GAMES NOTES: Coming off their first win in the last five contests the
Cleveland State Vikings look to avenge a recent loss when they host the
Youngstown State Penguins in Horizon League action at the Wolstein Center.
Youngstown State had a four-game win streak snapped last time out as it got
rolled, 88-77, by Detroit in the first half of this two-game road trip. The
setback dropped the Penguins to 13-9 overall and closer to even in league play
where they are now 5-4. The Penguins have been respectable on the road this
season with a 6-5 mark, but a five-game homestand awaits them next.
As for Cleveland State, a four-game losing streak was put to an end on
Saturday when the Vikings posted a 77-66 win on the road over Illinois-
Chicago. The win pushed the Vikings to 11-12 overall, improving their less
than stellar league mark to 3-6. At home Cleveland State has found a bulk of
its success this season at 7-2 at the Wolstein Center. That's great news for
the Vikings who play five of their next six games at home.
These teams met less than two weeks ago when Youngstown State nabbed a 73-59
win at home on Jan. 26. The win was the second in the last three meetings
between the two squads for the Penguins who now trail the all-time series by a
slim 40-38 margin.
Though it improved on the 41-point loss it was handed by Detroit earlier this
season Youngstown State still couldn't get past the Titans on Saturday. The
Penguins shot a solid 45.8 percent from the field but that was behind the 48.5
percent clip the Titans managed. Turnovers proved crucial as well with the
Penguins coughing it up 20 times leading to 23 points for the Titans.
Leading the way for the Penguins on most nights is Kendrick Perry (16.5 ppg,
5.3 rpg, 4.1 apg) who did so yet again against Detroit by dropping in 22
points. The 6-foot guard has been one of the best all-around players in the
conference this season, ranking in the top five in scoring, assists and steals
while managing to fit in the top 15 in rebounding. Damian Eargle (12.6 ppg,
6.7 rpg) has made his presence felt on the interior especially on the
defensive end as he has blocked a league-leading 3.5 shots per game. Blake
Allen (10.6 ppg) is the third member of the squad in double figures but shoots
jut 35.3 percent from the field.
After getting out to a 34-26 lead against Illinois-Chicago, the Vikings hit on
an impressive 60 percent of their shots after the break to seal the victory.
Cleveland State also had a 38-24 edge in rebounds. Led by 22 points from
Marlin Mason, the team enjoyed a 37-17 advantage in points off the bench.
Cleveland State has been a much more pedestrian offensive squad as compared to
the Penguins. The Vikings are scoring just 64.5 points per game, shooting at a
42.6 percent clip from the field. The Vikings also rank second to last in the
league in rebounding while letting up 69 points per game on 45.3 percent
shooting. Bryn Forbes (12.0 ppg) is the top scoring threat on the roster.
Charlie Lee (10.7 ppg, 5.2 apg) teams with Forbes in the backcourt as the only
other player in double figures as well as the assist leader in the Horizon
With its superior offensive balance led by Perry and Eargle and its ability to
control the boards, the Penguins should be able to finish off the regular-
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 72, Cleveland State 66