KENT, Ohio – Cleveland State used a balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures and earned a big road win in the Vikings final nonconference tune-up with a 78-70 victory at Kent State on Saturday night.
CSU improved to 8-6 this year, while KSU fell to 9-3 and lost for just the second time in nine home games this year.
Forbes added a career-high tying five assists, while Douglas grabbed a career-best seven rebounds.
The game was tied for the sixth time at 50-50 midway through the second half, but a 14-4 spurt by the Vikings allowed CSU to open up its largest lead at 64-54 on a Devon Long offensive rebound and putback with 5:13 to play. The lead reached 11 (66-55) less than a minute later on a Jon Harris layup, but eight straight points by the Golden Flashes brought them back within three at 66-63 with 3:02 to play.
On the next possession, Lewis had his pass tipped in the air, but was able to regain control on the right wing and knocked down a three-pointer to push the lead back to six points (69-63) with 2:39 left.
The Vikings hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the key road win.
KSU took an early 7-4 lead, but an 11-2 run gave the Vikings a 15-6 lead six minutes in. Forbes hit a three-pointer to start the run that also featured back-to-back three-pointers by Mason.
The Vikings finished the first half 5-of-8 from three-point, with five of their 11 first half field goals coming behind the arc.
CSU's lead was still six points (27-21) after a pair of Mason free throws with 3:22 to play in the half, but seven straight points by the Golden Flashes gave them a 28-27 advantage with 24 seconds left after two free throws by Derek Jackson.
But Forbes hit a three-pointer to beat the first half buzzer and give CSU a 30-28 lead at the intermission.
CSU shot .543 (25-46) from the field, the seventh time the Vikings shot better than 50-percent from the floor this year. The Vikings also hit 21-of-24 (.875) at the free throw line and made 7-of-14 from three-point.
The Vikings are back in action on Thursday (Jan. 2) when CSU opens Horizon League play with an 8:00 p.m. contest at Green Bay.