Cleveland State withstood the hot shooting of the most prolific 3-point shooter in college basketball history with junior guard Charlie Lee's best night of his career to post a 92-85 win over Oakland on Thursday night in Rochester, Mich. for the Vikings' fifth straight win and 11th in 15 games.
Lee, with a 31-point night that included 6-for-8 from behind the 3-point line, also connected on all his 11 free throws including nine in the final minutes that pushed the Vikings from a 80-75 deficit into the 7-point win.
The CSU victory pushed the Vikings to a 16-9 record with a 7-3 mark in the Horizon League, where Green Bay leads with a 9-1 ledger. Cleveland State has won 10 of 13 since a 4-5 start.
Oakland fell to 9-16, 4-6 with the loss.
It was the right place and the right time for Lee to have his career-high 31-point night with a team-high six assists, as Oakland's Travis Bader had a game-high 35 points on 10-of-14 from the field with all 10 being 3-pointers.
Bader, who last week surpassed former Duke standout J.J. Reddick for the NCAA record for 3-pointers in a career, now has 471.
It was a different go around for Bader this time. He went 1-for-10 in Oakland's loss earlier this season at Cleveland State.
The Grizzlies also got 21 points from Dante Williams and 10 from Corey Petros while Kahlil Felder added 10 assists with his seven points.
It was not enough to offset Cleveland State having four in double figures. Behind Lee was Jon Harris with 19, Trey Lewis with 16 and Bryn Forbes adding another 11 for the victorious Vikings.
The two teams combined for 29 3-pointers with the Vikings going 14-for-23 and Oakland hitting on 15-for-29 with 10 going to Bader. That bettered the combination of Lee (6) and Harris (3) in 3-pointers for Cleveland State but not enough to stop the Vikings, who shot 60% from the field on 30-of-50.
Lee's 31 points marked the first time a Viking had a 30-point night since Norris Cole had 35 on Feb. 11, 2011 against Old Dominion.
The Vikings, 3-0 in their 4-game road swing, conclude that part of the schedule with a Saturday afternoon game at Wright State. The Raiders, 6-5 in the HL and 14-12 overall, won a 49-46 decision at Cleveland State back on Jan. 19. Cleveland State returns home for a Jan. 13 meeting with Illinois-Chicago. It is the first of four straight home games for Cleveland State