Horizon League Men's Basketball Weekly Release (Feb. 14)
INDIANAPOLIS – After one of the finest single-game performances in Horizon League history, Cleveland State senior guard Norris Cole (Dayton, Ohio) has been named Horizon League Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, for the week beginning Feb. 7. The honor is the fourth of the year for Cole and sixth of his career.
Cole posted game-high scoring efforts in both Cleveland State games this week as the Vikings split contests at Detroit and versus Youngstown State. The 1-1 week left the Vikings in second place in the Horizon League with an 11-4 League mark and 22-5 overall. For the week, Cole averaged 34.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists while knocking down 23-of-44 attempts from the floor, including 7-of-15 from three-point range.
The Bob Cousy Award Finalist put forth one of the best efforts in collegiate basketball in the last 20 years on Saturday, dominating with 41 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists as Cleveland State got past visiting Youngstown State, 86-76, in the Horizon League Game of the Week. The 40-20 performance was just the second in Division I men’s basketball in the last 15 years and first in Horizon League history.
Cole recorded a double-double in each half on Saturday, turning in 21 points and 10 boards in the first half and following it up with 20 points, 10 caroms and six assists in the final 20 minutes of play, finishing one assist shy of the first triple-double in Cleveland State history.
Earlier in the week, Cole led all players with 27 points in an 82-79 defeat at Detroit on Monday. Collecting seven assists and six rebounds to pace the Vikings, the senior was also 12-of-22 from the floor in the contest.
With four player of the week nods this season, Cole is just one of nine players in Horizon League annals to pick up four or more in a single season. His six career honors are now tied for seventh in League history.
Cleveland State hits the road for its next two matchups, crossing Ohio for a Wednesday contest at Wright State. Tip-off from the WSU Nutter Center is slated for 7 p.m. ET, with the Horizon League Network airing the game on HorizonLeague.com. The Vikings then head to Norfolk, Va., for a Sears BracketBusters clash with Old Dominion on Sunday, Feb. 20. ESPN2 will televise the game at 1 p.m. ET.
Top Performers for the Week:
Shelvin Mack, Butler (Jr., G) - The junior helped Butler vault into a tie for third in the Horizon League, just 1.5 games back of first, averaging 23.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game as the Bulldogs went 3-0 on the week. Leading Butler in scoring in each contest, Mack capped the week with a career-best 32 points in a 66-51 victory over Detroit. Mack outscored the Titans, 24-17, in the second half of the win. With 69 total points, Mack climbed into 15th on the Butler career scoring charts with 1,335 points.
Andy Polka, Loyola (Sr., F) - Recording his first double-double of the year on Thursday with 16 points and 14 rebounds, Polka fell just shy of his second straight such effort in Saturday’s 79-62 triumph over Green Bay. The senior is trying to become just the third person in Loyola history to total 1,000 points and rebounds in his career, accumulating 932 points and 942 rebounds with at least five games remaining.
Kaylon Williams, Milwaukee (Jr., G) - Williams set a new Milwaukee Division I record with 14 assists in Saturday’s 70-59 win over UIC. The 14 helpers tied the program’s all-time record and gave Williams a 22:5 assist-turnover ratio for the weekend. The junior added 10 rebounds at Loyola and 12 boards at UIC, finishing the weekend with an 11.0 assist, 11.0 rebound average.
Robo Kreps, UIC (Sr., G) - The senior extended his run of 20-point efforts to five straight games, recording 22, 21 and 24 points as UIC went 1-2 last week. Kreps joined the 1,500-point club at UIC on Monday and gave the Flames their second League win with the game-winning jumper as time expired in overtime in Thursday’s 63-61 victory over Green Bay.
Howard Little, Valparaiso (Sr., G) - Little played a key role in Saturday’s vital 58-56 decision over Wright State, leading the Crusaders with 17 points. The defensive leader for Valpo, the senior forced a double-dribble with 10 seconds to play in the game, helping the squad emerge victorious. Little moved into ninth on the Crusaders steals chart (141) and is now in position to break records for games played.
Vytas Sulskis, Youngstown State (Sr., F) - In two narrow defeats, Sulskis shone for the Penguins, matching his career high with 26 points in a 74-70 setback at Wright State on Monday. The total was fueled by a career-best six three-pointers. With 37 total points and nine three-pointers in two games, the senior moved into 17th place on the YSU career scoring charts and helped the Penguins tie the program’s all-time record for three-pointers made in a season (199).