Balance proved to be key as Cleveland State had five players in double figure scoring led by Trey Lewis with 17 to roll past visiting Valparaiso 69-50 in men's college basketball on Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.
Lewis was aided by Anton Grady with 13 while Marlin Mason and Bryn Forbes added 12 each with Jon Harris trailing that group with 11. The only other Viking to score was Charlie Lee with four as Cleveland State moved from a 10-5 deficit to a 31-20 advantage at the intermission to improve to 5-3 in the Horizon League and 13-9 overall.
The win also gave Gary Waters his 149th as CSU head coach, tying Ray Dieringer who led the Vikings from 1969-1983 with a 149-211 record. Waters, the 16th CSU/Fenn College head coach, is one of just two Viking coaches with 100 wins and a better than .500 record. He is joined by Kevin Mackey who was 142-69 as CSU head coach from 1983-90.
Valpo, led by Alec Peters and LaVonte Dority with 10 each, fell to 4-3 in the HL and 12-9 overall in its first loss to the Vikings since Feb. 3, 2011.
The Vikings, who play their final non-conference game Monday at Eastern Illinois, had their way with the Crusaders, limiting Valpo to just 21% shooting in the first half and 36% for the day while hitting on 46% of their own shots including 7-of-17 from behind the 3-point arc.
Following the game at Eastern Illinois, the Vikings have their next three HL games on the road starting Friday at Detroit. CSU then has visits to Oakland on Feb. 6 and Wright State on Feb. 8