CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Bryn Forbes scored a career-high 24 points, but Valparaiso scored the first 12 points of the game and led wire-to-wire in an 80-72 win over Cleveland State on Saturday afternoon in Horizon League action in the Wolstein Center.
The Vikings had their two-game win streak snapped and fell to 12-13 overall and 4-7 in the Horizon League, while Valpo improved to 19-6 overall and strengthened its hold on first place in the league at 9-2.
Forbes hit 8-of-10 from the field, including all four of his three-pointers, to better his old career-high of 22 points against Loyola on Jan. 23. It was his 17th double figure scoring game in the last 19 contests. He added five rebounds.
Marlin Mason finished with 16 points and four assists off the bench, while Tim Kamczyc tallied 10 points and eight rebounds. Charlie Lee totaled eight points and six assists, his 14th game with at least five assists. He also raised his career assist total to 202, becoming the fifth player in program history to reach 200 career assists as a sophomore.
Ryan Broekhoff led five Crusaders in double-digits with 15 points. Kevin Van Wijk added 14 and Bobby Capobianco scored 13 off the bench.
The Crusaders scored the first 12 points of the game, forcing CSU into three early turnovers that Valpo turned into seven points. A Forbes jumper in the lane got the Vikings on the board at the 14:19 mark, but Valpo maintained its 12 point lead (20-8) eight minutes in after a Kevin Van Wijk layup.
Mason and Forbes answered with consecutive three-pointers to bring the Vikings back within six (20-14), but the Crusaders answered with a 16-4 run to open up its largest lead of the half (36-18) with 5:48 to play.
The Vikings were able to claw back within 11 points (41-30) on a three-point play by Tim Kamczyc with 2:09 left in the half, but Bobby Capobianco answered with a three-point play of his own to give the Crusaders a 44-30 lead at the half.
The Crusaders scored 19 points off 12 CSU turnovers in the first half and shot 61-percent (14-23) from the field in the opening 20 minutes.
Valpo’s lead would get back to 17 points on four occasions in the second half, the final coming on a Capobianco jumper with 11:43 left that gave the Crusaders a 55-38 lead.
CSU would score the next nine points to slice its deficit to eight (55-47), but that was as close as the Vikings would get the rest of the afternoon as the Crusaders answered every time the Vikings got back within single digits.
The Vikings shot .469 (23-49) from the field and held a 33-20 advantage on the boards. However, Valpo shot .551 (27-49) and turned 17 CSU turnovers into 27 points.
Valpo committed just nine turnovers and also scored 36 points in the paint.
The Vikings return to action on Tuesday (Feb. 12) when CSU travels to Detroit for a 7:00 p.m. contest