Calihan Hall is proving to be a tough place for road teams to come in and notch a victory. Entering Monday night’s action, the Detroit Titans held a perfect 7-0 record on their home court, and were looking to notch their second win in conference play to send the home crowd happy once again.
Their opponent to start conference play just happened to be a perennial contender in the conference. The Cleveland State Vikings always seem to find themselves near the top of the Horizon League standings year after year, but they will need a strong push this season if they want to get back to the top. Cleveland State entered Monday with a 5-9 record overall, and were 0-1 in conference play.
When things get going right for a team on their home court, it’s tough to put a stop to them. Cleveland State hung with the Titans in the first half, and took a tie-game into the final 20 minutes. In the second half, Detroit pulled away for the 88-80 victory to keep their perfect record at home intact.
The Vikings opened the game on a 6-2 run, with Ron Edwards scoring 4 early points to pace Cleveland State. Detroit was held to just two points over the first three minutes of the game before Paris Bass made a pair of free throws to end the drought.
As the first half wore on, both teams would try to pull away from one another. Cleveland State took a 5-point lead at the 13:09 mark on a jumper from Edwards, but Detroit stormed back with 5 straight points to tie things at 20-all shortly thereafter.
Then, it was Detroit’s turn to take a big lead. The Titans would stretch their lead to as many as 6 points on a pair of occasions, with the latter coming after Anton Wilson made 1-of-2 free throws to give Detroit the 34-28 lead with 6:07 to play.
Cleveland State would chip away, and were able to get the game tied up at 42-all before the half was up, and they put themselves in a great position heading into the second half.
In the opening 4 minutes of the half, the Vikings and Titans would trade baskets, and the lead. Andre Yates put the Vikings ahead, 52-50, on a three-point jumper at the 16:06 mark.
That was when the back-and-forth action subsided, and Detroit started to take over. Bass go things started with a dunk, then Wilson hit a three ball out of the media timeout to keep the run going.
Overall, Bass and Wilson combined to lead Detroit on a 13-2 run to push their lead to 63-54 before the under-12 media break.
Cleveland State would keep chipping away, and Myles Hamilton cut the deficit to 4 with a three-pointer with 6:33 to play. Bass scored 4 straight points following the jumper by Hamilton, and the Vikings wouldn’t get any closer down the stretch.
The Vikings gave the Titans a good fight, but Detroit was able to keep their perfect home record in place with an 88-80 win over Cleveland State on Monday night.
Despite the loss, guard Rob Edwards had himself quite the night for the Cleveland State Vikings. He scored a team-high 26 points, while going 10-of-18 from the floor and 3-of-5 from three point range. He also added 4 rebounds and 2 steals, but committed 6 of the Vikings’ 17 total turnovers.
Andre Yates added 14 points in the loss.
Detroit had four scorers reach double-figures, but the duo of Paris Bass and Anton Wilson led the way on offense. Bass scored a game-high 28 points to go along with 13 rebounds, giving him his first double-double of the season. He added 4 steals and 3 blocks for good measure.
Wilson chipped in with 19 points and 2 rebounds, while Carlton Brundidge added 11 points off the bench in the victory.
The loss was the second-straight defeat, and the third in the last four games, for the Cleveland State Vikings (5-10, 0-2). Simply put, they don’t look like the dominant Vikings we have become used to seeing in past years. They will look to get back on track on Thursday night when they return home to take on the Green Bay Phoenix.
After putting an end to their two-game losing streak their last time out, the Detroit Titans (8-5, 2-0) won their second-straight game to open conference play. They have won 8 straight contests inside Calihan Hall to open the 2015-16. They will look to make it 9 straight when they welcome the UIC Flames to town on Friday night.