Feb. 11, 2012
Contact: Greg Murphy
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Anton Grady notched his fourth double-double of the season with a career-high 18 points and career-high tying 13 rebounds, but Cleveland State could not overcome a 10 point halftime deficit in falling to Butler, 52-49, on Saturday in the Wolstein Center.
The Vikings fell to 20-6 overall and 10-4 in Horizon League play, while Butler improved to 15-12 overall (9-6 HL).
"This was a tough loss for our team to take," head coach Gary Waters said. "I thought we beat ourselves. The issue that we have been having came back to haunt us; we turned the ball over too much and we gave up too many offensive rebounds. When we hold a team to 38 percent shooting, we'll win 95 percent of the time. We're just having trouble scoring. We have to use our home as our leverage and that's always been our strength. We haven't done that these past two games.
"I told our guys that our recent play has nothing to do with skill level - it's all about heart. I thought we played hard and tried to do the right things. I told our guys this was going to be a fight and we need to throw the first punch. We were a counter-puncher and that hurt us.
"Down the stretch, they got two offensive rebounds and in a close game like this, that can't happen. That's the fight I'm talking about."
The loss was the second straight at home for CSU, the first time since 2008-09 that the Vikings have lost consecutive league games at home.
"We have to use our home as our leverage and that's always been our strength," Waters said. "We haven't done that these past two games."
Trey Harmon scored 12 points as the only other CSU player to score in double figures, all coming in the second half when he hit four three-pointers. Jeremy Montgomery added six points and five rebounds.
CSU struggled from the floor in the first 20 minutes, hitting just 7-of-29 (.241) to fall behind 28-18 at the intermission.
But the Vikings hit their first five shots of the second half, pulling within 34-31 at the 15:15 mark on a Harmon three-pointer.
Aaron Pogue followed with a free throw and a Grady layup capped a 16-6 spurt to open the second half and knot the contest at 34-34 with 12:55 left.
The Bulldogs came right back with a mini 8-3 run to regain a five-point advantage (42-37) with nine minutes left.
CSU came right back, scoring eight of the next nine points to take its first lead since early in the first half when a Harmon three-pointer put the Vikings on top, 45-43 with just over six minutes left.
Roosevelt Jones answered on the other end to tie the game for the fifth time.
The teams traded baskets and were tied three more times, the final one coming at the 2:04 mark when Luda Ndaye's layup made it 49-49.
CSU got a stop on the other end, but an offensive rebound gave Butler another possession and Chrishawn Hopkins hit a 12 foot bank shot with 1:39 on the clock, giving the Bulldogs a 51-49 lead.
After stops by both teams, the Vikings ran the clock down to 31 seconds and called timeout. However, CSU committed a turnover and was forced to foul and Kameron Woods split the pair, giving the Vikings one last chance.
But a three-pointer from the corner by Grady was off the mark as time expired.
CSU rebounded to shot .579 (11-19) in the second half, including 5-of-10 (.500) from three-point.
The Vikings will be back in action on Tuesday (Feb. 14) when CSU heads to Milwaukee for an 8:00 p.m. EST contest.
Cleveland State vs. Butler
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