Before the season started the Cleveland State men's basketball team set out a team goal to be 12-0 heading into their Dec. 18 road game against West Virginia.
According to CSU men's basketball coach Gary Waters, that goal was made before D'Aundray Brown (right index finger) got hurt in the preseason.
Even without CSU's best defensive player, the Vikes accomplished that goal Saturday afternoon defeating Sam Houston State, 74-62, at SHSU's Johnson Coliseum.
The Vikes (12-0) finished their Mid-Major part of their non-conference schedule undefeated with quality wins against Iona, Kent State, Akron, St. Bonaventure, Robert Morris and SHSU.
Now CSU will take a week off for final exams. Then they will face their only two high-majors that are on their non-conference schedule.
Next Saturday, CSU will travel to Morgantown, WV to face West Virginia (6-2). CSU then will host South Florida (5-4) on Dec. 22 at the Wolstein Center. Both schools are from the Big East Conference.
There are two things Waters is looking forward to finding out about his team in the final two non-conference games.
"How well we can rebound the basketball," he said. "(And,) how strong our defense is."
12-0: The Vikes are one of 14 teams in the country that are still undefeated. The others are Baylor (6-0), BYU (10-0), Central Florida (8-0), Cincinnati (8-0), Duke (10-0), Kansas (9-0), Louisville (8-0), Northwestern (5-0), Ohio State (7-0), San Diego State (10-0), Syracuse (10-0),Tennessee (7-0), and UConn (8-0).
2-0 in Wisconsin: CSU are 2-0 to start the Horizon League season after sweeping both Wisconsin road games last week for the first time since 1999-00.
CSU defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay, 83-75, on Dec. 2 and Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 82-59, two days later.
"It told me we can compete on the road and we could compete against some pretty good teams," Waters said.
We're talking about practice: Waters is a firm believer that if you practice hard it will pay off during game day.
"The game is easy for us because when we get to the game it's a formality for us," he said. "We are killing each other in practice. What happens when we play the game it's not as hard as we play in practice."
Must have been the shoes: Against West Virginia Tech, junior guard Jeremy Montgomery wore white shoes while the rest of his teammates wore green shoes.
"I messed up and left my shoes in my room," said Montgomery after the game. "Coach had to spare me one and give me a new pair."
Montgomery nearly had a triple-double finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Polls: CSU was ranked No. 1 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 coaches' poll this week.
The Vikes also received votes in the two national polls. CSU received 13 votes (31st place) in the Associated Press poll and seven votes (33rd place) in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
RPI: According to RealTimeRPI.com, CSU's RPI is No. 19, just behind WVU at No. 18.
CSU women update: The CSU women's basketball team, who were ranked No. 17 in this week's CollegeInsider.com Women's Mid-Major Top 25, lost at Akron, 73-64, on Saturday.
With the loss, Kate Peterson Abiad's squad drops to 6-2.
CSU played without starting guard Honesty King (ankle) who got hurt in practice this week.
In Saturday's losing effort, Shawnita Garland became the 22nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points. She finished with 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds against the Zips and now has 1,007 career points.
News and Notes: The CSU men's victory against SHSU broke the school record for most wins (12) before Jan. 1. The old record was held by the 1992-93 squad.... Senior point guard Norris Cole was named the Horizon League's men's basketball Player of the Week for the second time in four weeks.... With 24 points in Tuesday's victory over West Virginia Tech, Cole passed Darren Tillis (1,423 points, 1978-82) for seventh all-time in CSU's career scoring list. The Dayton native has 1,453 career points and needs only 119 points to pass Theo Dixon (1997-02) for sixth all-time.