MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Milwaukee rode its hot shooting from three-point, making six in each half, and defeated Cleveland State, 69-57 in Horizon League men's basketball action on Thursday night in the Klotsche Center.
The Vikings slipped to 10-9 overall and 2-3 in the Horizon League, while the Panthers improved to 5-13 overall and 1-3 in the league.
Bryn Forbes, the reigning league Newcomer of the Week, led the Vikings with 16 points and six rebounds. Charlie Lee scored 15 points with five rebounds and five assists and Sebastian Douglas scored 10 points and chipped in four rebounds.
Tim Kamczyc finished with eight points and five boards.
The story of the night was Milwaukee's three-point shooting as the Panthers connected on 12-of-25 (.480) from three-point.
Austin Arians hit 5-of-9 off the bench and finished with a game-high 19 points.
Both teams struggled from the field in the opening 20 minutes, but Milwaukee used hot shooting from three-point to take a 28-21 lead at halftime. The Panthers went just 9-of-27 (.333) from the field in the first half, but hit six three-pointers. Austin Arians hit the final Panther three of the first half with 7:17 to play that gave Milwaukee its biggest lead of the half (26-18).
A near three-minute scoring drought followed until a free throw by Luda Ndaye and a Mason layup brought the Vikings back within five (26-21) with 3:37 left.
The Vikings were just 9-of-29 (.310) from the field in the half and 2-of-11 (.182)_from three-point.
Paris Gulley opened the second half with a three-pointer that triggered a 13-5 Panther run, extending the Milwaukee lead to 39-23.
But the Vikings began to find their offensive rhythm, using a Bryn Forbes three-pointer to cap a 12-2 run and bring CSU within six points (41-35) with just over 12 minutes left.
However, Gulley answered with seven straight points - on four free throws and a three-pointer - to start an 11-3 Milwaukee run that pushed the lead back to 14 points (52-38).
Milwaukee continued to ride its hot three-point shooting the rest of the way as the Vikings tried to battle back late.
CSU hit just 7-of-24 (.292) from three-point and 24-of-71 (.338) from the field.
The Vikings did out-rebound Milwaukee, 43-42, including a career-high 14 from Marlin Mason, who also had four blocked shots and two steals.
CSU finished just 2-of-6 at the free throw line. Milwaukee was 11-of-18.
The Vikings conclude their two-game Wisconsin swing on Saturday (Jan. 19) when CSU plays at Green Bay at 2:00 p.m. in the Horizon League Game of the Week. The contest can be seen locally in the Cleveland area on SportsTime Ohio.