip to Chicago is never an easy one. 

The Vikings swept the Chicago trip last season, marking the first time in school history that CSU won at UIC and Loyola in the same season. The Vikings also snapped an eight game losing streak at Loyola in the process. 

Thursday 8 p.m. at Illinois-Chicago (5-16, 1-10) on SportsTime Ohio 

UIC has lost eight straight to drop into last place in the Horizon League. Despite the losing, the Flames have played well against some of the HL's top teams, including a hard fought 70-63 CSU victory in the team's first meeting on January 9th. 


Ryan Aroney

Cleveland State starts the second half of its Horizon League schedule Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. against Youngstown State in a nationally televised ESPNU broadcast. The Vikings are on a two game winning streak to pull to 9-12 overall and 5-4 in the HL.  

Last week's sweep of Green Bay and Milwaukee catapulted the Vikings right back into the race for the two seed in the Horizon League.  With Butler running away with the top spot, the remainder of the season seems to be a race to lock down the other double-bye in the tournament. 

Butler stayed unbeaten in conference Friday night with a victory on the road at Green Bay. The loss dropped the Phoenix to 7-4 in the HL. With Wright State and Detroit next in line at 6-4, the Vikings are tied in the loss column with the other teams vying for the two-seed and can gain more ground Saturday against struggling Youngstown State. 

The Penguins come into the contest at 7-12 overall and 2-8 and in ninth place in the ten-team HL. The Vikings ran YSU out of its own gym in the first contest, a 70-48 CSU victory on January 2nd.  

The first meeting was the unveiling of Gary Waters' four-guard lineup.  CSU is 5-2 since inserting sophomore guard Jeremy Montgomery into the starting lineup and sliding junior wing D'Aundray Brown to power forward. 

Montgomery continued his hot shooting last week against the Wisconsin schools and is now averaging 16.3 points per game in seven games as a starter. 

Not to be outdone, junior Norris Cole stepped back into the spotlight against Milwaukee with 22 points and five assists to bring the Vikings back from 14 down in the second half. Included in Cole's game-high point tally was the game winning three pointer with 6.9 seconds on the clock. The memorable game for Cole was also a record breaker as the Dayton native became the 18th player in school history to top the 1,000 career point barrier. Cole continues to lead the Vikings in scoring at 16.5 points per game. 

While the Vikings pulled out two wins last week against Green Bay and Milwaukee, YSU dropped both games to the same schools. The Penguins stepped outside the conference this week to snap a four-game losing streak by defeating North Carolina Central. The Penguins other non-conference victories on the season are against the murderers row of Hiram, St. Peters (NJ), Geneva, St. Francis (PA) and High Point. 

YSU is led by seniors DeAndre Mays and Sirlester Martin. Both players were JUCO transfers last year and both have stepped up their games as seniors. 

Mays, a 6-2 guard out of Dallas, is averaging 13.2 points and three assists per game while Martin, a 6-7 forward out of Memphis, is averaging 12.3 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game.  

Martin is an athlete and brings a ton of energy to the floor and can cause problems for the Vikings on the glass. Martin notched 15 points and eight rebounds in the first meeting with the Vikings. 

CSU stunned both opponents with the press last week, Green Bay early in jumping out to a 13-2 lead, and Milwaukee late when erasing a double-digit second half deficit.  

In the January meeting with YSU, CSU used the same pressing defense quite often and the Penguins did not respond well.  

Look for the Vikings to press early and often on Saturday to give the national TV audience an exciting game. 

Ryan AroneyCleveland State begins a critical three-game home stand tonight against second place Green Bay. After winning three straight conference games to pull within a half-game of second place, the Vikings lost two straight in Indiana to Butler and Valparaiso to drop into a tie for fifth. If CSU is to make a run and have any chance at the valuable second seed in the Horizon League tournament, it will have to start this weekend. Ryan Aroney previews the slate of weekend games for CSU in his latest piece for us.


More Articles...

Page 10 of 17


The TCF Forums