Milwaukee (12-5, 3-1 Horizon) led 39-27 at halftime and scored the first six of the first eight points of the second half to take a 45-29 lead. A Matt Tiby 3-pointer 14:28 to go gave the Panthers a 53-35 lead, their largest of the game.
Then the Vikings (5-12, 0-4) started to chip away with Jibri Blount hitting back-to-back jumpers to ignite a 10-0 run which cut the Milwaukee lead to 60-56 with 5:21 left, but Cleveland State could not get all the way back.
J.J. Panoske added 12 points for Milwaukee. Yates had 15 for Cleveland State.