March 4, 2011
By: Robert Ivory
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin- The Cleveland State Vikings ran away late in the second half from the Wright State Raiders in the Quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament Friday night at the U.S. Cellular in Milwaukee.
CSU won 73-59 to advance to the semifinals with the Butler Bulldogs Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. The game will be televised in ESPNU in tape delay.
With the Vikings and Raiders slugging at each other back-and-forth down the wire, Senior Norris Cole took the ball game over and put the Vikings on his back, as CSU survived a Raider comeback.
Cole scored 13 points over the last nine minutes to lead the Vikings to the next round of the Horizon League Championship.
Josh McCoy scored 12 off the bench and Tim Kamczyc helped with nine second half points.
Both teams had a tough time starting out, as neither scored a bucket until Jeremy Montgomery hit a fade away three pointer with 17:40 left in the half, giving the Vikes a 3-2 lead. CSU made just one of their first five as the Raiders started in a zone.
Montgomery hit another three from the same spot and in rout to a 13-0 run for the Vikes after Aaron Pogue hit a pair of free throws.
Wright State missed their first 12 shots on the night as the CSU defense was at it's best, coupled with the misfortune of balls going in-and-out of the basket for Wright State. The Raiders hit their first basket at the 11:28 mark of the half, but CSU still led 13-5 at that point.
It did not help that Trevon Harmon knocked down his first three on the other end of the court to retain the lead. Harmon had eight points with that basket and CSU had their biggest lead, 13.
Despite the woes, Wright State closed the game to two after WSU's Cole Darling hit a three on the fast break to make it 20-18 in favor of the Vikings, even though WSU was on a 8-2 run. CSU turned the ball over eight times in the half, but the Raiders could only score three off the turnovers in the half.
Josh McCoy hit a three from the left-hand corner on a pass from Cole, and gave CSU a 27-23 lead with three minutes left to play in the half.
Although Cole hit just one of three from the field in the half, the senior had three rebounds, two assists, and a steal.
McCoy then hit a pair of free throw to give CSU a 31-25 lead with a minute to go. McCoy ended the half with seven points.
CSU missed their final shot with the ball, as did the Raiders and the half finished 31-27. The Vikings ended the half shooting 39% and the Raiders shot just 22%.
Montgomery hit a three to start the Vikes in the half and gave them a 34-29 lead. Vaughn Duggins did make hit first basket of the game on the opposite end of the floor for the Raiders. Cooper Land hit a wide-open three from the left-hand side for the Raiders and WSU got back within two at 36-34 with 16 minutes to play.
Tim Kamczyc hit his first bucket of the night on a three that pushed CSU to a five-point lead, but WSU answered with their own three, continuing the back-and-forth second half. Kamczyc had a great second half, as he scored all his points in the half, hitting a pair of threes and scoring nine.
A six-point CSU lead was the biggest in the half when Cole ran the floor, dumped the ball off to Harmon and Trey hit the layup and gave CSU a 50-44 lead at the 9:23 mark. After a Raider miss, Cole got to the line and hit a pair of free throws (for his third and fourth points of the night) and CSU led by eight with eight to go.
After Duggins made a layup for WSU, Cole did it on the CSU end and scored four straight CSU points. Cole then stole the ball from Duggins on the inbound pass and was immediately fouled. He went to the line and hit both his shots to give CSU an 11-point lead with seven minutes left.
Again, Cole swiped the ball from WSU and ran the length of the floor to give CSU a 15-point lead. He then hit a three from way out and put the game away for the Vikes.