But that was not the case on Friday when the Vikings had their way in an 86-78 win over the host Titans behind a career-tying 27 points from Michigan native Bryn Forbes at Calihan Hall.
The win boosted Cleveland State to its fourth straight win and moved its all-time record to 4-23 in the Motor City against Detroit.
The win, which kept the Vikings in second place in the Horizon League behind Green Bay's 7-1 record, advanced Cleveland State to 6-3 in league play and 15-9 overall. CSU has now won 11th of 15 games after starting the season 4-5.
Down 9-4 early, the Vikings took command by intermission with a 39-28 advantage that moved out to a 17-point edge whenb CSU scored the first six points of the second half.
Forbes, who matched his career-best with 27 points on 7-for-10 from the field including 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line, added a 9-for-10 night at the foul line. The Vikings also got a big boost with the return from an injury by Sebastian Douglas, who got 14 off the bench.
The CSU offense had 13 points from Charlie Lee and 12 from Jon Harris. It didn't end there as Anton Grady matched nines with nine points and nine rebounds and Trey Lewis had eight points.
It all came with the Titans grabbing the rebound battle with 10 more boards than the visiting Vikings. Cleveland State was good from anywhere they shot, hitting 28-of-47 from the field, including 9-of-14 behind the arc and 21-of-29 from the foul line.
Detroit, 10-14 and 3-6 with the loss, got 21 points from Evan Bruinsma and another 20 from Juwan Howard in seeing the 2-game season series swept by Cleveland State. The Vikings stay on the road, playing Thursday at Oakland and on Saturday at Wright State.
In earlier games with those two at home, the Vikings defeated Oakland 86-76 and dropped a 49-46 contest with Wright State.
Cleveland State will return to Wolstein Center on Feb. 13 to host Illinois-Chicago, which dropped a 74-64 decision to the Vikings back on Jan. 22.