Vikings Win at Kent State, 78-70, With Five in Double Figures

Anton Grady was one of five players in double figures on Saturday night.
Anton Grady was one of five players in double figures on Saturday night.

KENT, Ohio – Cleveland State used a balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures and earned a big road win in the Vikings final nonconference tune-up with a 78-70 victory at Kent State on Saturday night.

CSU improved to 8-6 this year, while KSU fell to 9-3 and lost for just the second time in nine home games this year.

Bryn Forbes and Sebastian Douglas scored 14 points apiece to lead CSU, while Trey Lewis and Anton Grady tallied 12 apiece. Marlin Mason finished with 10 points.

Forbes added a career-high tying five assists, while Douglas grabbed a career-best seven rebounds.

The game was tied for the sixth time at 50-50 midway through the second half, but a 14-4 spurt by the Vikings allowed CSU to open up its largest lead at 64-54 on a Devon Long offensive rebound and putback with 5:13 to play. The lead reached 11 (66-55) less than a minute later on a Jon Harris layup, but eight straight points by the Golden Flashes brought them back within three at 66-63 with 3:02 to play.

On the next possession, Lewis had his pass tipped in the air, but was able to regain control on the right wing and knocked down a three-pointer to push the lead back to six points (69-63) with 2:39 left.

The Vikings hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the key road win.

KSU took an early 7-4 lead, but an 11-2 run gave the Vikings a 15-6 lead six minutes in. Forbes hit a three-pointer to start the run that also featured back-to-back three-pointers by Mason.

The Vikings finished the first half 5-of-8 from three-point, with five of their 11 first half field goals coming behind the arc.

CSU's lead was still six points (27-21) after a pair of Mason free throws with 3:22 to play in the half, but seven straight points by the Golden Flashes gave them a 28-27 advantage with 24 seconds left after two free throws by Derek Jackson.

But Forbes hit a three-pointer to beat the first half buzzer and give CSU a 30-28 lead at the intermission.

CSU shot .543 (25-46) from the field, the seventh time the Vikings shot better than 50-percent from the floor this year. The Vikings also hit 21-of-24 (.875) at the free throw line and made 7-of-14 from three-point.

The Vikings are back in action on Thursday (Jan. 2) when CSU opens Horizon League play with an 8:00 p.m. contest at Green Bay.