SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will hit the road for the first time during Horizon League play this Thursday (January 11), traveling to Milwaukee for a 12:00 p.m. EST contest. The Vikings enter their first #HLWBB roadtrip of the season with an 11-4 overall record and a 3-1 mark in league play, while Milwaukee currently stands at 10-5 this season and a 1-2 in league action.
A WIN THURSDAY WOULD…
Give the Vikings back-to-back wins for the fourth time this season…Keep Cleveland State undefeated in Kids Day Games this year…Improve Cleveland State to 4-1 in Horizon League play for the third time over the last 15 seasons…Mark the sixth win out of the last seven games for the Vikings…Bring head coach Kate Peterson Abiad within one win of her 200th career victory.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/MILWAUKEE SERIES
This will mark the 53rd meeting between the two teams, with Milwaukee owning a 29-23 advantage in the overall series. The Panthers have won five straight, with Cleveland State's last victory coming as a 67-58 decision during the 2014-15 season.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
Milwaukee enters Thursday's game with a 10-5 overall record and a 1-2 record in league play…Last time out, the Panthers dropped a 52-29 decision at Green Bay…Thursday will be the first home #HLWBB contest for the Panthers, and the first home contest since the middle of December…Earlier this season Milwaukee tallied eight straight wins, marking the longest winstreak among league teams this season…When playing at home, Milwaukee owns a 3-1 record this year…Earlier this season the Panthers were selected to finish fourth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, with senior Steph Kostowicz selected to the Preseason First Team…Kostowicz currently leads the Panthers in scoring (15.7 ppg) and rebounding (80 rpg).
LAST TIME OUT...
Cleveland State got back in the win column, holding on for a 70-67 victory over UIC. The Vikings were led offensively by Ashanti Abshaw with 32 points, while Mariah Miller (12 pts) and Olivia Voskuhl (10) also added double-digit points. The Vikings shot 47-percent from the floor, including a .643 clip during the second quarter. Cleveland State forced UIC into 16 turnovers, and recorded eight steals.
VIKINGS ON THE ROAD
After spending the first two weekends of Horizon League play in the friendly confines of the Wolstein Center, the Vikings will hit the road for the first time during #HLWBB play this weekend. During the first part of the league slate Cleveland State will play just three games on the road, while the second half of league play will see the Vikings on the road for six of their nine games. So far this season, the Vikings own a 3-1 record in true road games.
…AND ENTER TOUGHEST STRETCH OF 2017-18 SEASON
This upcoming three-game roadswing will be the toughest stretch of the season for the Vikings, as they will play three road games over a five-day stretch. Although this is the second time this season that Cleveland State will be playing three games in five days, it will be the first time for all three contests to come on the road. Over the course of the weekend, the Vikings will travel over 1,300 miles to Milwaukee, Green Bay and Northern Kentucky.
CLEVELAND STATE & KIDS DAY GAMES
Thursday's game will be the third Kids Day Game for the Vikings this season, with Cleveland State owning a 2-0 record so far when playing with the early tipoff. During non-league play, the Vikings picked up a 71-64 victory against Ohio in their own Kids Day Game, and then notched a 67-65 win at Bradley in their Field Trip Day.
HEAD COACH KATE PETERSON ABIAD
Entering Thursday's contest at Milwaukee, Cleveland State head coach Kate Peterson Abiad is closing in on her 200th career victory, needing just two more wins to reach the milestone. Peterson Abiad, who is in her 15th season at the helm of the Vikings, would become the fourth active Horizon League coach to record 200 career wins, and just the second to eclipse the milestone at their current school (Kevin Borseth, Green Bay).
ABSHAW TIES CAREER-HIGH AGAINST UIC
Last time out, redshirt junior Ashanti Abshaw tied her career-high with 32 points against UIC, posting her second 30-point game of the season. For the year, Abshaw is averaging 20.3 points per game, just one of two #HLWBB players to average 20+ points per game. With her 32 points against the Flames, Abshaw became just the 10th Viking all-time to eclipse 1,350 career points, entering Thursday's contest ranked 10th in the CSU Career Scoring chart with 1,355 points. Abshaw now needs just 11 more points to move into ninth place on the scoring chart.
BOSLEY WITH THE BLOCK
Despite playing limited minutes against UIC last time out, senior Shadae Bosley continues to lead the league in blocked shots, entering Thursday's game sitting at the top of the standings averaging 2.3 blocks per game. Bosley has recorded 35 total blocks so far this season, and is just six blocked shots shy of cracking the top-10 single-season list with at least 15 games left to play during 2017-18. Bosley also ranks fourth in the CSU Career Record Book with 122 career blocked shots.
VIKINGS WITH THE STEAL
During Horizon League games only, Cleveland State leads the league averaging 10.3 steals per game, recording 41 total takeaways during the first four games. Earlier this season, the Vikings recorded 15 steals against Detroit Mercy - the highest single-game total since the 2014-15 season. Individually, Ashanti Abshaw leads the league with 3.0 steals per game, while Shadae Bosley (6th) and Olivia Voskuhl (9th) also rank in the top-10.
VIKINGS OFF TO BEST START UNDER KPA
After the first part of the 2017-18 season, Cleveland State is off to its best start under head coach Kate Peterson Abiad, owning an 11-4 record heading into the 16th game of the season. For the first time over the last 15 years - and just the second time in program history - the Vikings entered the month of January with 10 wins. During non-league action, the Vikings posted an 8-3 record, tying the most non-league wins under Peterson Abiad and setting a record with the .727 winning percentage.
VIKING STARTING FIVE
So far this season, Cleveland State has used the same starting lineup throughout the entire non-league slate and first four #HLWBB contests, with Ashanti Abshaw, Khayla Livingston, Olivia Voskuhl, Jade Ely, and Shadae Bosley all earning a spot in the starting five. Abshaw leads this group with 74 career starts, while Livingston (71) and Voskuhl (68) are right behind her.
Cleveland State will continue its three-game roadswing at Green Bay on Saturday, January 13, facing off against the Phoenix at 2:00 p.m. EST.