Although the Cleveland State pep band created an atmosphere full of Christmas cheer as they belted out a large number of Christmas tunes on Tuesday night at the Wolstein Center, the Cleveland State Vikings played the role of the Grinch as they defeated the visiting Sam Houston State Bearkats by a score of 65-43.
Powered by seven 3-point shots in the first half, the Vikings led 37-25 at halftime. The Vikings continued to control the game in the second half, outscoring the Bearkats 26-20.
Vikings coach Gary Waters was in a giving mood tonight as he doled out generous minutes to nearly every player on the roster. The Vikings’ young bench received significant minutes, with most of the Vikings’ freshmen playing at least 10 minutes. Senior center Aaron Pogue was limited by a thigh contusion that he reaggravated against South Florida, opening the door for sophomore Devon Long to receive 13 minutes of action.
The Vikings compensated for being outrebounded 30-29 by using their “Water Pressure” defense to force 23 turnovers and force the Bearkats into a 41.2% shooting performance. D’Aundray Brown led the Vikings’ balanced attack with 12 points. The Bearkats’ Demarcus Gatlin led all scorers with 13 points.
The Vikings will take the next week off and celebrate Christmas before returning to the Wolstein Center on New Year’s Eve for an afternoon match up against the Youngstown State Penguins.