2011 Men's Basketball Championship Bracket
For the first time since the Horizon League expanded to 10 teams, all four higher seeds won First Round games, sending the top six seeds to Milwaukee for the Horizon League Championships this weekend. Cleveland State, Valparaiso, Detroit and Wright State all emerged with victories, ending the campaigns of UIC, Youngstown State, Loyola and Green Bay, respectively.
Third-seeded Cleveland State (25-7) used a 24-4 run in the first half to build a 40-23 halftime lead en route to a 73-61 win over UIC (7-24). Norris Cole led the way with 26 points, the 37th time in his career the Player of the Year has eclipsed the 20-point mark. Along with Cole, three other Viking starters finished in double figures, with Jeremy Montgomery adding 17, Trevon Harmon 13 and Aaron Pogue 10.
Down 17 at the half, the Flames jumped out of the gate in the second half with a 19-6 run to close within 49-44 with 11:09 to play. The teams went back and forth over the next four minutes before Cole drained a three, with Montgomery following with a runner to reeastablish a 10-point Cleveland State bulge with 7:48 to play.
Paul Carter closed his career with 18 points, while Robo Kreps came up just shy in his attempt to reach 1,600 career points, finishing with 10 in the game, six shy of the mark.
Cleveland State will meet Wright State (19-13) in the first game on Friday, after the Raiders pulled away late for a 60-50 triumph over Green Bay (14-18). The two regular season games were decided by a total of five points, and it appeared that Tuesday's game would finish the same way, before a 10-2 Wright State run over the final 3:04 provided the final margin.
Armond Battle provided the spark off the bench for the Raiders, chipping in a season-best 13 points, four of those coming in the game's decisive stretch. Two free throws got the run started, and after a Vaughn Duggins three-point play, Battle stole the inbounds pass, converting two more free throws to help seal the game. Battle's defense helped force 18 Green Bay turnovers, leading to 23 Raider points.
Duggins led all players with 22 points, adding seven rebounds. Cooper Land and N'Gai Evans each chipped in with 10 points for Wright State. The Raiders limited Green Bay's leading scorer, Rahmon Fletcher, to four points.
Alec Brown led Green Bay with 15 points, while Jarvis Williams contributed 10 points.
The bottom half of the bracket saw six Detroit (17-15) players score in double figures as the Titans routed eighth-seeded Loyola (16-15), 90-69, at Calihan Hall. Chase Simon's 19 points led the Titans, who shot 51.7 percent for the game - 60 percent in the second half.
Detroit led by as many as 13 points in the first half, taking a 36-27 lead into the locker room after holding Loyola's leading scorer, Geoff McCammon, to a 1-of-8 effort in the first 20 minutes. McCammon never got on track, scoring 11 points on 2-of-16 shooting. The Ramblers, after having the hot hand down the stretch of the regular season, shot just 32.9 percent in the game.
McCammon's lone field goal of the second half brought Loyola with 55-49, but Detroit scored the next eight points, as LaMarcus Lowe book ended buckets from Simon and Jason Calliste. Lowe's emphatic dunk closed the spurt and restored control of the contest to the Titans.
Detroit will look for its first win of the year over Valparaiso (22-10) on Friday, after the Crusaders held off a spirited Youngstown State (9-21) squad at the ARC, 80-71. For 37 minutes, the teams went toe-to-toe, but it was an 8-0 Valpo spurt to end the first half that provided the difference.
Leading 36-35 with 3:32 to go in the opening half, the Crusaders took a 44-35 lead into the locker room after layups from Brandon Wood and Kevin Van Wijk set the stage for a Jay Harris three at the 1:23 mark, sending Valpo into the half with momentum. That confidence helped Valparaiso builld a 19-point lead minutes into the second half, but a game Penguins squad methodically worked its way back into the contest.
Damian Eargle took over the game for Youngstown State, scoring six points in a 10-0 run that brought the Penguins' deficit under 10 points; the All-Newcomer pick's work on the interior freed up YSU's perimeter shooters, and Blake Allen's three trimmed the deficit to 69-65 with 4:20 to play. Kendrick Perry's jumper made it a 71-70 game with 2:47 left, but Wood stepped up down the stretch, nailing two jumpers to halt Youngstown State's upset bid.
Wood led the Crusaders with 20 points, joined in double figures by Cory Johnson and Howard Little. Eargle led all scorers with 21 points as four Penguins finished with 10 or more points, including Perry's 16.
Tags: Cleveland State - Men's Basketball · Detroit - Men's Basketball · Green Bay - Men's Basketball · Loyola - Men's Basketball · UIC - Men's Basketball · Valparaiso - Men's Basketball · Wright State - Men's Basketball · Youngstown State - Men's Basketball