Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters made sure his team was "prepared" to face UW-Green Bay Friday and not overlooking them for a potential first-place match-up with UW-Milwaukee on Sunday.
The Vikings took care of its business Friday night by easily defeating the Phoenix 78-68 at the Wolstein Center, but it was Milwaukee that fell victim of the trap game, losing at Youngstown State.
"We knew we had to play (Green Bay) because on film they have played at times better then Milwaukee," said Waters. "You have to take care of your home court. If you don't do that, the road games don't mean anything."
The win improves CSU to 16-4 and 6-2 in the Horizon League and moves the Vikings into a first place tie with Milwaukee and Valparaiso.
"We knew this was a set-up game," said Trey Harmon, who led the Vikings with 19 points, and was 4-for-6 on three-pointers. "You can't look past any team in this league. That's what is scary about this league, on any given night any team could win."
The Vikings also had double-digit scoring from Tim Kamczyc (12 points), Jeremy Montgomery (11), and freshmen Anton Grady had his first career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Green Bay (7-11, 3-5 Horizon League) were led by Keifer Sykes and Kam Cerroni with 15 points each.
CSU took care of business early using its three-point shooting to take the lead. The Vikings made five of their six three-pointers in the first half.
Trailing, 8-4, Montgomery's three-pointer cut the lead to 8-7, then Harmon's first three-pointer tied the game at 10-10.
Harmon's second three-pointer gave the Vikings its first lead, 13-12, and proved to be the go-ahead basket. His third three-pointer extended the lead to double-digits (26-16) with 6:44 left.
A tip-in by Green Bay's Alec Brown at the buzzer cut the lead to 36-30 at the half.
The Vikings ended any chance of a upset by starting the second half on a 13-4 run to take a 49-34 lead as Aaron Pogue found Kamczyc for a lay-up with 16:29 left.
"I told the team at halftime that we weren't locking into them defensively and we were committing too many fouls," said Waters, whose team committed 23 fouls that led to 30 free throw attempts for Green Bay. "We need to stop fouling because that lets teams hang with us. We work hard on defense and then we commit petty fouls that are unnecessary."
CSU built the lead to as much as 18 in the second half and never let the lead get below six points.
The Vikings shot 50.9 percent from the field and held advantages in rebounding (43-23), points in the paint (40-24), fast break points (14-2) and bench scoring (19-9).
"I told the guys in the locker room how proud I was of the effort on the glass," said Waters.
Tom Mieskoski is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.