The Vikings' 77-66 victory Saturday night at UIC Pavilion was their 12th straight over the Flames.
Cleveland State had lost four in a row and UIC entered with a three-game winning streak, but neither trend was a factor.
Furthermore, the Flames entered with one of the best overall home records of the Horizon League teams at 9-1, while Cleveland State came in with one of the worst road records at 1-10. The Vikings had lost eight straight on the road.
"As a team, they do a good job of taking you out of what you want to do offensively," UIC coach Howard Moore said. "They are very aggressive that way. As a whole, we just didn't handle that pressure as we should, even though we didn't have a lot of turnovers (12). It was just getting us out of what we do and execution as a whole. It was just a tough outing."
The Flames were able to whittle a 22-point second-half deficit down to seven, but could not totally emerge from the hole they dug.
Cleveland State was led by Marlin Mason with a career-high 22 points.
The Flames were led by guards Gary Talton's 16 points and Daniel Barnes' 14.
"We began to execute toward the end of the game, but it should have been the whole 40 minutes," Talton said. "We just rushed (the offense), which we shouldn't. But we started executing too late."
Cleveland State (11-12, 3-6 Horizon) converted 51 percent of its field goal attempts for the game, including 60 percent in the second half.
"I have to be honest, we just didn't defend," Moore said. "We scored enough points. Although we didn't get into our offensive rhythm like we wanted … we just didn't get (defensive) stops. Any time a team comes in and shoots (51) percent from the field on our home floor … and Mason comes off the bench and scores 22 points and (Junior) Lomomba scores 13 … I mean 37 points from their bench is huge."
Marked improvement in UIC's program (14-9, 5-5) has not gone unnoticed. Yet there are several more important milestones on the "to-do list" for the Flames before the season can be deemed a success.
"It has just been attention to detail and defensive intensity and the buy-in to being a defensive-minded team. Unfortunately, this game was not reflective of what we are trying to do," Moore said. "But as a whole we have been a lot better as far as trying to stop people and making sure that is our priority."
UIC failed in its attempt to register its first four-game Horizon League winning streak since the 2007-08 season.
"The disappointing thing about losing a game tonight is that you win a big game against Green Bay (Thursday) and you think you are on the way to where you want to be …now we have to go on the road and we have to steal a couple," Moore said.