The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Misc Vikings Vikings Archive CSU BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Vikes learning how to win in tight games
Written by Tom Mieskoski

Tom Mieskoski

Trey_Harmon_black_uniformThere is one thing Cleveland State coach Gary Waters found out about his team after watching the game films of last week's losses to Butler and Detroit.

"They don't know how to play in a tight games yet," said Waters. "Our average margin of victory is 12 points. We got to learn how to play (in tight games) and get over the hump."

With 26 games played so far this season, CSU (21-5, 10-4 Horizon League) have only played in five games that were six points or less. They are 3-2 in those games.

Last Saturday against Butler, CSU pulled within 51-49 with 10:03 remaining on a pair of free throws from Jeremy Montgomery. The Bulldogs went on a 12-4 run over the next 5:15 to open up a 63-53 lead with 4:48 left and take control of the contest.

On Monday, CSU lost a nail-bitter to Detroit, 81-78. CSU collapsed in the final five minutes turning the ball over twice, missing three lay-ups and allowing three offensive rebounds to Eli Holman.

"It's a wake-up call," said Waters. "Our kids need to be in more situations in order for us to excel in those situations.

"I honesty believe (losing to Butler and Detroit) will help us in the long run."

CSU host double-header on Saturday: The CSU men's and women's basketball teams will host a double-header on Saturday at the Wolstein Center.

The men will host Youngstown State (8-16, 2-12) at 2 p.m and the women (13-10, 6-6) will host Butler (15-9, 9-3) at 4 p.m.

SportsTime Ohio will televise the men's game live as part of the Horizon League's TV Game of the Week package.

The CSU men are in second-place in the Horizon League, a half-game behind Valparaiso (10-3 HL). They are a half-game ahead of third-place Wright State (10-5) and a game ahead of Butler and UW-Milwaukee, who are both 9-5 in league play.

In the men's tournament the top two seeds get a bye into the semifinals.

The CSU women are tied with UW-Milwaukee for fourth-place in the Horizon League, just 1 1/2 games behind third-place Wright State (7-4 HL).

In the women's tournament the top four seeds get a bye into the quarterfinals.

Waters on YSU: "Their a good offensive team and if you let them run their offense and they hit some shots they're in the game. They play zone to keep you at bay," said Waters.

The Penguins are 0-11 on the road this season.

Waters on scheduling: Waters does not like how the Horizon League schedules its games with travel partners on Thursday and Saturday.

"I think this league should play on Wednesday and Saturday," he said. "That means we have to go back to Chicago, have to go back to Wisconsin and have to go back to those other places.

"What (CSU athletic director) John (Parry) figured out it is not that much more money wise and you don't miss much more school."

the bench: CSU's bench is 9-0 when outscoring their counterparts this season, but in CSU's five losses the bench has been outscored, 108-20.

"There will be some games when they help us and there will be some games that will be struggles," said Waters.

CSU in polls: CSU received a vote in the Associated Press poll, receiving a 25th-place vote from Matt McCoy of WTVN-AM in Columbus.

In the Mid-Major poll, CSU dropped down to No. 6.

Pink Zone game: The CSU women will host its third annual WBCA Pink Zone game on Saturday against Butler. CSU will wear pink uniforms that will be auctioned off after the game to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

"That kind of stuff is really fun," said CSU women's coach Kate Peterson Abiad. "We will honor some (breast cancer) survivors for the game. It's nice to have a game like this."

News and notes: CSU will induct Bill Clarke (men's soccer coach, 1967-71); Keith Lillash (baseball, 1998-2001); Henk Markgraaff (men's swimming, 1996-2000); and Audra Cook (women's basketball, 1997-2000) into the CSU Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday following the women's basketball game. In addition, Judge Bob Malaga, who has been active in CSU athletics for over 25 years, will receive an honorary achievement award from the CSU Varsity "C" Club.... On Saturday, Norris Cole will will break J'Nathan Bullock's (2005-09) school records for career games played and consecutive games played, both are tied at 130.... The CSU men and women's basketball teams are 26-6 in 16 doubleheaders since the 2007-08 season.... Season tickets for CSU's 2011-12 season are now on sale. For more information call the Wolstein Center box office at 216-687-4848.

The TCF Forums