Cleveland State holds off Oakland 80-78, maintains Horizon lead with 14th convention victory

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ROCHESTER, me. – D’Moi Hodge scored 20 points, Craig Beaudoin hit two critical free throws and Deante Johnson intercepted an Oakland pass in the final seconds when Cleveland State caught Oakland between 80 and 78 on Saturday to complete a weekend road sweep and at least to keep his one-game lead on the Horizon League.

The Vikings (14-5, 14-2 Horizon) surpassed their highest overall Horizon League win in a season and have the most conference wins since their 15-1 win at the Mid-Continent Conference in 1992-93.

Hodge set the tone early on by scoring the Vikings’ first eight points in the ball game, including consecutive threesomes. Defense was also important as the Vikings had nine steals against just two turnovers while the Grizzlies had 13 turnovers.

With the Vikings holding a 78-76 lead in less than 90 seconds, revenue from an inbound game from Cleveland State nearly resulted in a tie, but Tre Gomillion pulled a crucial offensive foul on an Oakland 2-on-1 fast Pause to regain possession.

The Golden Grizzlies had a chance to tie or win with two seconds to go, but Johnson intercepted a pass to seal the win.

Three other Vikings achieved double-digit results. Torrey Patton narrowly missed his second straight double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Gomillion added 13 points. Johnson delivered 12 points on 6-of-9 from the field in addition to four boards, three assists, three steals and one block.

Daniel Oladipo and Zion Young each had 18 points for Oakland (8-15, 8-8).

The Vikings will complete the regular season home schedule with a two-game set against Detroit Mercy at the Wolstein Center next weekend. The game on Friday evening will be televised by ESPNU.