By Briana Oldham
The Cleveland State University men’s basketball season is now over. In the final game of the season against Youngstown State University, the game was sent to overtime, and the team was able to walk away with the final win of the year and the 10th win of the season. Sophomore guard Tyree Appleby finished with a team-high 25 points, while junior forward Jaalam Hill and freshman forward Seth Milner scored 18 and 12 points, respectively. The Vikings ended their season in a run where they won four of their last six games.
Appleby cashed in on a series of key three-pointers, which helped propel the team during the extra period. Hill contributed two free throws and a layup with the remaining minutes winding down.
The win was a team effort, as Milner and freshman forward Deante Johnson each converted two free throws which sealed the victory. The win marked the first time the Vikings won this season when trailing at halftime.
Though the season ended with a 10-21 record, the All-Horizon League team members were named and Cleveland State had two players on the team. Appleby was named Second Team All-Horizon League this year, a year after being named to the All-Freshman team. Freshman Rashad Williams was named to the All-Freshman team.
Williams hails from Detroit, Michigan and was a candidate for Michigan Mr. Basketball, which is the highest honor for high school basketball. Williams set several records for Wayne Memorial High School, including points scored, three-pointers made, as well as an appearance in the finals for the first time in over 20 years.
Williams’ impressive season was riddled with records as well. He broke the Cleveland State record for most three-pointers by a freshman, sinking 91 baskets from beyond the arch. He also broke the record of three-pointers made in a single game by a freshman, setting the record at seven in the game against Illinois State University on Dec. 16.
Despite the woes of the season, the Vikings showed signs of improvement. There were many close games this year, and eight games that were decided by 12 points or less.
Appleby finish the season with an average of 17.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. With these stats, he led the Vikings and helped win the vote of head coaches and media members who decide the All-Horizon League team.
Appleby scored double figures in 23 games and became the first player in Cleveland State history with a triple double on 19 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against Milwaukee at a home game on Feb. 9.
With the focus now shifting to next season, the team hopes the success from the end of the season will continue and help the team move up in the Horizon League standings.