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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 2:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beeghly Center (6,300) -- Youngstown, Ohio. Television: SportsTime Ohio. Home Record: CSU 7-2, YSU 5-2. Away Record: CSU 1-9, YSU 6-4. Neutral Record: CSU 2-0, YSU 0-2. Conference Record: CSU 2-5, YSU 3-3. Series Record: Cleveland State leads, 40-37.
GAME NOTES: The Cleveland State Vikings try to end their losing streak as they take on the Youngstown State Penguins in a Horizon League tilt at the Beeghly Center.
Cleveland State looked like it was gaining steam when it downed Illinois- Chicago (60-50) and Detroit (74-62), but it followed the victory over the Titans with three consecutive losses to Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Loyola- Chicago by an average margin of 13.7 ppg. The Vikings are in second to last place in the Horizon League standings with a 2-5 mark, but they are still just one game below the .500 mark overall. Coach Gary Waters needs to get his team going on the offensive end, where it produces just 64.2 ppg.
YSU is much better on the offensive end with an average of 70.9 ppg on 42.6 percent shooting from the field. The ability to fill it up has helped the Penguins win their last two games at Milwaukee (75-72) and at home, over Wright State (68-61). The back-to-back decisions improved coach Jerry Slocum's team to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in the Horizon League standings.
This will be the 78th meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. The Vikings hold a 40-37 edge in the all-time series after their 67-47 rout of YSU on Jan. 28, 2012.
Cleveland State's losing streak is bound to end sooner or later if freshman guard Bryn Forbes continues to excel. The 6-foot-3 rookie notched his 12th consecutive double-digit scoring outing in a row on Wednesday with a career- high 22 points against the Ramblers. The rest of the Vikings combined to make just 14-of-40 field goal tries in the setback. Charlie Lee (10.6 ppg, 5.0 apg) and Marlin Mason (8.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg) are both capable of big performances. Mason had an all-around game at Milwaukee, tallying seven points, a career- high 14 rebounds, and four blocks. Lee has dished out 40-percent of CSU's assists this year.
The Penguins had some senior leadership spearheading the charge against Wright State as Damian Eargle and Blake Allen netted 18 and 17 points, respectively. Kendrick Perry posted his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Perry has had an all-conference caliber season. He ranks third in the Horizon League in scoring (15.6), fourth in assists (4.3) and is tied for the lead with 1.8 steals per game. Eargle (12.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Allen (11.6 ppg, 3.0 apg) combine with Perry to create a very talented trio.
The Vikings have some talent on their squad, but they are very young and will need more time to develop before wins start piling up. With the homecourt advantage on its side, YSU is a solid enough unit to fend off CSU.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 74, Cleveland State 63
01/26 10:40:23 ET