Titans upend first-place State for sixth straight win

The Titans won the boards Friday. (This photo of Chris Brandon is from an earlier game, though.) / VN photo by Victoria Taylor


The Titans defeated first-place Cleveland State 89-83 Friday, Feb. 12, at the Wolstein Center in Ohio.

The game was nationally televised on ESPNU.

Former Titans head coach Dick Vitale gave the team a nod of support in a video shown during the game.

He commented on the rising success of the team, as well as how impressed he is with junior guard Antione Davis, the Horizon League’s leading scorer.

It turned out to be a prophetic mention.

Davis finished the game with 35 points on nine of 21 shooting, also recording six rebounds and six assists. He was also a perfect eight-for-eight from the stripe.

Detroit Mercy came out strong in the first half, looking to make a statement. They built a 22-point lead at one point.

The Titans’ zone defense left the Vikings stunned.

The constant pressure in the half court caused State to take lots of quick and contested jump shots.

The suffocating Titans also forced 11 turnovers.

Both teams struggled from beyond the arch early in the game, but it did not take long for Davis to start heating up.

Senior Bul Kuol gave a solid performance, as well, adding 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists and one block.

And sophomore Noah Waterman put on show, especially in the final minutes of the game.

Waterman was five for seven from beyond the arc, three in the last five minutes of the game to keep the Vikings from getting within reach.

The sophomore finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks.

Junior Chris Brandon contributed a strong nine points and six rebounds.

The Titans showed great focus and chemistry shooting 47.4% from the field, and 50% from three-point land while dishing out 14 assists.

The Titans also won the rebounding battle 35-34.

Cleveland State senior Torrey Patton stood out for the Vikings, putting up 33 points, snagging six rebounds and dishing out three assists.

But it was not enough to take down the Titans.

With this win, the Titans have won their sixth-straight game for the first time since a ten-game streak in the 2003-04 season.

Additionally, their now 8-1 record in the last nine games is their best since a 10-1 stretch in 2012.

This win makes a big statement seeing as though no other Horizon League team has beaten the Vikings on their home floor.

The team is looking for their third weekend sweep in Horizon League conference play on Saturday at 7 p.m., again at Wolstein Center.

The game will be available to stream on ESPN3.