Cleveland State (6-5) at Toledo (10-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 21, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Savage Arena (7,300) -- Toledo, Ohio. Television: BCSN. Home Record: CSU 5-1, Toledo 4-0. Away Record: CSU 1-4, Toledo 4-0. Neutral Record: CSU 0-0, Toledo 2-0. Conference Record: CSU 0-0, Toledo 0-0. Series Record: Toledo leads, 6-5.
GAME NOTES: The Toledo Rockets are one victory away from registering their best start to a season in more than 45 years. The Cleveland State Vikings stand in the way of the Rockets remaining unbeaten when the teams clash today at Savage Arena.
With one more win, the Rockets would improve to 11-0 and would attain their best start to a season since the 1966-67 squad began 14-0. That team finished with a 23-2 mark. A victory today would also tie the best start by a Mid- American Conference team since 1988-89 when Ball State began 11-0.
The amazing start for the Rockets can be attributed to balance at the offensive end, as all five starters are scoring in double figures. Senior guard Rian Pearson leads the way with 16.6 points per game. Junior guard Justin Drummond is at 15.5 ppg, followed by junior backcourt mate Julius Brown (13.9 ppg), junior forward J.D. Weatherspoon (10.6 ppg) and sophomore center Nathan Boothe (10.4 ppg). Brown is seventh in the country in assists at 7.1 per contest. The Rockets are also getting to the foul line in bunches by making 23.1 free throws per game, which ranks fourth in the country. The team is shooting 51.3 percent from the field, also in the top-10 nationally. It's all part of an offense that averages nearly 88 points per outing.
Toledo is coming off a 78-65 home win over Arkansas State on Tuesday. Drummond scored 19 points to pace four starters in double figures. He shot an impressive 8-of-11 from the floor and cleared six rebounds.
The Vikings cruised to a 97-72 win over Notre Dame (OH) on Wednesday at home. It was the most points scored by Cleveland State since Dec. 12, 2009. Bryn Forbes set a career-high with 27 points. The Vikings shot 61.4 percent from the floor and hit half of their 18 3-point tries.
The Cleveland State offense runs through Forbes, who is averaging 18.6 ppg. That's fourth-best in the Horizon League. The sophomore guard is also shooting 49 percent from the floor, including 47 percent from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Trey Lewis (13.0 ppg), junior guard Charlie Lee (11.4 ppg), and senior forward Jon Harris (10.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg) play an integral part for the Vikings, who are averaging 76.3 points a contest.
The Rockets have won 12 in a row dating back to last season. Toledo is 4-0 this season in games decided by four points or less, and this game could come down to the wire. The Vikings have won four in a row in the series. Toledo's last win over Cleveland State was on Dec. 23, 1996.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Toledo 83, Cleveland State 79
12/21 10:31:12 ET