The Cleveland State Vikings are done in the Horizon League Tournament, with only slim hopes remaining that they get an at-large invitation to the NCAA Tournament next Sunday.
For the third time this season, the Vikings lost to the Butler Bulldogs, this time on a neutral court 76-68. Cleveland State never could get over the hump in a game that Butler led wire-to-wire. Norris Cole scored 24 points to lead the Vikings, who shot just 41.5% from the field. The Vikings were really done in by their poor 3-point shooting – 3-14, 21.4% – which has been the case during most of their losses this season.
Butler shot the ball much better from the field – 47.2% from the field, and drilled 9-24 threes to get the win. Butler also dominated the glass, out-rebounding Cleveland State 37-25.
Four Butler starters were in double figures, led by guard Shawn Vanzant’s 18 points. Matt Howard had 14 points and 8 rebounds while Andrew smith added 12 points and 8 rebounds for the Bulldogs who improved to 22-9 on the season.
Cleveland State fell to 26-8 and will wait to see if there is more basketball to be played – be it in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.