A Page -- Dec. 31, 2011

Vikings travel to Youngstown State today to open Horizon League, quest to even record and establish first two-game winning streak of the season
Game 12
Cleveland State (5-6) at Youngstown State (6-5)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011
Time: 2:05 p.m.
Site: Beeghly Center - Youngstown, Ohio
Series: Youngstown State leads, 31-23
Last Meeting: Cleveland State 76, Youngstown State 71
Tickets: Available on Site

Cleveland State will open its Horizon League schedule this weekend, as the Vikings travel to Youngstown State for a 2:05 p.m. contest on Saturday (Dec. 31). The Vikings, who finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 5-6 mark, are coming off a 62-48 victory over Lake Erie, while YSU enters the contest with a 6-5 record on the year. The 2011-12 season marks the 18th year that CSU will be competing in the Horizon League, while Saturday's game will be the 55th meeting between YSU and the Vikings. Youngstown State holds a 31-23 edge in the overall series, but the Vikings have been victorious in the past eight contests.

Following an up-and-down non-conference schedule, the Cleveland State women's basketball team is set to begin Horizon League play under ninth year head coach Kate Peterson Abiad. The Vikings, who have three players averaging double-figure points, are led by the trio of Destinee Blue (14.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Shalonda Winton (12.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.8 apg) and Takima Keane (12.1 ppg, 2.9 apg). Joining those three in the starting lineup have been senior Janelle Adams (6.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.1 apg) and junior Honesty King (9.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg). Due to injuries, Peterson Abiad has had to rely her bench this season, which includes returning letterwinners Kaila Montgomery (1.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg), Ondrea Hughes (1.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg), Brandee Kelly (1.0 ppg) and Haley Schmitt (0.8 ppg) and freshmen Cori Coleman (3.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg), Kiersten Green (2.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg), Imani Gordon (2.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and Tess Zufall (0.7 ppg).

Saturday's game at Youngstown State will be the eighth time that the Vikings have played on New Year's Eve, with CSU holding a 4-3 mark in those contests. Saturday's game will be just the second time that the Vikings have played away from home on New Year's Eve, as they also did so last season, playing at UIC. Following is a list of games that CSU has played on New Year's Eve...

Dec. 31, 1982-WAYNE STATE - W, 82-43
Dec. 31, 1983-vs. Cal State Fullerton - W, 75-65
Dec. 31, 1984-vs. New Hampshire - L, 76-67
Dec. 31, 1992-AUSTIN PEAY - W, 89-76
Dec. 31, 1997-VANDERBILT - L, 91-72
Dec. 31, 2005-DETROIT - W, 76-67
Dec. 31, 2010-at UIC - L, 65-59    

Last season CSU finished with a 12-6 mark in the Horizon League, which tied the 2008-09 team for most league wins in a season. Under head coach Kate Peterson Abiad, the Vikings have tallied 10 or more league wins during four seasons. The Vikings also finished the regular season tied for second place in the league standings, the best finish in program history.

CSU is 6-11 all-time in Horizon League openers, with the last win coming against Loyola during the 2007-08 season. Saturday's contest will mark the 10th season that the Vikings will open league play on the road, and just the third time that CSU will open against Youngstown State.

Wednesday's 62-48 victory over Lake Erie marked the final non-conference game of the regular season for the Vikings, as CSU enters league play with a 5-6 record. During the early portion of the schedule, Cleveland State claimed victories over Tennessee State (74-56), Western Michigan (72-66 OT), Ohio (66-56) and Murray State (68-61 OT) along with Lake Erie. CSU's losses throughout the first seven weeks of play came against Illinois (72-42), Fordham (52-43), Cornell (79-59), Akron (84-74), Toledo (81-42) and Ole Miss (74-63).

In just her third career start, freshman Cori Coleman led the Vikings with 14 points, two assists, two steals and two rebounds against the Lake Erie Storm. Coleman's 14 points marked the first time that she has scored in double-figures, while it makes her the sixth Viking to do so this season. 

Destinee Blue, who now has 10 double-doubles for her career, notched her first of the 2011-12 season against Lake Erie (Dec. 28), as she posted 14 points and 12 rebounds. Blue joins Shalonda Winton as the only Vikings to tally a double-double this season.

Blue, who leads the Vikings with 156 points this season, has now posted double-digit points in seven consecutive games after posting 14 in the victory over Lake Erie (Dec. 28). Blue leads the Horizon League with a .588 field goal percentage (60-102), while she also ranks sixth in scoring, averaging 14.2 points per contest.

Honesty King recorded a career-high 20 points at Ole Miss during the Magnolia Classic (Dec. 21) earlier this year, and became the third Viking to record a 20-point game this season. King's 20 points against the Rebels came after an 8-for-13 night from the field (.615), including a 4-for-7 mark from behind the arc (.571). King, who has 12 three-pointers on the season, has now posted at least four in a contest three times throughout her career. 

Takima Keane, who also posted 20 points at Ole Miss (Dec. 21), tied her career-high with the 20 point effort. Keane has now tallied 20 points three times throughout her career, including against Akron (Nov. 30) earlier this season. Against the Rebels, Keane was 6-for-12 from the field, including a 3-for-5 performance from three-point. 

After not playing any overtime contests last season, the Vikings have already played extra time twice throughout the first 10 games of the 2011-12 season after defeating Murray State, 68-61 in overtime at the Magnolia Classic (Dec. 20). Earlier this season the Vikings forced overtime at Western Michigan (Nov. 25) and came out on top, 72-66, to improve to 18-15 all-time in overtime contests.

Shalonda Winton continues to climb the CSU all-time career rebounds list, as she currently ranks 15th all-time with 562. Winton needs just five more rebounds to move into 14th place, which is held by Karyn Woloszynek (2000-04) who posted 566. Winton also ranks ninth in defensive rebounds with 368 and is just nine reboulds shy of making the top-10 in offensive rebounds (194).

Junior Shalonda Winton is closing in on 1,000 career points at Cleveland State, as she enters Saturday's contest with 747. This season Winton is averaging 12.0 points per game, while she averaged 12.5 points per game as a sophomore and 6.1 as a freshman.

