MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Cleveland State became the first road team to win a Horizon League game this season as Anton Grady posted his second straight double-double and Trey Lewis scored 17 points as the Vikings won at Milwaukee, 77-49, on Saturday night in U.S. Cellular Arena.
The Vikings improved to 9-7 overall and 1-1 in league play, while the Panthers fell to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in the league. Road teams came into tonight 0-7 in Horizon League play during the first weekend, but the Vikings were able to notch a key road win and split their trip through Wisconsin.
Grady finished with a season-high tying 19 points and 11 rebounds, hitting 8-of-9 from the field. He added two steals. It was his third double-double this year and seventh of his career.
Lewis hit 7-of-10 from the field for his 17 points and added four assists. Charlie Lee, playing in his hometown, finished with 10 points and four assists, while Jon Harris returned to action after missing Thursday's game at Green Bay and totaled nine points and eight rebounds.
CSU scorched the nets at a 58-percent clip (29-50), including 8-of-15 (.533) from three-point.
The Vikings defense was also at its best, limiting the Panthers to just 12-of-43 (.279) shooting from the floor, including 0-of-16 from three-point. It marked the 16th time an opponent failed to hit a three-pointer against the Vikings and the first since Butler failed to do so on Feb. 11, 2012.
Jordan Aaron led the Panthers with 14 points and five rebounds.
The Vikings scored the first six points of the game and would extend the lead to 11-2 just six minutes in on a Charlie Lee three-pointer.
CSU hit four of its first five three-pointers, the final one coming at the 8:22 mark by Harris which gave the Vikings a 16-point lead (26-10). The first half lead reached as many as 17 points (29-12; 5:51) on a Harris jumper.
The Vikings lead at halftime, 37-22, the 12th time in 16 games that CSU led after the opening 20 minutes.
It was hot shooting from the floor that helped CSU stake claim to a 15-point halftime lead as the Vikings hit 14-of-24 (.583) from the field in the opening stanza, including 4-of-8 from three-point.
Lewis bettered his season scoring average of 13.6 points with 14 first half points, going 6-of-7 from the field, while Grady made all three of his shots en route to seven points in the opening half.
Milwaukee was just 6-of-20 (.300) from the field in the first half, but was able to take advantage of 16 trips to the free throw line, hitting 11.
The Panthers were able to get back within 12 points early in the second half, but eight straight points by Grady and a Sebastian Douglas layup extended CSU's lead back to 18 points (49-31) with just under 12 minutes to play. A Lee three-pointer midway through the second half pushed the lead to 21 points (53-32) and the Panthers would not threaten the rest of the night.
The Vikings shot better than 50-percent from the field for the eighth time this year, improving to 6-2 in those games.
CSU returns to action when the Vikings open the Horizon League home slate on Wednesday (Jan. 8) with a 7:00 p.m. contest against Detroit.