The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Misc Vikings Vikings Archive Cleveland State Close Out Oakland, 86-76
Written by Tom Mieskoski

Tom Mieskoski

csuFacing a similar situation to the previous game, it looked like it may be déjà vu for the Cleveland State men's basketball team on Thursday night, as it held a six-point lead with 1:35 to go against Oakland.

Already this season, CSU has blown six leads with under two minutes to go, including a four-point lead Monday against Youngstown State with 1:34 left in the game.

Fortunately for the 1, 777 fans at the Wolstein Center, the Vikings were able to get a few defensive stops and held on for a 86-76 victory.

The Vikings (11-8, 3-2 Horizon League) won despite playing without Anton Grady and Sebastian Douglas, who missed the game because of concussions suffered in practice on Wednesday.

It was Trey Lewis and Jon Harris who stepped up for the Vikings. Lewis led the Vikings with a career-high 29 points on 9-for-14 shooting, while Harris added 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

"Coach was stressing in practice that people are going to have to step up. I was looking at it as opportunity," said Lewis. "Tonight he needed me to step up and be more of an offensive threat."

Waters praised Charlie Lee for running the show. Lee finished with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists.

"That was the best Lee played in a while," said Waters. "I thought he did a great job as a floor general."

Tommie McCune led OU (7-13, 2-3 HL) with 23 points off the bench, while Corey Petros added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

"Closing down the stretch came down to us making some big defensive plays," said Lewis.

The Vikings held the Golden Grizzlies to one field goal (1-for-7) in the final 3:47, while outscoring them 13-3.

Waters also praised Bryn Forbes for his defensive effort on Oakland's sharp-shooter Travis Bader who was held to 12 points under his scoring averaging.

"[That was] the best [defensive] game Bryn's ever played," said Waters.

Bader, who came into the game second in the Horizon League in scoring (20.4 points per game), was held to a season-low six points on 1-for-10 shooting. He was 1-for-8 shooting on three-pointers.

Oakland led by as much as eight points (67-59) with 7:49 left in the game, but the Vikings responded with a 11-2 run over the next two minutes to take a one-point lead (70-69) on Lewis' three-point play.

Harris' second three-pointer of the game put the Vikings up for good, 76-73, with 2:38 left to go.

"I had just missed a shot and coach [Waters] told me [during a media timeout] to make some shots now, make some shots now," said Harris. "And I told him, I'm going to make the next one."

A three-point play from Lewis started a 9-0 run by the Vikings that was capped off by a Harris dunk that made it 85-73 with 24 seconds left.

CSU shot 60 percent from the field (30-for-50), while holding OU to 40.3 percent (25-for-62).

The Vikings shot 58.3 percent in the opening half and took a 39-37 lead at the break. Lewis paced CSU with 16 first half points.

"[There is a chance that Douglas] maybe be back Sunday," said Waters. "Grady is in worse shape then Douglas."

Waters said because Grady had one prior concussion, he won't be cleared until all the symptoms disappear.

The Vikings could use both Grady and Douglas on Sunday as they host Wright State at 1 p.m.

"We needed this one badly because the team we play Sunday is even tougher," said Waters.

The TCF Forums