Destinee Blue and Janelle Adams both reached the 600-point milestone against Lake Erie, following a 14-point and 10-point effort, respectively. Blue now has 601 points on her career, while Adams has 602.

So far this season the Vikings have recorded 156 assists on 234 field goals, with the duo of Takima Keane and Shalonda Winton leading the way. As a team CSU ranks second in the Horizon League, averaging 14.2 assists per game, while Keane ranks 10th (2.9) and Winton ranks 11th (2.8).

With 10 blocked shots against Ohio (Dec. 5) earlier this season, the Vikings set a game-high among the Horizon League schools in the category this year. As a team, CSU ranks second overall averaging 3.8 blocks per game, while Shalonda Winton and Destinee Blue each rank in the top-10 individually in the category. Winton ranks fifth averaging 1.2 blocks per game and Blue is 10th averaging 0.9.

Cleveland State head coach Kate Peterson Abiad is in her ninth season at the helm of the Vikings, and ranks second on the all-time wins list at CSU. Peterson Abiad became the third coach in program history to record 100 career victories last season, and currently has 111, needing just five more to take over first place on the all-time wins list. Peterson Abiad has led the Vikings to four straight 19-win seasons, including a 21-12 record last year, the second most wins in program history.

Cleveland State was picked to finish second in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, receiving 238 points. The Vikings finished behind preseason favorite Green Bay, who received 29 first place votes and 299 points. Wright State (212 points), Butler (197) and UIC (186) rounded out the top five. Detroit was the only other team to collect a first place vote, as they finished seventh with 141 points behind Milwaukee who placed sixth with 177 points. The Titans were followed by Loyola (88), Valparaiso (64) and Youngstown State (48).

Junior Shalonda Winton was named to the 2011-12 Preseason All-Horizon League first team in voting conducted by the league’s 10 head coaches, sports information directors and select media. Last season Winton ranked sixth in the league in rebounding (9.1), seventh in blocks (0.8), ninth in field goal percentage (.462; 146-316) and 15th in scoring (12.5). She also became the fourth player in school history to grab at least 300 rebounds in a season, ending right on the number.

The Vikings are set to play six more games against teams that advanced to the postseason last year, including Green Bay who reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Cleveland State's first contest against a team that reached the postseason came at Toledo (Dec. 10), as the Vikings fell to the 2011 WNIT champions, 81-42. CSU will now face Green Bay twice, as well as Butler who played in the WNIT and Wright State who played in the WBI.

This season marks the third annual CSU Hoops Luncheon Series, with Viking basketball fans having the opportunity to get monthly updates from CSU basketball head coaches Kate Peterson Abiad and Gary Waters throughout the 2011-12 season. The luncheon will take place beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the fifth floor Viking Loge of the Wolstein Center annex. The next luncheon will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 7, with the final luncheon to be held on Monday, Feb. 13. Reservations can be made by calling (216) 687-5454.

Cleveland State signed two student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Nov. 16, as Jasmine Flanagan (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and Nafeshia Holifield (Milwaukee, Wis./Milwaukee Vincent) will join the Vikings for the 2012-13 season. Flanagan, a 5-foot-5 combo guard, comes to CSU after earning first team all-league honors as a sophomore and junior. The two-time Team MVP averaged 15.8 points, 4.3 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game as a junior, and set the Roosevelt High School record with 62 three-pointers made in a season. Holifield is a 6-foot power forward who averages 10.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Milwaukee Vincent, which is the same high school as current Viking Destinee Blue, has won the state championship three times out of the past five years.

The Vikings will continue their three-game road swing with a pair of Horizon League contests at Valparaiso and Butler. CSU will face the Crusaders on Thursday, January 5 at 8:05 p.m. EST and will then face the Bulldogs at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 7.

High Scoring Second Half Gives Hiram College Men’s Basketball Win Against Heidelberg University; Terriers win Fifth Straight

WOOSTER, OHIO  –  Senior guard Jamaal Watkins (South Euclid/Brush) recorded his third double-double of the season with game-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Hiram College men’s basketball team past Heidelberg University, 88-77, tonight (Thursday, Dec. 29) in its first game of the Mose/Hole Kiwanis Classic hosted by The College of Wooster in Wooster.  [Game Stats]

Watkins (L), Zivoder (R)


The Terriers improve to 7-3 overall for the season and captured their fifth straight victory.  The Student Princes fall to 3-7 overall.


Both teams played a heavily contested first half with six ties and four lead changes.  Heidelberg led by as many as four points in the early minutes, but an 8-0 scoring run by Hiram that ended in a jumper by junior guard Alan Sheppard (Wadsworth) gave the Terriers a three-point edge, 11-8, at the 14:35 mark.  Hiram recorded its largest lead of the period with 9:11 left before halftime on a layup by senior guard Andrew Wiegand (Amherst/Firelands) that made the score 25-17 in favor of the Terriers.  The Princes regained the lead with under two minutes to go, but Hiram rallied to take control back and had a slim 36-35 advantage at the break.

Wiegand (L) Sheppard (R)


In the second half, Hiram outscored Heidelberg, 52-42.  The Terriers began the period with a 9-0 run, that included a pair of triples by Sheppard, to extend the margin to 45-35.  Hiram maintained a double-figure lead throughout the majority of the final half en route to its largest lead of the game of 19 points, 68-49, thanks to a pair of free-throws by junior forward Steve Zivoder (Garrettsville/Garfield) with nine minutes left.  Heidelberg made one final rally late in the game, pulling to within seven points, 84-77, with 37 seconds remaining, but four-of-six free-throws by Hiram to end the game secured an 88-77 victory.


Heidelberg shot 42.9 percent (30-of-70) from the field, but shot just 13.6 percent (three-of-22) from three-point range.  The Student Princes were led in scoring by Victor Fortkamp with 18 points on eight-of-14 shooting (57.1 percent).  Dane Givner was second with 15 points, followed by Nate Davis with 14 points.  Both Fortkamp and Davis also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.  Rounding out the high scorers for Heidelberg was Darion Capers with 12 points.


