The win was the sixth straight for the Vikings (21-3, 10-2), who never trailed but saw the Crusaders, who came in half a game back, rally from 11-point deficits in both halves.
Ahead 29-18 with 5:25 to go in the first half, Cleveland State took a 31-30 lead into halftime.
In the second, the Vikings took three 11-point leads, the last at 47-36 with 14:07 left. Valparaiso closed to 49-47 with 9:43 to go, but Cleveland State answered with a 7-0 run.
The Crusaders (16-7, 8-3) threatened again at 63-60 with 3:14 left, but Cole scored four points on another 7-0 run.