Cleveland State Looks to Take Momentum on Road

Cleveland State Looks to Take Momentum on Road

GAME #12
Cleveland State (4-7) at Illinois State (6-5)

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 | 2:00 p.m. ET
Normal, Ill. | Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena
Live Stats | Watch: ESPN+ | Listen: 1420 AM

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Cleveland State at Illinois State

GAME PREVIEW:
• Cleveland State plays its road non-conference finale at Illinois State Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.
• The Vikings are coming off an 77-56 win over Notre Dame (Ohio) one week ago, their second straight victory.
• Illinois State is 6-5 and has wins over Akron and BYU.
• The Redbirds are coming off an 81-74 loss to Mississippi.
• ISU returned four starters from last year's team that tied for third in the Missouri Valley Conference.
• The matchup features two of the top 35 teams in DI in three-point field goals made.
• The game will be broadcast live on AM 1420 with Al Pawlowski on the call.
• The game will also be streamed on ESPN+ and the ESPN app.

THE ILLINOIS STATE SERIES:
• This will be the fifth all-time meeting between these teams.
• The Vikings' lone win in the series came in overtime during the first round of the 1988 NIT when Ken McFadden hit a shot to tie the game with five seconds left in regulation.
• The teams met twice in the 1980-81 season and then played in the NIT in back-to-back years (1987, 1988).

TOUGH OPPOSITION
• The teams CSU has lost to are a combined 54-14 entering the weekend.
• Four CSU opponents have just one loss entering this weekend.
• Six CSU opponents are ranked among the top 100 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), the new metric which has replaced the RPI.

GAME 11: CSU 77, NOTRE DAME (OHIO) 56 (12/9/18): 
• CSU led for over 38 minutes and led by double digits for nearly the entire second half in dispatching the Falcons.
• The Vikings finished with a season-high 20 assists on 26 field goals as Tyree Appleby had a career-high 10 dimes.
Stefan Kenic had a team-high 18 points while Seth Millner led the Vikings with nine boards.
• CSU had season highs in field goal attempts (65), three-point attempts (37) and steals (9) while forcing a season-high 18 turnovers.

HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES
Tyree Appleby, the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week has reached double figures in scoring in five straight games, a new career long streak.
• Appleby has 15+ points in four of the past five games and has six such efforts on the year.
• Appleby had a career-high 37 points Dec. 5 vs. Bowling Green.
• Appleby had 19 points and six boards at Toledo, 15 points and five rebounds at DePaul and 20 points vs. Purdue Fort Wayne.

HE PASSES, THEY SCORE
Tyree Appleby had a career-high 10 assists last time out to notch his first double-double as a collegian as he finished with 12 points.
• He has at least six assists in six of the past nine games and at least eight assists in three of the past five.
• He also has at least one steal in 10 straight games, a new career long, and tied his career high with four steals last time out.

VIKINGS FOR THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE:
• Cleveland State set a single-game school record with 15 made three-pointers Dec. 5 vs. Bowling Green.
• The Vikings had tied the previous record of 14 in four games last season but surpassed that standard against the Falcons.
• The large magnitude of three's did not come at the expense of efficiency as CSU shot 50% from distance in the game (15-for-30).
• Six Vikings contributed to the record with Tyree Appleby's seven treys and Stefan Kenic's four triples leading the way.
• CSU followed up the record-breaking effort with 13 threes last time out and has hit 13+ in three of the past four games.

FELTON HITS MILESTONE: 
• Head coach Dennis Felton won his 200th career game Dec. 9.
• Felton is in his second season at the helm for CSU.
• Felton's first Viking squad featured six seniors he inherited that completed their final season of eligibility last year.
• Felton was named the 15th head coach in program history on March 24, 2017.

TYREE'S CAREER NIGHT:
Tyree Appleby had a memorable effort Dec. 5 vs. Bowling Green as he flirted with a triple double.
• He finished with career highs in points (37) and rebounds (8) while also adding eight assists against just two turnovers.
• Appleby's large output came on just 19 field goal attempts as he went 13-for-19 from the floor, including 7-of-9 from deep.
• Appleby's 37 points are the most by a Viking since Norris Cole had 41 vs. Youngstown State in February 2011.

THAT'S FOUL: 
• Toledo is the only one of 11 opponents to commit fewer fouls than CSU this season, being charged with 18 compared to 22 on the Vikings.
• A player on the opposing team has fouled out in five games while a Viking has yet to foul out in 2018-19.

