Cleveland State has one of the best defenses in the Horizon League and Detroit, one of the worst offenses. It took nearly three minutes for the Titans to get on the score board. They needed to get the Vikings in transition to get their first bucket, coming off a Juwan Howard Jr. steal and lay-up.
The Vikings had the lead first, but fell flat after that. After starting with two quick buckets and a 4-0 lead, they went five minutes without a field goal. Juwan Howard and Evan Bruinsma pushed the Titans out on a 9-1 run during that span.
Bryn Forbes, Cleveland State's leading scorer with 16.2 ppg, was held scoreless until the 11:44 mark. His first bucket would tie the game at 11. Forbes would finish with a game and career high 30 points.
Forbes bucket sparked the rest of the team. Over the next two minutes they went from an 11-all tie to a 20-11 lead. The Vikings offense needed eight minutes to pass ten points, but over the next twelve made it to 39.
Cleveland State was clicking on offense, but Detroit wasn't far behind. The Titans, thanks to some timely offensive rebounds, managed to keep the Vikings from pulling away. Detroit weathered Cleveland State's hot streak and trailed by just 11 at the half.
The Vikings knocked down two three pointers in the first minute of the second half, pushing the lead to 17 points. Detroit never let the game get away from them, keeping within ten to fifteen points of the Vikings. But, they had no answer for Bryn Forbes on his career night.
In the second half Forbes caught fire. He connected on all four of his shots from downtown in the half (5-7 overall). Those threes propelled him to a new career high of 30 points. Forbes shot 72.7% from the field, 71.4% from three and 90% from the free throw line.
Detroit made things interesting at the end, by actually pulling closer during the end of game foul-fest. But they couldn't get close enough to put a real scare into the Vikings. Cleveland State made ten of twelve free throws over the final three minutes.
The Vikings are known for their defense, but the offense was more impressive tonight. They had 19 assists on 28 made field goals. As a team they shot 59.6% from the field and 64.3% from three.
Detroit 10-14 (3-6) is stuck in eighth place in the nine team Horizon League, ahead of 0-6 UIC.
Cleveland State continues to move closer to first place Green Bay. At 6-3 in conference play, the Vikings are now one game behind the Phoenix in the win column.
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