CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Getting a bit of revenge on their foes down south, the Cleveland State Vikings pulled off a hard fought 66-60 win over the Youngstown State Penguins Tuesday night at the Wolstein Center.
The win puts CSU at .500, 12-12 on the season, and 4-6 in Horizon League play. The Penguins fall to 13-10, 5-5 in HL play.
Youngstown State beat the Vikings by 14 at 79-53 down in Youngstown back on January 26th, but Tuesday it was the Vikings turn to get some home cooking.
The inside game was a key all night for the Vikings, as using big man Devon Long they beat up the Penguins, and Long’s play was the key.
“We told them going into the game that we were going inside,” CSU coach Gary Waters said. “That’s directly because of the last game we played against them.”
The Vikings outscored the Penguins 34-28 on inside points, and beat them up inside in the first 20 minutes, outscoring them 16-6 inside.
All Long did was pop in a career-high 24 points, and his 6-7, 260 pound frame was a big reason the Vikings were able to secure a huge win.
He was 9-for-11 from the field, and he had five rebounds. He was 5-for-6 from the free throw line, and even recorded three steals.
Not bad for a kid who averaged just 1.9 points entering the season, and his career-high before the win over YSU was 13 points in 2010.
“That game has always been there,” Long said. “I just had to rebuild my confidence. Our plan in the second half was to flip the switch, and I wanted to help out my team.”
Four Vikings were in double digits, with guard Sebastian Douglas, Charlie Lee, and Junior Lomomba all putting in 10 points.
“We fought hard but it ended ugly,” Waters said. “All in all we defended well, our kids were pretty resilient.”
The Penguins were putting up 74 points a game, but scored just 60 in the loss, and shot just 42 percent in the game dominated by the Vikings D.
“We talked about it for three days, I told our team, our goal was to hold them to 50-60 points,” Waters said. “We did what we said we were going to do in this game.”
Bench player Bobby Hain led the Penguins with 15 points, while Blake Allen added 14 in the loss.