Youngstown State (13-9) at Cleveland State (11-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 5, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Wolstein Center (13,610) -- Cleveland, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: YSU 7-2. CSU 7-2. Away Record: YSU 6-5, CSU 2-10. Neutral Record: YSU 0-2, CSU 2-0. Conference Record: YSU 5-4, CSU 3-6. Series Record: CSU leads, 40-38.
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 League.
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- season sweep.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 72, Cleveland State 66
02/05 10:33:44 ET