Hiram shot an impressive 50.0 percent from the floor (31-of-62) and an equally impressive 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from behind the arc.  Individually, the Terriers were led by Watkins’ 21 points and 12 boards.  Sheppard was second with 16 points and sophomore guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) had 15 points.  Zivoder finished the game with 11 points and Wiegand rounded out the high scorers with 10 points.


Hiram will conclude the two-day College of Wooster Mose/Hole Kiwanis Classic tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 30) when the Terriers take on Thiel (Pa.) College in a non-conference matchup.  The game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in Wooster.

Lake Erie Upsets Rollins in the Gator State

PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Over 1,000 miles of travel was well worth it for Lake Erie College (5-4), as it picked up one of the biggest wins in the program's four-year history in NCAA Division II, 79-65, over host Rollins College (7-3) in an opening round game at the Winter Park Rotary Tangerine Tournament in Winter Park, Fla. 

Rollins is currently receiving votes in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Poll and was ranked as high as 10th earlier in the season.

Lake Erie was led by a monster night from sophomore Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius).  The 6-6 center scored a career-high 24 points and added a game-high nine rebounds.  Classmate guard Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) carried much of the load as well with a season-high 18 points and redshirt freshman Jamil Dudley (Massillon Ohio/Massillon) added 12 points off the bench with three steals.  

Sophomore Nate Tait (South Euclid, Ohio/Brush/Alderson-Broaddus) also made a strong all-around contribution off the bench with nine points, four rebounds and a team-high five assists. 

The Storm was just 7-of-24 on three-point attempts -with Dudley and Thomas each accounting for a pair - but went a superb 20-of-32 on attempts inside the arc, shooting 48.2% (27-of-56) overall.  The Tars were held to just 32.7% (16-of-49) from the field. 

It was a tight first 20 minutes with neither team holding more than a six-point advantage.  Their were eight lead changes and five ties though Lake Erie led most of the first 10 minutes and went ahead 18-14 after a three-pointer by Tait at the 10:08 mark.  Rollins pushed forward to take two four-point advantages of its own and led 30-26 with 3:28 to go in the half.  The game changed over that final 3:28 as Lake Erie went on a 10-0 with Austin and Dudley scoring five points apiece, before the Tars closed the half with a free throw to mark the score 36-31 Lake Erie at half. 

Rollins closed within one on two occasions early in the second half but Lake Erie proceeded on a 15-2 run, capped by a foul shot from senior forward Matt Grendel (Independence, Ohio/Independence) to put the Green and White ahead 53-39 with 11:38 to play.  The Storm held the Tars to just a lone basket over that key 7:30 stretch.  Lake Erie's lead stretched to a game-high 17 points at 58-41 after a Tait fast break layup at the 9:30 mark.  Rollins closed the gap to 60-50 with 5:44 to play but Lake Erie withstood the Tars' run and never let its lead diminish below nine points.  The Storm iced the game by going 14-of-16 from the foul line over the final 2:23. 

Lake Erie will take on another team receiving votes in the NABC poll tomorrow as it faces West Georgia University (12-1) in the Championship game at 7:00 p.m.  You can follow along with live stats and video at the tournament website HERE.

Spartan Women Upset No. 24 Otterbein at Smokey Ballenger Classic

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Senior forward Erin Hollinger (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds as the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team closed out its 2011 non-conference schedule with a 75-74 upset of No. 24 nationally-ranked Otterbein University in the final game of the 2011 Smokey Ballenger Classic on Thursday evening at the Rike Center.

Hollinger (L), Mueller (R)

The Spartans improve to 7-4 overall and will open University Athletic Association play versus rival Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) on Saturday, January 7 at 3:00 p.m. at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland. The Cardinals see a four-game win streak snapped and fall to 10-2.

In addition to Hollinger's 20-point effort, junior point guard Erica Iafelice (North Canton, Ohio/Canton Hoover) totaled 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Senior forward Chelsea Peck (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) added 10 points, eight boards and five assists.

Case jumped out of the gate with a 10-2 run capped by an old-fashioned three-point play by Peck at 17:12. The Cardinals came back with a 14-0 run of their own and led 16-10 when Shea McCoy hit a three-pointer at 12:55. Otterbein's lead then grew to nine, at 27-18, as Bourke Kelley hit two free throws with 7:18 left in the half. But, the Spartans rallied with an 8-0 run and pulled within one when junior center Emily Mueller(Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) connected on a pair of free throws at 3:30. Both sides went back-and-forth over the duration of the period and Otterbein was able to increase its advantage to four, at 35-31.

Early in the second half, the Spartans got to within one on three occasions, the last coming at 39-38 following a Peck fast-break layup at 18:49. From there, Otterbein was able to re-build its advantage to five, at 51-46, with a Hannah Day three-point play at 14:24. Undaunted, the Spartans rallied with an 8-2 run and moved ahead 54-53 when Hollinger nailed a three-pointer with 11:26 left to play. The remaining minutes then saw seven lead changes and five ties before Case moved ahead for good as freshman forward Berit Eppard (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek) hit a layup to make the score 74-72 with 44 seconds remaining.

Spartan Men Match Best Start in School History with 69-51 Win versus Waynesburg on Day One of Sudeck Tournament

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Freshman guard Julien Person<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2011-12/bios/person%20julien%20jc1d> (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist) scored a career-high 16 points as the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team matched the best 10-game start in school history with a 69-51 victory versus Waynesburg University (Pa.) on day one of the 2011 Bill Sudeck Holiday Tournament on Thursday at Horsburgh Gymnasium.
The Late Coach Sudeck

The Spartans, winners of seven in a row, improve to 8-2 overall and match the 2005-06 squad for the best start in program history. Case returns to action in the tournament championship game tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. versus John Carroll University. The Blue Streaks defeated Regis College (Mass.), 86-60, in the other day one game.

