Cleveland State overcomes abysmal begin, maintains share of first in Horizon League with 71-64 win over Detroit Mercy


CLEVELAND, Ohio – For a while, the disappointment and frustration created by the Friday night defeat seemed to have short-circuited Cleveland State against Detroit Mercy on Saturday. The Vikings couldn’t avoid sales and the Titans’ preeminent point guard Antoine Davis delivered 10 early points.

But after a 15-1 deficit of five minutes after the start of the game, the Vikings slowly got out of their funk. With a deficit of 33:31 at half time, the CSU dominated the second half and achieved a 71:64 victory at the Wolstein Center. The win allowed Cleveland State (15-6, Horizon 15-3) to keep up with Wright State at the top of the league. Detroit Mercy fell to 9-9, 8-6.

The Viking Bank turned out to be the difference when the CSU submarines outstripped the Titans 34-2. These efforts were led by Alec Olgesby, who scored 15 points.

“To be able to get off the bench 33 minutes (to play) and (Oglesby) plus 20 (CSU outperformed the Titans by 20 points with him) – keeping Alec Oglesby on is the reason why we won this game, “said CSU coach Dennis Gates.

Yahel Hill also came off the bench, scoring eight points and five assists. Algevon Eichelberger, a 6-8-year-old and 6-8-year-old Chris Green, scored 11 points, five rebounds and a block in 17 minutes to stabilize the CSU after the first fights.

“The game was won in a certain way. It wasn’t nice, but I’m proud of what our boys were able to bring up, ”said Gates.

The Vikings had to survive a great night before the Titan Davis, who scored 23 points. Oglesby was able to slow Davis down after his hot start, Gates pointed out. Davis set fire to the CSU on Friday evening for 35 points in the Titans’ 89-83 victory.

“Davis is the conference player of the year. I’m just honest with you There is no other person more important to his team than him. And that’s how I rate it. If you remove Davis from that team, nowhere are they as effective, ”said Gates.

Senior Guard Torrey Patton scored 15 points for eight rebounds and 6-8 Deante Johnson was a great force inside as he amassed 12 rebounds, blocked five shots and scored seven points.

The CSU led at the beginning of the second half by 36-35 and then took the lead 26-13 to take a 62-48 lead. Craig Beaudion scored eight points during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers, and finished with 10 points.

Cleveland State concludes its schedule for the Horizon League on Friday and Saturday with street games in Purdue Ft. Wayne.

Gates is not letting his team focus on a possible NCAA tournament offer and says he doesn’t think much has been proven yet. Regardless of that, 15 wins after only 22 in the last two years is a significant improvement.

“We haven’t done our best yet,” he said, “and I’m still waiting for my team to do their best.”