Cleveland State Blows out UW-Milwaukee

Tom MieskoskiContributor IJanuary 23, 2012

Photo courtesy of Cleveland State athletics
Photo courtesy of Cleveland State athletics

The Cleveland State men's basketball team has adopted a new slogan: "No mas."

"(It means) no more losses this season," said Aaron Pogue. "That's our (goal)."

The Vikings played like a team on a mission Sunday afternoon at the Wolstein Center as they dominated UW-Milwaukee from the opening tip off.

CSU had one of its best offensive performances of the season as six Vikings finished in double-figures in an 83-57 victory over the Panthers.

"This was a team effort," said CSU Head Coach Gary Waters. "I thought our guys worked hard and followed the game plan."

At the halfway point of Horizon play, CSU (17-4) holds a share of first place with Valparaiso—both are 7-2 in the conference. Milwaukee (13-8), Youngstown State and Butler are all a game behind at 6-3.

"I like our mindset," said Waters on where the Vikings stand after the first half of the conference season. "But, I think Valpo is still the class of the league right now."

The Vikings shot a season-high 63.5 percent from the field and went 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) from three-point distance against the top three-point defending team in the country.

"When we shoot the ball well, the game is over because we are going to defend you," said Waters. "I thought we executed better inside."

The 83 points were the most scored against a Division I team this season. CSU scored 86 points against NAIA member Rio Grande on November 15.

They also had a season-high in assists (22) and scored 44 of their 83 points in the paint.

"We just took what the defense gave us," said Trey Harmon, who led the Vikings with 15 points. "We had an emphasis on good shot selection. Our first mindset was to attack inside-out. Once we started attacking, our outside shots opened up."

The Vikings also got 12 points from Tim Kamczyc, who went 4-for-4 on three-pointers. They also had 12 points a piece from Jeremy Montgomery and Anton Grady, and 10 from D'Aundray Brown. Pogue, who has been battling a thigh injury, put together his second straight solid outing with 11 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes.

James Haarsma was the only Panther in double-figures with 15.

CSU never trailed in the game and used its three-point shooting to take the early lead.

They made four three-pointers in the first eight minutes to take a 22-11 lead on Kamczyc's second three-pointer of the night.

The Vikings shot 57.7 percent in the first half and took a 36-28 lead at the half.

CSU would put the game away in the first five minutes of the second half.

After Brown and Haarsma exchanged layups to start the second half, CSU scored the next 13 points to take a commanding 51-30 lead on Harmon's layup with 15:37 left.

"Our key was to speed them up a little bit (in the second half)," said Harmon. "They are a good offensive team in the half-court and we were getting in transition and getting easy baskets."

The Vikings' defense held the Panthers to 18 field goals and 35.3 percent from the field.

"Defensively, (I thought) we executed as well as you can execute at times," said Waters.

CSU will start the second half of league play at YSU on Saturday.

Tom Mieskoski is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.