The Cleveland State Vikings tipped of the season in style, going on the road to upset the seventh ranked Vanderbilt Commodores, 71-58 on Sunday afternoon in the Legends Classic in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Vikings led the game from the opening tip, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before eventually extending the lead to 16 points late in the first half, before taking a 37-24 lead to the half. After the break, Vanderbilt made a 12-2 run to cut the lead to three points, but a conventional three-point play by sophomore forward Devon Long sparked a 7-0 run to put Cleveland State back in control midway through the second half.
The teams continued to battle back and forth for the remainder of the game, with the Vikings beating back every comeback attempt Vanderbilt tried to mount showing why they should be one of the favorites to win the Horizon League this season.
The veteran Cleveland State team was led by guard D'Aundray Brown who scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds and pestered the Commodores all day with seven steals. Brown also knocked down five of six free throws which helped the Vikings survive a 12 of 20 day at the line as a team.
Vanderbilt only had two players in double figures, led by guard John Jenkins with 17 points.