The Cleveland State men's basketball team put together their second straight dominating performance as the Vikings easily handled Loyola of Chicago, 69-48, Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.
CSU (14-3, 4-1 Horizon League) finished their three-game homestead at 2-1.
After losing their Horizon home opener to Youngstown State last week, the Vikings rebounded with impressive wins against Illinois-Chicago (Thursday) and Loyola.
Senior guard Trey Harmon returned to the lineup for the Vikings after missing Thursday's UIC game with a concussion and immediately returned to form. The Pasadena, Calif. native hit a career-high six three-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points.
"The first couple of minutes I had to catch my wind, but I felt good," said Harmon. "I had a lot of time to rest and recover."
CSU head coach Gary Waters said that Harmon is now using a special mouthpiece that absorbs some of the pain if he gets hit in the head again.
Two minutes into the game, Harmon hit his first three-pointer to give CSU an early 3-1 lead. His second three-pointer gave the Vikings the lead for good (13-11) with just over eight minutes left in the half.
"I let the game come to me," said Harmon, who hit his first five three-pointers and finished 6-for-7 from downtown. "I took the shots that were open and the hard work that I've been putting in the gym is finally coming around."
The Vikings hit six three-pointers in the first half as they built a comfortable 32-17 lead at the half.
CSU led by as many as 24 in the second half and never let the lead get lower then 13.
"We came into this game with several goals defensively," said Waters. "We wanted to keep them under 40 percent. We wanted to out-rebound them and we wanted to do a good job of (guarding) them inside."
The Vikings limited Loyola to 31 percent, edged the Ramblers on the boards, 29-26 and limited junior forward Ben Averkamp and senior forward Walt Gibler to 10 points each.
"Every year Loyola is one of the most physical games on the schedule," said CSU junior forward Tim Kamczyc, who finished with 11 points, nine rebounds (career-high), four assists and two steals. "We knew it would be a war so that was the mentality that we had to take into the game."
CSU shot 56.5 percent and tallied a season-high 20 assists on 26 field goals.
Three-point shooting was another key stat in the game. CSU was 10-for-17 from downtown and Loyola was 1-for-9.
Freshmen forward Anton Grady had another strong game for the Vikings with 10.
Sophomore guard Denzel Brito had 10 points for the Ramblers (5-11, 0-6 HL).
CSU's next game is Friday at Butler (7 p.m., ESPNU).
Photo courtesy of Cleveland State athletics