Life on the road that has taken Cleveland State to Wisconsin has never been kind to the Viking men's basketball team. And without sophomore center Anton Grady, who is sitting out the season with a knee injury, it didn't get any better this season as the Vikings wrapped up their annual trip to Milwaukee and Green Bay on the short end in games this week against both the Panthers and Phoenix.
After suffering a 69-67 setback on Thursday in Milwaukee, the Vikings moved north to play Green Bay, where the Phoenix had four in double figure scoring led by Jordan Fouse, who tallied 17 points to go with his 10 rebounds.
That pushed the Vikings to 2-13 under head coach Gary Waters against the two Wisconsin foes with both wins coming on the same trip back in 2011. CSU is 1-7 at Green Bay including a Horizon League tourney loss on the Phoenix home floor and 1-6 at Milwaukee with Waters as bench boss.
But it wasn't much better before the arrival of Waters back in 2006. Cleveland State is 4-23 in games in the Cheeze State since the 2000-2001 season with three of the four wins in Green Bay. The only win for CSU at Milwakee since that time was an 82-59 win over the Panthers on Dec. 4, 2010, just two days after the Vikings were 83-75 winners in Green Bay to start the 2010-11 Horizon League schedule.
In falling to 2-4 in the Horizon League and 10-10 overall with the loss at Green Bay, the Vikings saw the Phoenix break a 4-4 tie and race away with this lopsided win where CSU got 12 points each from Bryn Forbes and Junor Lomomba and eight from foul plagued Ludovic Ndaye.
Green Bay had 15 points from Sultan Muhammad with 13 coming in the first half while Alec Brown and Keifer Sykes had 14 points each in pushing the Phoneix to 4-2 in the Horizon League and 10-9 overall.
After seeing the Phoenix take a 6-4 lead on a basket from Fouse with 15:46 left in the first half, little if anything went right for the Vikings, who trailed 43-26 at intermission and saw Green Bay opened with a 12-5 fun to open a 55-31 lead.
Cleveland State returns home to host a Wednesday evening clash with Loyola (Ill.) at the Wolstein Center. The Vikings, 0-9 in true road games, then hit the road again, playing Jan. 26 at Youngstown State before a Feb. 2 game at Illinois-Chicago. It will be the first meeting of the year with both Loyola and Youngstown State while the Vikings defeated UIC, 60-50 on Jan. 7 at the Wolstein Center.