Ice-Cold Shooting Dooms Cleveland State in Loss to Wright State
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland State men's basketball team never got its offense on track on Wednesday night at the Wolstein Center, as the Vikings were held to a season-low in points in a 50-41 loss to Wright State.
CSU's previous season low for points was 47 at Michigan on Nov. 13.
"We defended well enough to win, but we didn't hit any shots," said Vikings head coach Gary Waters. "When you go 16-for-61 [from the floor], you can't beat anybody."
CSU (13-16, 5-10 Horizon League) shot just 26.2 percent for the game and were 4-of-22 on three-pointers. They also missed 10 layups.
"We couldn't get anything going offensively," said Charlie Lee, who led the Vikings with 12 points, but struggled from the floor shooting 4-of-15. "We just couldn't execute on offense."
Freshman Bryn Forbes, CSU's leading scorer at 12.6 points per game, was held to six points on 2-of-12 shooting.
Despite the loss, CSU still has an outside chance to host a first round game in next month's Horizon League tournament because of Illinois-Chicago's 64-53 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday.
If UIC (6-8 HL) losses its two remaining conference games, then CSU could get the No. 6 seed, if the Vikings win at Loyola of Chicago on March 2.
WSU (18-9, 9-5 HL), who played without Cole Darling (foot) and Reggie Arceneaux (concussion), weren't much better offensively, as they made the same amount of field goals (16) and three-pointers (four) as the Vikings. But the Raiders held a huge advantage at the line, going 14-of-17 (82.4 percent), while CSU went 5-of-10 (50 percent).
The Vikings were consistently bad in both halves. CSU made just nine of 35 shots (25.7 percent) in the first half and were seven of 26 (26.9 percent) in the second half.
CSU only managed to score 13 points in the game's final 15:38.
"What really hurt us was our bench," said Waters. "Our bench has been averaging 25 points over the last five games, but today we only got two points from our bench."
CSU's bench shot a combined 1-of-13 from the field and were out-scored by their counterparts 19-2.
Waters said what hurt the Vikings was having Marlin Mason in foul trouble.
Mason, CSU's top reserve, fouled out after playing only 11 minutes. He went scoreless.
WSU scored the final four points of the opening half and took a 25-21 lead at the intermission.
A pair of free throws from Lee gave CSU its only lead of the second half 32-31.
With 7:12 left and WSU leading 36-35, the Raiders would start to pull away, using a 11-2 run over the next four minutes to take control of the game.
With Mason sitting on the bench in foul trouble, WSU's bigs took advantage, as juniors AJ Pacher (10 points) and Matt Vest (12 points) stepped back and knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to extend the lead to 47-37 with 3:27 left.
"I got to give [WSU] coach [Billy Donlon] credit because he did a good job of isolating our four and five," said Waters. "They put the four and fives in a position where they can step back and they knew our big kid couldn't get out to guard them."
CSU would answer back with a four-point play from Forbes to cut it to 47-41 with 2:08 left, but it was too little, too late.
Junior forward Devon Long was the only other Viking in double-figures with 10.
The Raiders also got 11 points from junior forward Jerran Young.
Tom Mieskoski is a contributor to Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.
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