CHICAGO (WOIO) -
Anton Grady recorded his 11th career double-double and Charlie Lee scored 16 second-half points as Cleveland State earned a 74-69 victory over UIC on Sunday afternoon in Horizon League action.
The Vikings improved to 8-8 overall and remained perfect in the Horizon League at 2-0, while UIC fell to 5-12 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Grady finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Lee had 18 points and five assists, moving into ninth place on the all-time list at CSU for career assists. Marlin Mason added 12 points and four blocks, while Trey Lewis had 11 points and four assists.
"I wasn't happy with the way the game ended, but it's a road win and it's nice to start Horizon League play with two wins," head coach Gary Waters said. "They were playing five guards at the end of the game and hit a few shots. Overall, I was pleased with our pressure defense which allowed us to build a lead. Anton and Charlie played great games and Marlin was strong until he fouled out late."
Marc Brown finished with a game-high 21 points for UIC.
CSU, which shot better than 80-percent (23-28) from the floor in the second half of Friday's win over Milwaukee, continued its torrid pace in the opening 20 minutes Sunday, hitting 15-of-20 (.750) from the field.
That included a 3-of-4 effort from three-point.
The Vikings took an 11-5 lead six minutes in on back-to-back dunks by Mason and Grady, but the Flames rallied to take their first lead of the game, 18-17, on a Jay Harris layup six minutes later.
CSU came right back, using a 9-2 run, capped by a Grady three-point play, to take a 26-20 lead with five minutes left in the half. UIC was able to get within three (29-26) with 2:30 to play, but the Vikings scored eight of the final 10 points of the half, including a three-pointer from the corner at the buzzer by Lewis, to give CSU a 37-28 halftime lead.
The Vikings maintained a nine point lead (49-40) eight minutes into the second half, but five straight UIC points helped cut the lead back to four points. Lee took over from there, scoring 16 of the next 18 CSU points and assisting on another basket as the Vikings opened up their largest lead of the game (62-48).
The Flames used a late barrage of three-pointers and three free throws by Marc Brown after he was fouled on a three-point attempt to slice CSU's lead down to four points (73-69) with 13 seconds left, but a Lewis free throw pushed the lead back to five as the Vikings held on for a road win.
CSU shot a season-high .591 (26-44) from the floor, the second straight game CSU shot better than 55-percent from the floor.
The Vikings are back in action on Thursday when CSU hosts Oakland at 7:30 p.m. in the Wolstein Center. It will be a doubleheader with the CSU women's team hosting Valparaiso at 5 p.m.