Bullock, Jackson help Cleveland State stun ButlerJan 18, 2008 - 4:58 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Butler may be the more nationally recognized name, but Cleveland State proved it is the class of the Horizon League so far this season.
J'Nathan Bullock had 14 points and nine rebounds and Cedric Jackson added 14 and five steals as Cleveland State remained undefeated in the Horizon with an exciting 56-52 victory over No. 12 Butler on Thursday.
The Vikings (13-5, 6-0 Horizon) held the Bulldogs, who are second in the league in 3-pointers made - to just 6-of-23 shooting (26 percent) from the arc.
"I thought our kids went out and competed as hard as they compete," Cleveland State coach Gary Waters said. "I told them that they had to out-compete this team. Butler is physically and mentally tough. If we lost this game, Butler would have been in control of this league."
Last season, Butler set a school and league record by making 20-of-33 3-pointers in a 92-50 victory at Cleveland State. Pete Campbell led the way by hitting 8-of-11 from the arc.
But Cleveland State, which went 3-13 in the conference last season, has established itself as one of the teams to beat this season, winning its first six games in league play for the first time since the 1992-93 campaign.
"My hat's off to Cleveland State," Butler coach Brad Stevens said. "They played well and certainly deserved to win. You watch Cleveland State on tape and its easy to see how good they are. They play hard and with passion and coach Waters has done a great job with the program.
"And now they are out to a nice lead in this league."
The Vikings held a slim lead late in the game but, unlike their last meeting, the Bulldogs were unable to make the outside shot when they needed it.
With Butler trailing, 55-52, with under 30 seconds to play, Campbell had a chance to tie the game but his 3-point attempt was off the mark.
The Bulldogs (16-2, 5-2) again had a chance to tie after George Tandy missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Julian Betko missed a shot from the arc and Cleveland State grabbed the rebound to secure the victory.
"It's a big game and maybe I'm not showing it with my emotions," Waters said. "But this was a league game and we were playing at home and need to take care of our home court."
Matt Howard had 16 points to lead Butler, which had its eight-game winning streak snapped.
Campbell added 15 on 5-of-7 shooting from the arc for the Bulldogs, who lost to the Vikings for the first time in five games.
The win improves the Vikings to just 2-26 all-time against ranked opponents. Their only other win was against No. 16 Indiana in the 1986 NCAA Tournament.
Cleveland State never trailed in the opening 20 minutes and led by as many as eight late in the first half. A.J. Graves made a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left in the half to cut the Bulldogs' deficit to 31-26 at the break.
The Vikings continued to lead through the early stages of the second half but the Bulldogs cut the deficit to 38-36 after a 3-pointer from Campbell with 14:39 to play.
Mike Green's layup with 7:57 left gave Butler its first lead of the game, 44-42, before Cleveland State took the lead for good on Bullock's layup with 4:54 remaining.
Butler trailed by two points after Green's two free throws, but Jackson drilled a shot from the arc to give Cleveland State a 53-48 lead with 3:06 remaining.
"This is the biggest victory so far in my collegiate career and we hope for many more," Bullock said. "It was a beautiful feeling to have the students rush the floor and have a supporting cast get behind us and push us to victory."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
BUTLER (12) 26 26 52
CLEVELAND ST 31 25 56 FINAL
Jan 17 9:23 PM
NCAA BB (12) BUTLER 26
CLEVELAND ST 31 HALFTIME
Jan 17 8:18 PM
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