Person's 16 points were accompanied by four assists and three rebounds. Freshman forward Dane McLoughlin<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2011-12/bios/mcloughlin%20dane%20310f> (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) and junior forward Austin Fowler<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2011-12/bios/fowler%20austin%207uzw> (Farmington Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice) each scored 12, while sophomore center David Thompson<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2011-12/bios/thompson%20david%206iaw> (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) added a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Case got out of the gate quick with a 10-1 run culminating in a Thompson jumper at 16:12. The lead grew 12, at 18-6, following a three-pointer by junior guard Robert Scott<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2011-12/bios/scott%20robert%206als> (Paoli, Pa./Conestoga) at 10:39. Waynesburg then came back with an 8-3 run to pull within seven, at 21-14, when Lou Galante hit a triple with eight minutes left in the half, but the Spartans finished on an 18-8 run and moved ahead 39-22 when McLoughlin nailed a fade away at the buzzer.

In the second half, Case's lead never dipped below 13 and grew to a high of 23, at 57-34, when freshman guard Joe Mims<http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2011-12/bios/mims%20joe%20v9iy> (Aurora, Ohio/Aurora) hit a layup with 10:53 left to play.

Waynesburg was led by Larry Alexander with 12 points.

Following tomorrow's game versus JCU, the Spartans open University Athletic Association play on Saturday, January 7 versus rival Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) at 5:00 p.m. at Horsburgh Gymnasium.


Cleveland State men return home to face 

Youngstown State

GAME 15 

Youngstown State (6-6, 1-1 HL) at --/rv Cleveland State (12-2, 2-0 HL) 
Date: Saturday, December 31, 2011
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST
Location: Wolstein Center (8,500) - Cleveland, Ohio
Radio: WHKW 1220 AM (Cleveland) & WHKZ, 1440 AM (Warren) (Al Pawlowski) 
TV: None Live. Video stream available on Horizon League Network and CSUVikings.com
Series: CSU leads, 39-36
Last Mt'g: @CSU 86, YSU 76 (2/12/11)
Tickets: $8, $10, $15, $25

SETTING THE SCENE: Cleveland State returns to Horizon League play when the Vikings host Youngstown State at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 31) in the Wolstein Center. The Vikings improved to 12-2 this year with a 72-64 win at Toledo on Wednesday (Dec. 28) and enter the contest with a 2-0 mark in league play after winning at Wright State and Detroit in early December. Youngstown State is 6-6 overall and 1-1 in the Horizon League. The Penguins have not played since a 59-56 loss at home to Robert Morris on Dec. 22. CSU leads the all-time series with the Penguins, 39-36, and has won five straight against YSU and eight of the last nine meetings. This will be the 76th all-time meeting between the two schools, making making the Penguins the most-often played opponent in school history.

PREVIEWING THE VIKINGS: Sixth-year head coach Gary Waters is combining an experienced group of upperclassmen with one of the most talented freshman classes in school history as the Vikings set out to win a second straight Horizon League title. The strength of the team is at the guards where seniors Trey Harmon and Jeremy Montgomery return after starting all 36 games last season. They are joined in the backcourt by freshmen Sebastian Douglas and Charlie Lee. Senior D'Aundray Brown returns to the lineup after missing last season with a finger injury to man the small forward spot with freshmen Marlin Masonand Ike Nwamu ready to step in and provide minutes. Senior Aaron Pogue returns as the starting center with junior Tim Kamczyc back at the power forward slot. Sophomores Devon Long and Luda Ndaye and freshman Anton Grady add depth to the frontcourt.

IN THE POLLS: With a 12-2 mark to start the season, Cleveland State has received recognition in the national polls for the seventh straight week. After not receiving any votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll for the last two weeks, the Vikings earned two votes this week to check in at 38th overall (13th among Others Receiving Votes). CSU did not receive any votes in this week's Associated Press Top-25 after earning votes for the previous six weeks.

VIKINGS DROP TO #5 IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Cleveland State slid one spot to No. 5 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 poll that was released on Monday (Dec. 26) afternoon. The Vikings received 623 vote, down from 670 last week. Creighton remained in the No. 1 spot with 25 first place votes and 749 points and was followed by Murray State (740 points, 6 first place vote), Harvard (698), Iona (671) and Cleveland State to round out the top five. Last season, CSU began the season ranked 25th in the poll before working its way up to the No. 1 ranking on Dec. 6 where CSU stayed for five weeks.

HAPPY NEW YEAR: The Vikings will be playing their sixth game in program history on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31) on Saturday when they host Youngstown State. The previous five games have all been played at home with the Vikings going 4-1 in those contests. The last time CSU played a game on Dec. 31 was an 81-60 victory over Loyola on the final day of 2001.

WINNING BEFORE THE NEW YEAR: CSU enters the final game of the 2011 calendar year with 12 wins, the second most in program history. Last year's squad set the school record with 14 wins before the calendar flipped.

STRONG DEFENSIVE PLAY CONTINUES: Strong defense has always been a staple at CSU under head coach Gary Waters and this year has been no different. CSU is ranked first in the Horizon League in scoring defense (57.8) steals (9.6) and turnover margin (+4.9), second in three-point field goal defense (.267) and third in field goal defense (.428). The Vikings have held 10 of their 14 opponents to under 45-percent shooting from the field.

50 OR LESS: The Dec. 22 win over Sam Houston State was the third time the Vikings have held a team under 50 points this year with the Bearkats joining Rhode Island (45) and Wright State (43). The 1933-34, 1935-36 and 2008-09 squads share the school record by holding 11 of their opponents to 50 points or less. CSU leads the league and is ranked 24th in the nation in scoring defense (57.3).

A TURNOVER TALE: One area where the Vikings have been dominant this year is the turnover battle where CSU leads the Horizon League and ranks 15th in the nation with a +4.9 turnover margin. While CSU's turnovers are up from last year to 14.4 per game (CSU averaged 11.4 last year), the Vikings are turning teams over an average of 19.3 per game (14.7 last year), with opponents committing at least 20 turnovers in six games this year.

ALL-OHIO: The Vikings enter Saturday's game against Youngstown State on a 17 game win streak against schools from Ohio. The last time CSU lost to a school in Ohio was a 72-59 setback at Ohio State (12/22/09).

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?: Quite frankly, he can play defense. A member of the 2010 Horizon League All-Defense team, Brown has quickly shown that he is one of the top defensive players in the country, ranking first in the league and fifth in the nation in steals (2.9 spg; 40 total). A deeper look into Brown's defensive efforts shows that he has shut down the top scorers on several teams this year, including the following...

