Tag: Cleveland State Vikings


Maryland headlines field for 2015 Cancun Challenge

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Another in-season tournament for the 2015-16 season has finalized its field, as the eight teams that will participate in the Cancun Challenge were announced Wednesday. Leading the way is Maryland, a team seen by many as the early favorites to win the Big Ten.

Head coach Mark Turgeon welcomes back key contributors such as guard Melo Trimble and forward Jake Layman, and he’ll also add both size and skill in the front court with the arrival of Diamond Stone and Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter Jr. being eligible after sitting out last season. Maryland, which is also the only team in the field to make the NCAA tournament last season, is joined in the Riviera Division by Illinois State, Rhode Island and TCU.

Maryland will face Illinois State in one of the Riviera Division semifinals November 24, with TCU and Rhode Island meeting in the other semifinal. The championship and third-place games will be played the following day.

Of those three expectations are highest for Dan Hurley’s Rhode Island squad, which won 23 games and played in the Postseason NIT last season. Rising juniors E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin return, as does rising sophomore Jared Terrell, and the Rams have some solid additions joining the rotation as well.

Illinois State just missed out on the NCAA tournament, losing to Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title game, and TCU looks to account for the loss of point guard Kyan Anderson. Each of the four teams in the Riviera Division will play two home games against squads in the Mayan Division: Cleveland State, Houston Baptist, Rider and South Dakota State.

South Dakota State, which reached the Summit League title game last season, faces Houston Baptist in one Mayan Division semi with Cleveland State and Rider meeting in the other November 24 in Cancun.

Below is the complete schedule of games, with those being played in Cancun (November 24 & 25) in italics.

Nov. 19 – Houston Baptist at TCU; South Dakota State at Illinois State
Nov. 20 – Rider at Maryland
Nov. 21 – Cleveland State at Rhode Island
Nov. 24 – Mayan Division: South Dakota State vs. Houston Baptist; Rider vs. Cleveland State
Nov. 24 – Riviera Division: TCU vs. Rhode Island; Illinois State vs. Maryland
Nov. 25 – Mayan Division: Third-place and Championship games
Nov. 25 – Riviera Division: Third-place and Championship games
Nov. 28 – Cleveland State at Maryland
Nov. 29 – Rider at Rhode Island

Pregame Shootaround: Harvard hosts Yale with first place on the line in the Ivy League

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GAME OF THE DAY: Yale at Harvard, 8:00 p.m. (Ivy League Digital Network)

The Bulldogs and Crimson enter this game tied atop the Ivy League standings with matching 10-2 record, and the winner will be one win away from earning the league’s automatic bid. Harvard won the first meeting between the two, a two-point win in New Haven February 7, with two Wesley Saunders free throws with six seconds remaining being the difference. Two of the Ivy’s best players will be involved, with Saunders leading the Crimson and forward Justin Sears being Yale’s best option. Both teams are solid defensively, but Yale has to shoot better than the 31.5 percent they shot in the first meeting.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: Bowling Green at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN3)

Seeding in next week’s MAC tournament is still up in the air in many cases, with the Falcons and Bulls looking to improve their standing with a win Friday night. Chris Jans has put together a very successful season in his first year at Bowling Green, and the Falcons have relied on their defense to make that charge. They limited Buffalo to 35.7 percent shooting in the first meeting but still lost by 12 due to their own offensive issues (4-for-20 3PT). It goes without saying that Bowling Green will need to shoot better if they’re to beat a Buffalo squad led by forward Justin Moss and guard Shannon Evans, with those two combining to average just over 30 points per game.

WHO’S ON UPSET ALERT?: Cleveland State (vs. Detroit), 9:30 p.m.

The two meetings between the Vikings and Titans were decided by a total of five points, with CSU winning the first meeting by four and a Juwan Howard Jr. three being the difference in the rematch. Howard Jr. will be the focus of Cleveland State’s defensive efforts, but Paris Bass is capable of putting points on the board as well with his 28-point outing in a loss to Oakland February 15 serving as an example. Cleveland State has three players averaging double figures, with guards Trey Lewis and Charlie Lee leading the way on the perimeter and Anton Grady patrolling the interior.


1. No, 14 Baylor looks to rebound from a two-point overtime loss to Texas with a win over Texas Tech in the regular season finale for both (9:00 p.m., ESPN2). This game could be tougher than one would anticipate, as the Red Raiders lost by just five in the first meeting February 17.

2. No. 8 Wichita State plays in the first game of the day at Arch Madness in St. Louis, as they take on Southern Illinois (1:00 p.m., ESPN3). The Shockers swept the season series, and they’ve won eight straight since losing at Northern Iowa January 31.