NOT OVER THE HILL:
• Junior college transfer Jaalam Hill is shooting 58.0% from the floor (40-for-69).
• Hill tied his season high of 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting at DePaul, including hitting a pair of threes, when he made his first start of the season (11/28).
• Hill had a season-high 11 rebounds vs. Bowling Green (12/5).
• After having three blocks combined in the first six games, Hill has eight blocks over the past five games.
• Hill is averaging 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds, tops on the team and sixth in the HL.
• Hill has five double-figuring scoring games this season.

KASH IS MONEY:
Kasheem Thomas has shown improvement in a number of areas in his third season.
• Thomas entered the season shooting 28% from three in his career but is shooting 48.3% from distance this season.
• He tied his career high of three triples last time out vs. Notre Dame (Ohio).
• He shot 71.2% from the line in his career entering this season but is shooting 76.0% in 2018-19.
• Thomas is also averaging career bests in rebounds (3.4) & assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5).

LOCKING DOWN THE PERIMETER:
• Cleveland State held Toledo to an 8-for-34 mark on three-pointers in its last road game.
• The Rockets' 23.5% mark from deep is their lowest in their past 38 regular-season games.
• CSU then held Bowling Green to a 5-for-23 mark from distance Dec. 5 and limited Notre Dame (Ohio) to a 5-for-20 mark from international waters.
• CSU has held its opponent below 30% shooting from three in five straight games.
• CSU's first six opponents shot a combined 34% from beyond the arc while the last five have combined to shoot 25% from distance.

WE'LL TAKE 'EM, THEY'RE FREE: 
• Cleveland State has taken 242 free throws through 11 games, a mark that ranks among the top 40 in Division I and second in the Horizon League.
Tyree Appleby leads the team with 48 attempts while Algevon Eichelberger has 39.

BOOST OFF THE BENCH:
• The Vikings' bench outscored its opponents in eight of 11 games this season.
• CSU has a 270-183 advantage in bench points on the year, an average of 7.9 points better per game.
Rashad Williams leads the team with 77 bench points while Jaalam Hill has 71.
• CSU's bench outscored its opponent in just 14 of 35 games last season.

STEF STEPPING UP:
• After scoring a combined six points in the first two games, Stefan Kenic has stepped up his scoring output.
• Kenic has scored 10+ in eight of the past nine games.
• Kenic made a career-high four three's in each of the last two games, scoring 15 points vs. BG (12/5) and 18 vs. NDC (12/9).
• He tied his career high with 19 points against SCSU (11/16).
• He added 15 points and six rebounds vs. Samford, including making a career-high eight free throws (11/18).
• Kenic had a team-high 13 points at Ohio State (11/23) and then had 11 points & a career-high tying eight rebounds at DePaul (11/28).
• Kenic has taken 86 field goal attempts in the last eight games after having only 11 in the opening three games.

CALL IT A CSU COMEBACK:
• Cleveland State rallied from an 11-point deficit in its Dec. 5 win over Bowling Green.
• It marked the first double-digit comeback for CSU under Dennis Felton in a regular-season game. However, the Vikings did have two such comebacks in the Horizon League Tournament last year.
• It was the largest comeback in a regular-season game for CSU since Jan. 16, 2016.

FOR THREE:
• CSU enters Wednesday's game with a school record streak of 643 straight games with a three-pointer.
• The Vikings have hit at least three three's in 192 straight games.
• The last time CSU failed to make a three-pointer was Feb. 21, 1998, when the Vikings were 0-for-8 in a 60-57 win over Detroit.

FOR THREE, PART TWO
• The Vikings set a single-season school record for three-pointers made (294) and threes attempted (863) in 2017-18, breaking the old records of 247 makes and 709 attempts.
• CSU tied the previous single-game school record of 14 three pointers made in four different games last year.

FOR THREE, PART THREE
• CSU is on pace to finish the regular season with 307 three's, which would break last season's school record.
• CSU leads the Horizon League and is among the top 15 in Division I with its 109 made three-pointers this season.

DETERMINED ON DEFENSE:
• In their first 30 games under head coach Dennis Felton, the Vikings allowed their opponent to shoot 45% or higher on 17 occasions, including 50% or higher on 12 occasions.
• In the last 16 games dating back to last season, CSU has held 12 opponents under 45% from the field and 14 of 16 foes under 50% from the floor.
• CSU's opponents have shot a combined 41.8% in this stretch (428-for-1,024).

UP NEXT:
• CSU opens a three-game homestand with its non-conference finale as it hosts Niagara Wednesday, Dec. 19.