The Cleveland State men’s basketball team put together one of its most complete games of the season, knocking off Detroit, 74-62, Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.
"I thought it was a team effort," said Vikings head coach Gary Waters. "I thought every player wanted to add something to have success tonight."
The Vikings (10-8, 2-2 Horizon League) led from opening tip to final buzzer and defeated a red-hot Titans (11-6, 3-1 HL) team that had won five straight and nine of its past 10 games.
Freshman Bryn Forbes led the Vikings with 21 points and eight rebounds, while senior Tim Kamczyc contributed 15 points and redshirt sophomore Sebastian Douglas added 11.
Forbes continues to emerge as CSU's best scoring threat. The native of Lansing, Mich. has scored in double figures in nine straight games and 11 times in his past 12 contests.
"My confidence is getting bigger and bigger every game," said Forbes, who went 6-of-12 from the field.
CSU's defense held the Titans to nearly 17 points under their scoring average of 78.8 points per game.
"Our goal was to hold them into the 60s," said Waters. "In every game they have played in the 60s they have lost."
The Titans shot 42.6 percent from the field and were 3-of-18 from three-point distance.
CSU shot 51.9 percent from the field and made eight three-pointers.
Forbes got CSU's offense going with a three-point play to open the game.
The Vikings would jump out to an early 18-8 lead to take control of the game. During the run, Douglas, Forbes and Kamczyc each hit a three-pointer.
Detroit would close to within two points three times in the opening half. Twice it was Forbes that answered back with a clutch three-pointer to give the Vikings some breathing room.
CSU would close out the half on a 16-10 run and took a 43-35 lead at the intermission.
The Vikings shot 57.1 percent in the opening half.
Forbes led the Vikings with 19 first half points, while Kamczyc added 11. Sophomore guard Charlie Lee dished out seven assists and only had two turnovers in the opening half.
Forbes went 5-of-6 from three-point distance in the opening half.
"I told them [in the locker room] that somebody had to have an extraordinary game," said Waters. "For some reason, Bryn was open every time and he knocked them down."
CSU used an 11-7 run to open the second half to extend the lead to 54-42 on Marlin Mason's layup with 14:28 left.
Mason scored all nine of his points in the second half to help CSU preserve the lead.
"I thought Marlin made some plays that really got us going [in the second half]," said Waters.
The Vikings would maintain a double-digit lead the rest of the game.
It could have been a much different game if the Titans could have made their free throws.
Detroit, which came into the game shooting 76 percent from the line, only managed to make 9-of-24 (37.5 percent) free throws in the second half.
"Those take a lot out of you, when you go to the line and not convert," said Titans head coach Ray McCallum Sr.
Junior guard Ray McCallum Jr. led the Titans with 22 points, while senior forward Nick Minnerath contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds.
"I thought we did a great job at defending their key players," said Waters. "McCallum had a great game, but Jason Calliste had 27 points in their last game and we held him to six points."
Calliste, Detroit's second-leading scorer at 14.4 points per game, shot 1-of-8 from the field.
Give some credit to Douglas, who guarded Calliste most of the game.
"It's my job to spearhead our defensive charge," said Douglas. "As one of the older guys, I have to set the tone and keep that intensity at all times."
The Vikings also got contributions from juniors Devon Long and Luda Ndaye, who combined for 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"It's our goal to get 15 points and eight rebounds a game from our bigs because that's what Anton Grady was averaging," said Waters.
The Vikings head to the Wisconsin trip next week, as they play at Milwaukee on Thursday and Green Bay on Saturday.
Tom Mieskoski is a contributor to Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.