CLEVELAND, Ohio – A short-handed Cleveland State squad shot 60-percent from the field and received a career-high 29 points from Trey Lewis to earn an 86-76 win over Oakland in a Horizon League contest on Thursday night in the Wolstein Center.
The win improves CSU to 11-8 overall and 3-2 in league play, while Oakland fell to 7-13 overall and 2-3 in the Horizon League.
Lewis just missed becoming the first CSU player to reach 30 points since Norris Cole scored 35 at Old Dominion in February of 2011, hitting 9-of-14 from the floor and 4-of-7 from three-point. He added four rebounds and three steals.
Bryn Forbes added 15 points and five rebounds, while Charlie Lee finished with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. Jon Harris tallied 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Marlin Mason and Devon Long chipped in six points each.
The Vikings were playing without starting center Anton Grady – who had started all 18 games this year – and key reserve Sebastian Douglas, who ranks second in the league in field goal percentage. Both players missed the game with concussions suffered at practice on Wednesday.
CSU found themselves trailing by eight (67-59) after a Corey Petros free throw with 7:49 left, but an 11-2 run that included three-pointers from Forbes and Harris and was capped with a Lewis driving layup and free throw, put CSU on top, 70-69, with 5:15 to play.
The teams traded baskets and Oakland tied the game for the 10th and final time on a Petros tip-in with 3:47 to play.
Lewis took over down the stretch.
He found Harris open in the corner for a three-pointer that broke a 73-73 tie with 2:34 left and after a defensive stop, Lewis beat the shot clock with a floater off the glass and finished the three-point play with a free throw to put the Vikings up 79-73 with 1:35 left.
Forbes converted a breakaway layup and after two free throws from Lee, Harris capped a 12-0 run with a left-handed dunk, giving the Vikings an 85-73 lead with 24 seconds left.
CSU opened up a nine-point lead in the first half (25-16; 9:06), but Oakland would close to within two (39-37) at halftime.
The Grizzlies converted 17 offensive rebounds into 24 second chance points and committed just two turnovers, but shot just .403 (25-62) from the field.
Forbes also drew the defensive assignment on Oakland's Travis Bader, the third leading scorer in the league at just over 20 points per night, and held him to a season-low six points on 1-of-10 shooting from the floor.
Tommie McCune led the Grizzlies with 23 points, while Petros had 15 points and 13 rebounds.
CSU remains home to host Wright State on Sunday (Jan. 19) at 1:00 p.m. in the Wolstein Center.