A mid-January trip to Eastern Illinois proved to be worth the time and effort for the Cleveland State men's basketball team, which took care of business on Tuesday at Lantz Arena in Charleston, Ill. with an 82-68 win over the host Panthers behind 25 points from Bryn Forbes and another 17 from Trey Lewis.
After Lewis tied the game at 15-15 with a 3-pointer early in the second half, the Vikings slowly pulled away, holding a 41-37 lead at intermission before moving out to the double digit win at Charleston, Illinois. That allowed Cleveland State to move its record to 14-9 while Eastern Illinois fell to 7-14 with the loss.
With that win, Cleveland State coach Gary Waters surpassed Ray Dieringer as the program's all-time winningest coach with 150 victories. Dieringer was 149-211 in 14 seasons from 1969-1983.
The 25-point effort by Forbes, who played the entire 40 minutes of the game, was his 8th game of 20 or more points. It came on an 8-for-15 night from the field that included 4-of-8 behind the 3-point line and a perfect 5-for-5 from the line.
The Vikings, on the road Friday at Detroit in a Horizon League game, also got 10 points and eight rebounds from Anton Grady while Lewis also hit the boards with a team-high nine rebounds.
Eastern Illinois, which played CSU in the former Mid-Continent Conference and had not played the Vikings since the 1993-94 season, was led by Dylan Chatman with 19 points. The Panthers also got 16 from Sherman Blanford in what was EIU's sixth loss in the last nine games.
Cleveland State moved its all-time record against Eastern Illinois to 20-9 with the victory. The two teams will meet next season at the Wolstein Center.
Following Friday's game with Detroit, which will be on ESPNU, the Vikings remain on the road for a Feb. 6 game at Oakland which will be broadcast on STO and a Feb. 8 game at Wright State, which can be seen on ESPN2. Cleveland State's next home game is Feb. 13 against Illinois-Chicago, a team the Vikings beat 74-64 on Jan. 22.