PLAYER (SCHOOL) FG -FGA Points PPG at Time of Game
Carlton Guyton (Kent State) 3 -9 8 12.0
Mike Moore (Hofstra) 2 -7 5 20.5
Jamal Wilson (Rhode Island) 4 -8 8 19.8
Chase Simon (Detroit) 2 -5 6 17.6
Rian Pearson (Toledo) 3 -11 9 16.4

GRADY NEARS DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Anton Grady came close to a double-double at South Florida (Dec. 19), with 10 points and nine rebounds. It was the second time this season that Grady came up one rebound shy of a double-double. He had 14 points and nine boards in a win over Boston University (Nov. 25). Grady is averaging 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game.

ROAD WARRIORS: The Vikings have been proving their mettle away from home this season as CSU has played 10 of their 14 games away from the Wolstein Center, posting a 8-2 record in those contests. CSU is 7-1 in road games and 1-1 in neutral site contests. With at least seven more road games this year, CSU has a chance to break the school-record of 13 road wins in a season, set in 2008-09.

NCAA STATS: Cleveland State is well represented in the latest NCAA statistical report that was released on Monday (Dec. 19). As a team, CSU was eighth in the nation in three-point defense (.254), 11th in steals (10.0), 15th in turnover margin (4.7) and 24th in scoring defense (57.3). Individually, D'Aundray Brown is fifth in steals (3.1).

J-MO KEEPS PLAYING: When Jeremy Montgomery takes the floor on Saturday, he will be playing in his 121st straight game at CSU, taking over sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list at CSU. Montgomery, who has never missed a game in his career, is slated to make his 71st straight start. With a minimum of 18 games left this season, Montgomery has a chance to break Norris Cole's school-record of 139 straigh games played.

HARMON NETS 1,000th POINT: Trey Harmon became the 20th player in CSU history to score 1,000 career points when he finished with five points at Wright State. He ranks 18th on the all-time list at CSU with 1,082 points.

... AND BROWN CLOSING IN: D'Aundray Brown also has the 1,000 point mark in sights. He enters Wednesday's contest with 777 career points.

MONTGOMERY ALREADY THERE: With his six points against Rio Grande (Nov. 15), Jeremy Montgomery became the 19th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Montgomery, who has 1,118 career points, ranks 17th on the all-time scoring list at CSU. The Vikings have never had three players reach 1,000 career points in the same season.

BROWN AT #9 ON STEALS LIST: With four steals at Toledo (Dec. 28), D'Aundray Brown remained in ninth place on the all-time steals list at CSU with 183. He is now 17 steals shy of moving into a tie for eighth place. Brown leads the Horizon League and is ranked fifth in the nation with 2.9 steals per game, making at least two steals 12 of 14 games this season.

A NORTHEAST OHIO SWEEP: With a Dec. 10 win over Akron and a win at Kent State on Nov. 22, the Vikings have swept the season series against its two Northeast Ohio rivals for the second straight season. This year marked the 32nd time that CSU played both teams in the same year and the fifth time that the Vikings swept all of the games. CSU claimed single games against both teams in 1987-88, 1997-98 and 2010-11, and went 3-0 in 1977-78, 1980-81 and 1985-86, winning twice against Akron in both 1977-78 and 1980-81.

FINISHING IT IN REGULATION: Wednesday's game at Toledo extended CSU's school-record streak of consecutive games without an overtime contest to 150. The last time CSU played an overtime tilt came on Nov. 17, 2007 when the Vikings topped Florida State, 69-66, at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla. CSU is 100-50 since.

TRIFECTA DUO: The duo of seniors Jeremy Montgomery and Trey Harmon continue to work their way up the three-point field goals made chart at Cleveland State. Montgomery ranks second in CSU history with 173 three-pointers, while Harmon is fifth with 164 three's.

FIVE OR LESS: The Vikings are a perfect 7-0 in games decided by five points or less and have won four games on their final offensive possession this season. They include... • Trey Harmon hits a three-pointer with 2.8 seconds left in a 67-64 win over St. Bonaventure (Nov. 18).
• Jeremy Montgomery steals the inbounds pass and hits two free throws with 3.4 seconds to play in a 63-62 victory over Boston University (Nov. 25).
• D'Aundray Brown tips in a missed shot with 0.3 seconds left in a 45-43 win at Wright State (Dec. 1).
• Jeremy Montgomery hits a three-pointer with 21.2 seconds left to give the Vikings a 69-66 win over Akron.

FREE THROWS: One area CSU struggled over the first three games was free throws as the Vikings hit just 37-of-61 (.607) from the charity stripe. However, since that time, the Vikings have gone 114-of-145 (.786) over the last 11 games to raise the season free throw percentage to .733 (151-206), ranking second in the league.

... AND HITTING IN CRUNCH TIME: The Vikings have been hitting free throws down the stretch, connecting on 41-of-53 (.774) in the final five minutes of games this year.

SUCCESS 601: The sixth edition of Success Class under Gary Waters is utilizing the book Think Like a Champion by Dave Dinunzio as the course text. Instituted at CSU in the summer of 2006, Waters uses Success Class to teach the Viking players the finer points of what it takes to succeed, both on the basketball court and in life. Success Class 101 used John Wooden's book, The Pyramid of Success. Waters relied on John Maxwell's book Talent Is Never Enough in 2007-08 and turned to former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy's book, Quiet Strength in 2008-09. Waters returned to Maxwell in 2009-10, using 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player as the course text and again in 2009-10, using Maxwell's Winning With People. The non-credited class is taught weekly by Waters to the Viking players.

THIS `N THAT: Some quick notes from the first six weeks of the season.