3. Speaking of the Panthers, No. 11 Northern Iowa takes on Bradley in another Arch Madness quarterfinal. The teams last played February 21, when UNI limited the Braves to 39 points in a 17-point home win.

4. No. 25 Murray State takes the court for the first time in this year’s OVC tournament, as they’ll take on Morehead State in the semifinals. Led by guard Cameron Payne, Steve Prohm’s Racers have won 24 straight games and they rolled through league play with a 16-0 record.

5. Kent State can wrap up a share of the MAC East title with a win over Akron (7:00 p.m., ESPN2), and they’ll share the title with the winner of the Bowling Green/Buffalo matchup. Akron won by nine February 10, but the Golden Flashes were playing without their leading scorer and rebounder in Jimmy Hall due to injury.


  • Big South (quarterfinals): Longwood vs. Charleston Southern, Radford vs. Winthrop, Gardner-Webb vs. High Point and UNC Asheville vs. Coastal Carolina.
  • Colonial (first round): Towson vs. Elon, College of Charleston vs. Drexel
  • Horizon (second round): UIC vs. Oakland, Detroit vs. Cleveland State
  • Missouri Valley (quarterfinals): Southern Illinois vs. No. 8 Wichita State, Evansville vs. Illinois State, Bradley vs. No. 11 Northern Iowa, Loyola (IL) vs. Indiana State
  • Ohio Valley (semifinals): Morehead State vs. No. 25 Murray State, Belmont vs. Eastern Kentucky
  • Southern (first round): Samford vs. UNCG, Furman vs. The Citadel
  • West Coast (first round): Pacific vs. San Francisco, Loyola Marymount vs. Santa Clara

Pregame Shootaround: Valparaiso looks to clinch outright Horizon League title

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Valparaiso at Cleveland State, 10:00 p.m. (ESPNU)

Bryce Drew’s Crusaders could have locked up the outright Horizon League title on Wednesday, but a three-point loss at Detroit scuttled those plans while also opening the door for the teams chasing them. One of those teams is Cleveland State, which is a game back and is 12-2 in home games this season. Valpo’s been the better defensive team this season, and in their 58-56 win over the Vikings January 10 the Crusaders limited Cleveland State to 38 percent shooting. If Cleveland State is to win they’ll need a better showing from guard Trey Lewis, who scored three points on 1-for-9 shooting in the first matchup. Alec Peters led Valpo with 24 points in that game, but they cannot afford to commit another 19 turnovers if they’re to win the rematch.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: Iona at Manhattan, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN2)

Two weeks after the Gaels won in Riverdale, the two New York metropolitan area rivals meet again in New Rochelle. Iona’s going to be the one-seed in the MAAC tournament regardless of what happens in their final two games, but this is a good opportunity to get Isaiah Williams back into the flow of things. Williams hasn’t played since mid-January due to a broken foot, but he’s expected to play tonight. Get Williams going ahead of the MAAC tournament, and one of the nation’s best offenses becomes even tougher to stop. As for Manhattan, they can finish no higher than third in the MAAC (Rider swept the season series). The key for them is to make shots at a higher clip than they did in the first meeting, as they shot just 39.7% in the 70-67 loss.


1. Harvard looks to maintain its one-game lead atop the Ivy League standings, as they’re on the road to take on Cornell (7:00 p.m., Ivy League Digital Network). Tommy Amaker’s team outscored the Big Red 40-16 in the second half of their first meeting, a 61-40 Harvard win on Valentine’s Day.

2. Yale is a game behind Harvard, meaning that they need to at the very least keep pace with a home win over Princeton (7:00 p.m., Ivy League Digital Network). The first meeting didn’t lack for offense, as both teams shot at least 52 percent from the field in an 81-73 Yale victory 13 days ago, with Yale’s Justin Sears and Princeton’s Henry Caruso scoring 25 points apiece to lead their respective teams.

3. Siena and Quinnipiac (6:00 p.m., ESPNU) meet in a game that will impact seeding for next weekend’s MAAC tournament. The Bobcats are a game ahead of both Siena and Saint Peter’s in the race for the six seed.

4. MAC foes Ohio and Akron meet tonight (8:00 p.m., ESPNU). And while it’s been a difficult season for Ohio, which is just 4-11 in MAC play, Akron still has hopes of earning a share of the MAC East title (although they’ll need a lot of help). The first game these two teams played this season was highly entertaining, as the Bobcats won 83-82. Akron, down ten with 2:21 remaining, nearly came back to steal the win on the road.


  • Penn at Brown, 7:00 p.m. (ILDN)
  • Fairfield at Canisius, 7:00 p.m.
  • Saint Peter’s at Marist, 7:00 p.m.
  • Dartmouth at Columbia, 8:00 p.m. (ILDN)