Cleveland State took care of business in quick order on a rainy Monday night at L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium. The Cougars won the battle of the big cats with a 113-55 win over the Bryan College Lions junior varsity team.
Kahan Swift got the Cougars off to a good start by knocking down four of their first six points with a layup, an offensive rebound and put-back. Trey Suttles continued his good work in the paint with a pair of offensive rebounds and buckets. Travis Jones scored five times in six trips down the court on a variety of moves to the hoop while adding a pair of steals to the cause as well.
The Cougars (5-0) sizzled the nets in the first half to the tune of 47 percent and held their opponents to only 27 percent shooting. The Cougars’ smothering defense also caused 17 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
Ralph Eason got in on the fun with a steal and slam dunk, and Filippe Goncalves came of the bench and immediately paid dividends with five quick points. Jameico McPherson added a long-range 3-pointer to the fray as the Cougars raced to a 32 point halftime lead, 54-22.
Brandon Arnold, Hunter Chastain and Josh Erikson all connected from 3-point land for the Lions in the opening minutes of the second half. But that would be the highlight of the night for Bryan College as the Cougars steadily widened their lead the rest of the way.
The Xavier Okoro Show took the floor midway through the half. The 6-4 freshman from Lawrenceville, Ga., brought the house down when, all in one motion, he came sailing through the lane, picked off an offensive rebound with one hand and slammed it home. Okoro added another pair of rim-rattlers down the stretch while Tre Everette, Tim Triplett and Gabe Dando all put marks in the scoring column to help the Cougars cruise to their fifth win in as many tries.
Okoro led the Cougars’ attack with 20 points and nine rebounds, Swift and Everette were next with 17 and 16 points respectively, Jones and Suttles added 12 points apiece and Goncalves finished with 11. Arnold paced the Lions with 15 points while Bobo Chesser had 11. The Cougars shot 57 percent from the floor for the game while holding Bryan to 30 percent. Cleveland State also won the battle of the boards 57-25.
Cleveland State will now turn its attention toward its first conference road trip of the season traveling to Middle Tennessee on Friday and for a pair of games with Columbia State at 7 p.m. EST. CSCC then moves on to West Tennessee Saturday afternoon for a doubleheader with Jackson State at 3.