Cleveland State (17-4, 7-2 HL) at Youngstown State (11-8, 6-3 HL)
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Time: 7:05 p.m. EST
Location: Beeghly Center (6,300) – Youngstown, Ohio
Series: CSU leads, 39-37
Last Mt’g: YSU 73, @CSU 67 (12/31/11)
SETTING THE SCENE: Cleveland State opens up the second round of Horizon League play when the Vikings travel to Youngstown State for a 7:05 p.m. contest on Saturday (Jan. 28). The Vikings are 17-4 overall and in first place in the Horizon League at 7-2, one-half game ahead of Valparaiso and Milwaukee (7-3). YSU is 11-8 overall and just one game back of first place at 6-3 in league play. The Penguins won this season’s first match-up, 73-67, in the Wolstein Center on New Year’s Eve. Since that loss, the Vikings have won five of their last six games. CSU, which is ranked 10th in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25, leads the all-time series with the Penguins, 39-37, including wins in eight of the last 10 contests.
VIKINGS STAY AT #10 IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Cleveland State remained at No. 10 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 poll that was released on Monday (Jan. 23) afternoon. The Vikings, who are the only Horizon League team in the top-25, received 486 votes, down from the 497 votes they earned last week. Murray State remained first with 775 points and all 31 first place votes and was followed by Creighton (733), Saint Mary’s (692), Harvard (675), Middle Tennessee (640), Gonzaga (627), Wichita State (598), Iona (544), Long Beach State (499) and Cleveland State. The Vikings opened the season ranked 22nd in the mid-major poll and climbed all the way up to the No. 3 spot in the Nov. 21 poll.
NCAA STATS: CSU was well represented in the NCAA statistical report that was released on Monday (Jan. 23). As a team, CSU ranked 21st in the nation in turnover margin (+3.6), 25th in won-lost percentage (.810) and scoring defense (59.6), 29th in steals (8.7), 29th in free throw percentage (.744) and 37th in three-point field goal defense (.302). Individually, D’Aundray Brown is 15th in steals (2.5).
ON THE ROAD: The Vikings have been proving their mettle away from home this season, posting a 9-3 record in those contests. CSU is 8-2 in “true” road games and 1-1 in neutral site contests. The eight “true” road wins are tied for the most in the nation, while CSU’s nine wins away from home are the third most in the country. The school-record for road wins in a season is 13, set in 2008-09.
WATERS APPROACHES 500th GAME: Head coach Gary Waters is approaching a milestone as Saturday’s game at Youngstown State will be his 499th game as a head coach. The 16-year veteran went 92-60 in five years at Kent State (2001-06), was 79-75 at Rutgers from 2001-06 and is 117-75 in six years at Cleveland State, posting a 288-210 career mark. He has led nine of his teams to postseason play.
… AND CLOSING IN ON 200 AT CSU: With at least 11 games left in 2011-12, Gary Waters will become the fourth coach in program history to coach in 200 career games for CSU, joining Ray Dieringer (360), Kevin Mackey (211) and Rollie Massimino (203). Waters has coached in 192 games at CSU, posting a 117-75 mark. He trails only Dieringer (149) and Mackey (142) for most wins in school history.