SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State Men’s Basketball team continues its final regular season homestand with a Friday night matchup against Wright State. The Vikings and Raiders are both riding winning streaks into the game, which will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Cleveland State has won two in a row, defeating Robert Morris and Youngstown State in two games that came down to the wire last weekend. Wright State is on a three game win streak coming into Friday’s contest, defeating Robert Morris on the road and then IUPUI and Northern Kentucky at home last week.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/WRIGHT STATE SERIES
Friday’s game marks the 82nd all-time meeting between Cleveland State and Wright State. The Vikings trail in the all-time series 43-38, but have won the last three meetings between the two schools. That includes the first matchup between the two teams this season, where CSU prevailed by an 85-77 margin. The Vikings had four players in double figures in a balanced scoring attack, led by Tristan Enaruna who finished with 21. Enaruna finished seven of nine from the field in the game.
CLEVELAND STATE DOWNS WRIGHT STATE TO CAP 3-1 ROAD TRIP
The Vikings defeated Wright State on the road Saturday night, 85-77 to take three of four in a critical mid-season Horizon League road swing. Cleveland State got contributions from several players, as four of the five Viking starters finished in double figures. Tristan Enaruna led the way with 21 points. Cleveland State led the entire way, starting out hot shooting 70-percent from the floor in the first half and holding off a second half rally from Wright State for the victory.
CLEVELAND STATE DOWNS PURDUE FORT WAYNE FOR KEY HL VICTORY
Cleveland State defeated Purdue Fort Wayne 79-74 on Friday night to improve to 8-3 in the Horizon League. The Vikings shot 58-percent from the floor and outrebounded the Mastodons 31-29. Cleveland State led the entire way, but had to hold off several comeback attempts from PFW to claim victory. Tristan Enaruna led a group of five Vikings in double figures with 19 points.
SCOUTING THE RAIDERS
Wright State is currently 16-11 and 9-7 in the Horizon League coming into Friday’s game. The Raiders are on a three game win streak and are currently in sixth place in the league standings. The Raiders are led by Trey Calvin, who averages over 20 points per game in league contests. Calvin is second in the league in scoring. Scott Nagy is in his seventh season as the head coach.
VIKINGS WIN THRILLER OVER ROBERT MORRIS
Cleveland State defeated Robert Morris for the second time in 2022-23 in a thrilling finish that came down to the game’s final possession. The Vikings jumped out to an early lead, scoring 17 of the game’s first 20 points. Cleveland State led by double digits midway through the second half before RMU mounted a charge to tie the game and ultimately take the lead late. The Vikings responded to tie it up and then Deante Johnson won it with a tip in with just over two seconds remaining to give the Vikings a narrow 57-55 win. Johnson recorded his second double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
VIKINGS DEFEAT YOUNGSTOWN STATE TO SWEEP HOME WEEKEND
Cleveland State defeated Youngstown State on Saturday to move to 11-5 in Horizon League play. The final score was 81-78, and the biggest lead for either side was eight points. Tae Williams recorded his second 20-plus point scoring effort of the season scoring 20 points and adding six rebounds, two assists and three steals. Four of the five Viking starters finished in double figures as CSU moved to 10-3 inside the Wolstein Center this season.
GETTING IT DONE ON DEFENSE
Throughout the season, Cleveland State has found success defensively. The Vikings are holding opponents to an average of 67.6 points per game, which is third in the Horizon League. CSU ranks second in opponent field goal percentage, at .424, and ranks third in opponent three-point percentage, holding opposing teams to just 32-percent from long range.
COACH ROBINSON ANNOUNCES COACHING STAFF
Head Coach Daniyal Robinson has assembled an experienced coaching staff in his first season at Cleveland State. Jermaine Henderson returns to CSU after previously serving as an assistant coach during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons under Gary Waters. Henderson most recently served as an assistant coach at Kansas State for the past five seasons. Travis Lewis is in his second season on staff at Cleveland State, after serving as Director of Video Operations under former head coach Dennis Gates last season. Jay Shunnar enters his first season as an assistant coach, after working in several capacities under John Belein at the University of Michigan and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
VIKINGS DEFEAT CANISIUS, EARN FIRST WIN UNDER COACH ROBINSON
Cleveland State picked up its first win of the 2022-23 season with a hard fought, 58-57 overtime win against Canisius last Wednesday. Cleveland State started fast, jumping out to a double digit lead in the first half, but had to withstand a surge by Canisius in the second half. The Golden Griffins battled back, and eventually tied the game at 53, sending it to overtime. Cleveland State scored first in the extra session and held on for the victory. Four of the five starters in the contest for the Vikings finished in double figures, led by Tristan Enaruna who finished with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. The win marked the first for Head Coach Daniyal Robinson in his career.
ENARUNA ON A HOT STREAK
Transfer forward Tristan Enaruna has been the spark plug for the Vikings offensively of late. The Junior from the Netherlands currently ranks 11th in the Horizon League in scoring at 14.7 ppg. Enaruna has scored in double figures in 14 consecutive games, and has registered three double-doubles thus far. Enaruna is averaging just over 17 points a game in conference play, which is ninth in the league.
PARKER DROPPING DIMES
Deshon Parker has been a great facilitator for Cleveland State through the early going of the regular season. So far, Parker has totaled 103 assists. He had a ca- reer-high 11 in the opener against Notre Dame College. His average of 3.8 assists per game is fifth in the Horizon League, and his assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.0 also ranks fourth in the league.
WINNING THE MARGINS
Through 16 games, Cleveland State ranks in the top-4 of the Horizon League in Turnover Margin and Assist-to-turnover ratio. The Vikings are second with a +3.25 turnover margin in conference games, and fourth with a 1.15 assist-to-turnover ratio.
WILLIAMS RISES TO THE OCCASION
Tae Williams has been a key to the Vikings’ success in the early going of the regular season. Williams registered a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Detroit Mercy. Williams is averaging 10 points per game and has scored in double figures 14 times so far this season, including three of the last six games. He registered his second double-double with 13 points and a season-high 13 rebounds against Milwaukee.
LOWDER LIGHTS IT UP
Drew Lowder has been an energizer for Cleveland State, and played his way into the starting lineup. Lowder had a stretch of three of five games where he scored in double figures, including a season-high 16 points in the win over Oakland. He has scored in double figures in six of his last seven games, including a season-high 21 against Green Bay.
Cleveland State closes out its four game homestand with a matchup against Northern Kentucky for Senior Day. The game tips off at 3:00 p.m.
COURTESY CLEVELAND STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS