The holidays made for a relatively quiet week around the Horizon League, with each team only playing one game.
Butler Bulldogs (6-7): Butler continued their road trip with a visit to Stanford. After being down by five points at halftime, the Bulldogs rallied for a 71-66 victory over the Cardinal. Butler was fueled by Ronald Nored’s career-best 15-point performance, which included several clutch free throws in the final minute of the game to seal the Bulldogs’ victory. The Bulldogs return to action on Thursday at home against the Green Bay Phoenix and end the year with a home game on New Year’s Eve against the Milwaukee Panthers.
Cleveland State Vikings (11-2): After suffering a disappointing loss earlier in the week to South Florida, the Vikings rebounded with a solid 65-43 victory at home over the Sam Houston State Bearkats. The Vikings forced 23 turnovers and used a balanced attack to defeat the visiting Bearkats. On Wednesday, Cleveland State will travel west to Toledo to battle the Rockets. The Vikings will end the year with a home contest against the Youngstown State Penguins on New Year’s Eve.
Detroit Titans (6-8): Detroit hosted the Alabama State Hornets last Thursday. The Titans used a 32-13 second-half run and a double-double by Doug Anderson to defeat the Hornets by a score of 80-56. Detroit will end the year with two consecutive road games in Chicago. The Titans will square off against UIC Thursday and finish the year with a game against Loyola Saturday.
Green Bay Phoenix (6-6): The Phoenix evened their record with a 63-61 victory over Idaho last Thursday. Sparked by a 19 point, 19 rebound performance by Brennan Cougill, the Phoenix overcame foul trouble to standout sophomore Alec Brown and secured their sixth victory of the season. Cougill’s performance helped him earn Co-Horizon League Player of the Week honors. The Phoenix will travel to Butler on Thursday before ending the year against the Valparaiso Crusaders on New Year’s Eve.
Loyola Ramblers (5-7): In their only game of the week, Loyola traveled to Buffalo to square off against Canisius. The Ramblers earned their fourth straight win by defeating Canisius by a score of 59-45. Loyola was once again powered by Ben Averkamp and Walt Gibler, who helped them overcome a four point halftime deficit. Averkamp chipped in with 22 points while Gibler scored 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Loyola will look to extend their winning streak when they host Wright State on Thursday and Detroit on Saturday.
Milwaukee Panthers (9-4): The Panthers traveled across Milwaukee to battle the nationally ranked Marquette Golden Eagles. Although the Panthers were only down by five points at halftime, Milwaukee’s poor shooting performance ultimately sunk their upset effort, and the Panthers lost by a score of 64-50. The Panthers will close out the year by traveling to Indiana for two road games. Milwaukee will battle Valparaiso on Thursday before squaring off against Butler on New Year’s Eve.
UIC Flames (4-8): UIC traveled to Dayton for a road contest against the Dayton Flyers last Thursday night. Although the Flames ended the first half with a two-point lead and remained within two points late in the game, UIC lost to the Flyers by a score of 64-57. UIC will host Detroit on Thursday before ending the year with a matchup on New Year’s Eve against Wright State.
Valparaiso Crusaders (8-5): Despite being down by 17 points at halftime to IUPUI, the Crusaders refused to quit and managed to tie the score eight minutes into the second half. However, IUPUI used a 17-4 run to defeat Valparaiso by the score of 97-88. The Crusaders will end the year at home with two games against Wisconsin teams. Valparaiso will battle Milwaukee on Thursday before squaring off against Green Bay on Saturday.
Wright State Raiders (6-8): The Raiders hosted Central Michigan last Thursday. The Raiders headed into the locker room at halftime with a nine-point lead and defeated the Chippewas by a score of 60-42. Junior guard Julius Mays’ 28 points and game-winning basket earlier in the month against Nevada helped him earn Co-Horizon League Player of the Week honors. The Raiders will end the year with a trip to Chicago for two games against Horizon League conference opponents. Wright State will play Loyola on Thursday before matching up against UIC on New Year’s Eve.
Youngstown State Penguins (6-6): The Penguins’ losing streak extended to four games with a 59-56 loss at home to the Robert Morris Colonials. Although the Penguins led by one point at halftime and led for most of the second half, a turnover by Kendrick Perry with the score tied 56-56 gave the Colonials one last chance to win the game. Coron Williams proceeded to nail a 3-point basket to secure the win for Robert Morris. Youngstown State will look to end its losing streak when they travel to Cleveland State on New Year’s Eve for a road contest against the Vikings.