• Trey Harmon was selected to the preseason All-Horizon League first team, while CSU was tabbed to finish third in the preseason poll.
• CSU's win at No. 7 Vanderbilt on Nov. 11 was the highest ranked opponent the Vikings have defeated in program history. It was the sixth top-25 team that CSU has defeated in program history with five of the wins under Gary Waters.
• The Vikings blocked 11 shots in a win over Rio Grande (Nov. 15), one shy of equaling the school record for most blocks in a game.
• Anton Grady blocked six shots against Rio Grande, one shy of tying the CSU single game record of seven held by three players and the most by a CSU freshman in a game.
• Luda Ndaye picked up his first career start against Rio Grande (Nov. 15) and tied his career-highs in both points (7) and rebounds (7).
• Jeremy Montgomery dished out a career-high tying eight assists in a win at Rhode Island (Nov. 27). Charlie Lee added a career-high four assists in a setback at South Florida (Dec. 19).
• Freshman Anton Grady is the nephew of NBA player Earl Boykins. Both played their high school basketball at Cleveland Central Catholic, while Boykins was a standout at Eastern Michigan when CSU head coach Gary Waters was an assistant coach.
• CSU went 6-1 in November this year and is a combined 14-1 during the last two November's.
• The Vikings are 6-1 in December this year, improving their record to 12-2 over the last two December's.
• The trio of associate head coach Jayson Gee and assistant coaches Larry DeSimpelare and Jeremaine Kimbrough are in their sixth year serving for head coach Gary Waters on the Viking bench. Only the tandem of Mitch Buonaguro and Paul Molinari (1996-03) served longer as a unit. 
• This is the 20th season of CSU playing in the Wolstein Center with the Vikings going 159-105, including winning records in nine of the last 13 years.

VIKINGS THIRD IN PRESEASON LEAGUE POLL: Cleveland State was picked to finish third in the preseason Horizon League poll as voted on by the league's 10 head coaches, sports information directors and select media. Butler was chosen as the favorite in the preseason poll, garnering 28 first place votes and 468 points to edge out second place Detroit. The Titans received 19 first place votes and 453 points. Cleveland State earned two first place votes and 388 points to finish third in the voting, while Milwaukee received the final first place vote and 356 votes to place fourth. Valparaiso was fifth with 255 points and was followed by Green Bay (247), Youngstown State (195), Wright State (157), Loyola (145) and UIC (86).

VIKINGS LIKE EXEMPTED TOURNEYS: The Ticket City Legends Classic was the sixth exempted tournament that Cleveland State has played in under head coach Gary Waters, with the Vikings sporting a 16-7 record in those games. CSU went 1-2 at the America's Youth Classic (Evansville, Ind.) in 2006-07, defeating ACC member Miami (Fla.), 78-67, for its lone win. In 2007-08, the Vikings played in the Glenn Wilkes Classic, going 3-1 with wins over teams from the Big East (73-70 over USF) and ACC (69-66 over Florida State). In 2008-09, the Vikings rebounded from an opening round loss to Washington to claim the Miami Regional title of the CBE Classic. Two years ago, CSU won two games at home as part of the Cancun Challenge before falling to Kentucky and Virginia in Cancun. Last season, the Vikings won four games at home to claim the World Vision Classic. This year, CSU defeated Vanderbilt to open the Ticket City Legends Classic and won two of three games at Rhode Island to win the Kingston subregional title.

FUTURE CSU HOOPS LUNCHEONS: The second of four CSU Hoops Luncheons took place on Dec. 14 with Viking basketball fans having the opportunity to get updates from CSU basketball head coachesGary Waters and Kate Peterson Abiad. Hosted by Munch Bishop of WKNR, the luncheons begin at 11:30 a.m. on the fifth floor Viking Loge of the Wolstein Center. Future luncheons will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 14, Tuesday, Jan. 17 and Monday, Feb. 13. Cost of admission is $12 with a reservation or $15 at the door and includes a buffet luncheon and beverages. Tables for eight can also be reserved for $80.00. Reservations can be made by calling (216) 687-5119.

UP NEXT: Cleveland State remains at home for two games next week, hosting UIC at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 5) and Loyola at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 7) in the Horizon League Game of the Week. 

Horizon League Men's b-zBall Notes

CONFERENCE PLAY RETURNS: Horizon League teams jumped back into conference action with both feet, starting on Thursday night. Saturday will see all 10 Horizon League programs in action.

·         The Horizon League Network will carry all nine games this week, with the HLN Game of the Week featuring a rematch of the conference title game between Milwaukee and Butler on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.

·         The HLN Game of the Week is carried live and in HD across the Midwest with Jim Barbar and Joel Cornette on the call. The Game of the Week is syndicated across the Midwest on Time Warner Sports 32 (Wisconsin), Comcast Sports Net Chicago, WNDY-TV (Indianapolis), Time Warner Cable Dayton (Dayton, Cincinnati, SW Ohio), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland) and WADL-TV (Detroit).  ESPN3 will also carry the feed of the game live.

·         All conference games are carried on HorizonLeague.com and are available on HLN Live for iOS and Android devices by visiting HorizonLeague.com/mobile.

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?: Through the first 13 games of Horizon League conference play, 8 have been within a single possession during the final minute of regulation. Thursday night was no exception, with Butler-Green Bay, UIC-Detroit and Valpo-Milwaukee all coming down to late possessions.

·         Only three Horizon League contests have been decided by 10 or more points.

·         No team has won the Horizon League title after losing its conference opener dating back to 2001-02.

·         The taut contests are just one of the reasons why Horizon League teams have found NCAA Tournament success, holding a 7-year winning streak.

Non-Conference: Through the last full week of non-conference games (with a break for Sears BracketBusters coming in February), the Horizon League holds a 44-51 (.463) record against Division I opponents (against the sixth-toughest schedule). The last time Horizon League teams had a collective record under .500 against DI foes came in the 2006-07 season, when the League went 57-60.

·         Since the 1999-2000 season, the Horizon League is 658-633 (.510) in non-conference games versus Division I competition. 

Upcoming Games

·         Horizon League teams return to conference play, with games on Thursday and Saturday. The Horizon League Network Game of the Week features a rematch of the 2011 Horizon League championship game when Milwaukee travels to Butler.

·         In the lone non-conference game of the week, Cleveland State knocked off Toledo, 72-64. The Vikings are 8-2 in road and neutral court games.

The Week That Was

·         Butler overcame a five-point halftime deficit to collect a 71-66 win at Stanford on Thursday, handing the Cardinal its first home loss of 2011-12. The win was the fifth by a Horizon League team over a Power 6 conference member, matching the mark from 2010-11 entering the NCAA Tournament.

