Men’s basketball stumbles into home stretch of season

By Adam Schabel

The Cleveland State men’s basketball team is in the final third portion of their schedule.

The team is in last place in the Horizon League with an overall record of 5-16 and a conference record of 2-6.

They have conference wins over Green Bay and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

Cleveland State is 5-5 at home and 0-11 away. They are averaging 69 points per game. This ties them with Milwaukee for the second worst points per game average in the Horizon League. IUPUI is averaging a league worst 68.3 points per game.

As a team, the Vikings are shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from three-point range. They are also averaging 30.5 rebounds per game and 13 assists per game.

The Vikings recently snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating IUPUI at home, 70-67. Cleveland State has won just two out of their last eight games, however, four out of their last six losses were by single digits.

Even though Cleveland State has been losing games as of late, the close losses could mean the team is headed in the right direction and making progress.

The Vikings recently received some more good news as freshman point guard Tyree Appleby was named Horizon League Freshman of the Week for the week of Jan. 8.

Appleby is from Jacksonville, Arkansas and was a prolific scorer during his senior year of high school. He averaged 25 points, five rebounds and 4.5 assists. He was ranked in the top-10 of the best players in Arkansas during his senior season.

In games at Detroit Mercy and Oakland University, Appleby averaged 16.5 points, seven assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.

In a tough 85-84 defeat to Detroit Mercy on Jan. 10, Appleby scored 19 points and had seven assists, which tied a career high. He also had four rebounds and two steals.

On Jan. 12, the Vikings lost 81-68 to Oakland University. Appleby put up 14 points, three rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

During the two games against Detroit Mercy and Oakland University, Appleby shot a combined 50 percent from the floor and was 4-of-11 on three pointers. He also went 9-of-10 from the free throw line.

Appleby kept his recent string of success going against the University of Illinois at Chicago as he posted some impressive numbers.

The freshman scored 19 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out seven assists. Appleby also collected three steals and one block.