Cleveland State sophomore Marlin Mason scored a career-high 17 points in the Vikings' 67-55 victory over Old Dominion on Saturday.
The Cleveland State men's basketball team bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 67-55 victory over Old Dominion on Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.
All five of CSU's starters finished in double-figures. They combined to score 64 of CSU's 67 points.
In CSU's three wins this season, all five starters have scored in double-figures. In Tuesday's loss to Michigan, only one starter scored in double figures.
"What I wanted to see today was if we bounced back from (Tuesday's 77-47 loss to Michigan)," said CSU head coach Gary Waters. "Because when you're young that can be demoralizing. I thought our guys played a hard, tough second half."
The Vikings (3-1) got back to playing "Cleveland State basketball."
On Tuesday, CSU's defense couldn't stop Michigan as they shot 50.8 percent (30-for-59) from the field and went 9-for-24 from three-point distance.
On Saturday, CSU's defense was much improved. They held ODU to 16 field goals and didn't give up a single three-point field goal (0-10).
"I was impressed with how hard we played defensively," Waters said. "That was Cleveland State basketball. What I saw at Michigan wasn't even close."
The Vikings got off to a slow start against ODU's zone as they shot 35.7 percent in the opening half and trailed 30-25 at the intermission.
"The zone kind of stymied us in the first half," Waters said. "We were a little hesitant. When we started screening the zone, I thought we got inside and got some (good) shots."
The second half belonged to CSU.
CSU shot 51.9 percent from the field (14-for-27) in the second half and held ODU to only six field goals.
The Vikings opened the second half on a 11-5 run to take a 36-35 lead on Tim Kamczyc's mid-range jumper and never looked back.
CSU would increase the lead to 53-41 on Sebastian Douglas' jumper.
ODU would make one last run using an 8-1 run to cut it to 54-49 with 5:39 left, but CSU would answer with a three-pointer from Kamczyc to end the run.
All 10 of Kamczyc's points came in the second half.
"I told Tim at halftime he had to shoot more," Waters said about Kamczyc only attempting one field goal in the first half. "We need our shooters to shoot and our rebounders to rebound. Everyone has to play their role."
Sophomore forward Marlin Mason led CSU's balanced attack with 17 points.
"We lost four seniors from last year's team and we have a lot of young guys, so I have to step up," Mason said.
The Vikings also got contributions from sophomore forward Anton Grady (13 points, six rebounds) and sophomore point guard Charlie Lee (13 points).
"We are not a selfish team," Grady said about CSU's balanced attack. "If one guy has an off night, you still have four other guys that can score in double-figures."
The Monarchs (1-3) were led in scoring by sophomore guard Dimitri Batten and freshman guard Keenan Palmore, who each contributed nine points.
CSU was outscored 24-3 in bench points. The bench could get a boost soon as highly touted freshman Junior Lomomba is close to returning from a broken foot.
"If he shows me more progress (in practice tomorrow) there is a potential (he could play next week)," said Waters.
The Vikings are back in action on Monday against Division II Alabama-Huntsville in the NIT consolation round game at Robert Morris University.
Tom Mieskoski is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.