·         Loyola’s Ben Averkamp eclipsed the 20-point mark for the fourth straight game at Canisius on Dec. 22. Not coincidentally, Loyola has won four straight games entering League play this Thursday.

·         In one of the most entertaining games of the non-conference season, Wright State knocked off Idaho, 80-78, in overtime on Dec. 20. In the final 20 seconds of overtime, the lead changed hands four times, the final coming on Julius Mays’ banked-in three-pointer to win the game at the buzzer. The game only went to overtime after a half-court shot by Idaho, adding to the highlights which gained prominent rotation on SportsCenter on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

League Notes

·         Cleveland State fell out of the Associated Press poll after a loss at South Florida, but the Vikings picked up 2 points in the Coaches Poll (38th overall).

·         In the first 13 Horizon League conference games of the year, 8 were within a single possession in the final minute of regulation and two went to overtime. Wright State was both the victim and beneficiary in its two games, losing on a tip-in to Cleveland State, 45-43, and surviving for a 63-62 win over Youngstown State when the Penguins’ floater at the horn, hit the back of the rim.

·         For the third straight year, and sixth time in 12 seasons, Butler was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the Horizon League.

·         14 players who starred in the Horizon League last season are presently in Europe pursuing a professional career or waiting for the resumption of the NBA season to begin the year.

·         The Horizon League owns the longest winning streak in the NCAA Tournament among non-Power 6 conferences, having won a tournament game in each of the last 7 years.

Butler Bulldogs (7-7, 1-1 Horizon)

·         Freshman Kameron Woods is developing a knack for late-game heroics; his three 2ith 20 seconds to play clinched Butler’s 53-49 win over Green Bay, 12 days after his three versus Purdue put the Bulldogs in position to grab a 67-65 win.

·         Sophomore Eric Fromm and freshman Jackson Aldridge joined senior Ronald Nored with career scoring highs on Butler’s West Coast trip.  Fromm, making his first collegiate start, tallied a career-high 16 points at Gonzaga, while Aldridge had a career-best 15 points at Stanford.  Nored led the Bulldogs at Stanford with a career-high 18 points.

·         The Bulldogs have used five different starting lineups in the past six games and seven different starting units through 14 games.  Only Nored has started every game this season.

·         Nored has climbed to fifth on the Butler career assists chart with 372. The senior stands fourth on Butler’s all-time list for steals with 171, five shy of Darren Fowlkes (1985-89) in the No. 3 spot. Nored also gave Butler its second straight Lowe’s Senior CLASS nominee, earning the honor this season. In 2011, Matt Howard was a finalist for the honor.

·         Butler has won at least 26 games in five consecutive seasons. Butler’s 152 wins over the past five-plus years are a school and Horizon League record. The Bulldogs are part of the Horizon League’s seven-year winning streak in NCAA Tournament play, claiming victories in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.

#-/rv Cleveland State Vikings (12-2, 2-0 Horizon)

·         The Vikings are 7-0 in games decided by five points or less, winning two games last week. CSU defeated Robert Morris (62-58) and Akron (69-66).

·         Senior D’Aundray Brown moved into ninth place on the all-time steals list at CSU and enters the week with 179 for his career.

·         Senior Jeremy Montgomery has played in all 119 games during his career, tied for the seventh longest streak in program history, and has started the last 69 games.

·         CSU’s 63-45 win over Sam Houston State on Thursday improved the Vikings to 4-0 at home this year. The Vikings hit a season-high 10 three-pointers in the victory, going 10-of- 19 (.526) from behind the arc.

·         Senior Trey Harmon has taken 504 three-pointers in his career, one of three players in CSU history with 500 attempts. Montgomery is close to joining him as he enters the week with 497 career three-point field goal attempts.

Detroit Titans (6-9, 0-3 Horizon)

·         Detroit’s up-tempo offense has been slowed in Horizon League play. Averaging 76.8 ppg in non-conference play, the Titans have been bottled up in three Horizon League games, averaging just 60.3 ppg.

·         Sophomore Ray McCallum was named to the Bob Cousy Award List, given annually to the nation’s top point guard. McCallum, who is averaging 14.7 ppg and 3.5 apg, has scored in double figures in all but two games this year.

·         Detroit’s Doug Anderson notched his second double-double of the year with 16 points and 12 rebounds in an 80-56 win over Alabama State.

·         Detroit honored former Head Coach Dick Vitale on Dec. 5, dedicating “Dick Vitale Court” at Calihan Hall before knocking off St. John’s, 69-63, before a national television audience on ESPN2.

·         McCallum is a Preseason Wooden Award Watch List and Preseason Naismith Trophy honoree. The sophomore spent the summer with USA Basketball’s World University Games team. The youngest member of the team, McCallum appeared in all 8 contests, averaging 4.5 ppg while collecting 8 rebounds and 7 assists (2 turnovers).

Green Bay Phoenix (6-7, 2-1 Horizon)

·         Green Bay’s DI strength of schedule as of Dec. 25 was the sixth toughest in the nation according to RPIRatings.com and seventh toughest per the Sagarin ratings.

·         The Phoenix will be looking for their first road win of the season this weekend, holding a spotless 6-0 mark at the Resch Center.

·         Junior Brennan Cougill’s 19 rebounds versus Idaho tied for the third-most in program history and tied the Resch Center record for boards in a game. In his last two games, Cougill has 32 boards.

·         Sophomore Alec Brown already sits in fourth on the all-time Phoenix ledger with 103 career blocks.

·         With 16 years of experience among 14 players, the Phoenix are the 13th-youngest team in the country. Green Bay will be working in six newcomers to the roster, along with Terry Johnson, who practiced with the team last year after transferring from Illinois State.

Loyola Ramblers (5-8, 0-3 Horizon)

·         Loyola’s four-game winning streak was snapped in a 64-48 loss to Wright State. The Ramblers committed 21 turnovers in the game, 15 in the first half.

·         Junior Ben Averkamp was the first Rambler since Blake Schilb (Feb. 18-26, 2006) to score 20 or more points in four consecutive contests. Over the last four games, Averkamp is putting up 24.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.8 apg and is shooting 53 percent (40 for 75) from the field and 92 percent (12 for 13) from the foul line.

·         The Ramblers entered conference play having held each of their last three opponents under 50 points and have surrendered only 48.8 ppg in their current four-game winning streak. The last time Loyola allowed fewer than 50 points in three straight games was March 19 - November 30, 1949.

·         Senior Walt Gibler has recorded a double-double in two of the last four games and now needs only 104 points for 1,000 in his career and 55 rebounds for 500. Only 17 players in LU history have totaled 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.

·         The Ramblers boast two Pre-Med majors on their roster; both Walt Gibler and Ben Averkamp have designs on becoming doctors following the conclusion of their basketball careers. Averkamp averaged a team-best 12.0 points per game last year, while Gibler chipped in 9.4 ppg.

Milwaukee Panthers (10-4, 3-0 Horizon)

·         Milwaukee has won 11 straight Horizon League regular season games dating back to last season after a gritty 57-55 win at Valparaiso.

·         The Panthers are holding opponents to 23.7 percent shooting from three-point range, ranking second in the nation. Milwaukee is holding opponents to 58.2 points per game on the year, ranking 

24nd nationally.

·         The four games the Panthers have lost so far this season have come to teams that are a combined 43-7.

·         Senior guard Kaylon Williams was named to the Bob Cousy Award List, given to the nation’s top point guard. A Preseason First Team All-Horizon League pick, Williams is pacing the League with 6.0 assists per game, good for 21st nationally.

·         Kyle Kelm returned to the lineup last against Marquette after missing two games with a sprained shoulder. Ja’Rob McCallum and Lonnie Boga also continue to be sidelined by injuries, with McCallum continuing to battle a wrist injury while Boga is a likely redshirt candidate.

UIC Flames (5-8, 1-2 Horizon)

·         UIC moved to 5-1 on its home court in the 2011-12 season with a 63-59 win over Detroit on Thursday night.

·         UIC’s men’s basketball team has seen no shortage of nail biters this season, playing a total of seven games decided by five points or less. UIC is 3-4 in those contests, but had a chance to either tie or win the game with a last-second shot in road games at Green Bay, at Milwaukee and at Central Michigan.  UIC trailed by just two (57-55) with 31 seconds remaining last Friday at Dayton. Additionally, the Flames have held second-half leads in six of their eight losses this season.

·         Junior guard Daniel Barnes has tallied nine double-digit scoring outputs this season, including 17 or more points on five occasions.

·         Entering the Flames’ road contest at Central Michigan, UIC had no players averaging double figures in scoring.  As the Flames resume Horizon League play this week, Barnes (12.1 ppg) and senior center Darrin Williams (10.3 ppg) are both scoring in double figures, while junior point guard Gary Talton is averaging 9.4 points per game.

·         UIC turned over the majority of its roster in the offseason, bringing in nine newcomers for head coach Howard Moore’s second season. Seven of the newcomers are true freshmen, with four hailing from the Chicagoland area and two coming from Dallas.

Valparaiso Crusaders (8-6, 1-1 Horizon)

·         Valparaiso has dropped four of its last six games by an average of 5.5 ppg after a 57-55 loss to Milwaukee at the ARC.

·         Junior Ryan Broekhoff has turned into the Horizon League’s Swiss Army Knife, ranking in the top 10 in seven different Horizon League categories. Broekhoff posted his seventh double-double of the year with 18 points and 12 boards vs. Milwaukee.

·         Shooting 56.1 percent inside the three-point arc, Valparaiso ranks third in the nation in two-point field goal percentage. Junior Kevin Van Wijk has led the way, going 63-for-101 (62.4 percent) from the field.

·         The Crusaders have helped the Horizon League to an 12-10 mark against the MAC this season, going 3-0 versus MAC opponents.

·         Two members of the Crusaders played in the World University Games. Broekhoff represented Australia, tying for team-high scoring honors in averaging 10.9 points per game. Richie Edwards paced the New Zealand squad and ranked third overall among all tournament players with an average of 20.1 points per game.

Wright State Raiders (7-8, 2-1 Horizon)

·         Wright State has its longest winning streak of the season after a 64-48 victory at Loyola

·         Since his return from an injury suffered versus Cincinnati, junior Julius Mays is averaging 21.0 ppg. The junior had 23 in the win over Loyola.

·         Both Mays and freshman Reggie Arceneaux posted career highs versus Idaho. Mays had 28, including the game-winning shot at the buzzer, while Arceneaux added 19. The duo accounted for all 11 Wright State points in overtime.

·         The Raiders are the sixth-youngest men’s basketball team in Division I this year. Wright State averages 0.87 years of experience per player on its roster, matching that of UNC-Wilmington. Eight newcomers dot the Wright State roster, including seven true freshmen. In total, 11 players on the Raiders roster are listed as underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores).

·         The young group had a chance to bond as the program took a 10-day trip to Italy this August. The Raiders went 1-3, traveling through Rome, Florence, Venice, San Marino and Lake Como. Arceneaux was the lone Raider to finish in double figures in each of the four games in Italy (11, 11, 12, 10), while fellow freshman Tavares Sledge posted a team-best 7.5 rebounds per contest.

Youngstown State Penguins (6-6, 1-1 Horizon)

·         At 9.8 three-pointers per game, the Penguins rank eighth in the NCAA. Hitting 38.2 percent of those attempts, Youngstown State ranks 45th in the nation.

·         Junior Blake Allen leads the three-point attack, hitting 40-of-91 attempts this year. Allen was eighth nationally with 3.3 per game and 24th with a 44.0 percent mark through Dec. 18.

·         Junior Damian Eargle has 143 career blocks,  second in the Youngstown State record book. His 52 blocks this season already ranks fourth on the single season chart.

·         Senior Ashen Ward has made 112 career three-pointers and needs two more to move into ninth place on the YSU all-time list.               

·         In total, Youngstown State returns 63.4 percent of its scoring and 63.3 percent of its minutes played from 2010-11. Five of the Penguins’ top seven scorers from last season return to the lineup.