SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will return home for the final time during the 2017-18 season this week, opening a two-game homestand against nationally ranked Green Bay on Thursday, February 15. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. between the Vikings (17-8, 9-5) and the Phoenix (22-2, 12-1).
A WIN THURSDAY WOULD…
Put the Vikings back on the winning track…Mark Cleveland State's sixth win out of its last seven games…Snap a 15-game losing skid against the Phoenix, and mark the first win for the Vikings in the series since the 2009-10 season…Give the Vikings 10 wins when playing in the Wolstein Center this season…Give Cleveland State 18 wins for just the second time over the last seven seasons.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/GREEN BAY SERIES
This will mark the 68th meeting between the two teams, with Green Bay owning the 62-5 advantage in the overall series. Cleveland State's last victory against the Phoenix came during the 2010 Horizon League Tournament, when the Vikings picked up an 83-75 overtime victory in a semifinal contest.
…THE FIRST TIME AROUND
In the first meeting between the two teams, Cleveland State dropped a 69-43 decision in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Jade Ely led the Viking offense with a career-high tying 17 points, while Khayla Livingston chipped in 11 points. As a team, the Vikings recorded 10 steals - including four from Rachel Slaney - while they forced Green Bay into 17 turnovers.
SCOUTING THE PHOENIX
Green Bay enters Thursday's game with a 22-2 overall record and a 12-1 mark in Horizon League action, sitting at the top of the league standings…Green Bay is the first league team to reach the 20-win mark this season, and has now eclipsed 20 wins for 19 straight seasons…Green Bay enters the week ranked 19th nationally, making it the second time this season that CSU will face the Phoenix when they are ranked in the top-25…Thursday's game will be the first of a three-game roadswing for Green Bay, with the Phoenix owning a 9-1 record on the road this season.
For the final homestand of the 2017-18 season, the Vikings will be trading in their normal green & white jerseys and wearing special pink uniforms in honor of the team's annual #ThinkPink initiative. Each year, Cleveland State participates in the national Play4Kay initiative to help raise awareness for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
LIVINGSTON SETS CSU THREE-POINT RECORD
After converting five three-pointers at UIC last Thursday, redshirt senior Khayla Livingston became the program record holder in three-pointers, entering the final homestand with 219 shots from behind-the-arc. Livingston, who is one of just two Vikings all-time to eclipse 200 three-pointers, broke the previous record of 217 set by Cori Coleman in 2015. So far this season, Livingston is averaging a league-best 3.0 three-pointers per game and has 76 total conversions from behind-the-arc on the year - a mark that ranks second in the CSU Single-Season Record Book.
The Vikings will return to the friendly confines of the Wolstein Center for the final time during the 2017-18 season this week, hosting Green Bay and Milwaukee in their final two home games of the year. So far this season the Vikings owns a 9-3 record when playing at home, including a 5-2 mark against league opponents. This week's games will mark the only homestand for the Vikings over the final month of regular season play, as they are closing out #HLWBB play with six of their final eight games on the road.
ABSHAW SURPASSES 1,500-POINT MARK
Following her 19-point game at IUPUI last time out, redshirt junior Ashanti Abshaw surpassed 1,500 points for her career, entering Thursday's game with 1,517 total points. Abshaw, who is one of just two Vikings all-time to reach the 1,500-point mark as a junior (Kailey Klein 2006-10), currently ranks second in the Horizon League averaging 19.4 points per game. With at least five games left to play this season, Abshaw ranks seventh on the CSU Scoring Chart and needs 67 more points to move into sixth place.
VOSKUHL CRACKS TOP-15 ON CSU REBOUNDING CHART
After combining for 10 rebounds at UIC and IUPUI last week, Olivia Voskuhl moved into 15th place on the CSU Rebounding Chart, entering the week with 623 career boards. Voskuhl, who leads the Vikings and ranks seventh among league players averaging 7.1 rebounds per game, is one of 17 Vikings all-time to surpass 600 career boards. With 178 rebounds this season, Voskuhl is the first player to earn a spot in the top-15 since the 2014-15 season (Imani Gordon).
…AND IS CLOSING IN ON 1,000 CAREER POINTS
After averaging a career-best 11.9 points per game so far this season, redshirt senior Olivia Voskuhl is closing in on joining the 1,000-point club, entering Thursday's contest with 987 career points. Voskuhl, who has tallied double-digit points in all but six games this season, would become the 29th Viking all-time and the third current Viking to join the exclusive club (Ashanti Abshaw & Khayla Livingston).
BOSLEY WITH THE BLOCK
Senior Shadae Bosley enters Thursday's contest with a league-best 53 total blocked shots on the year, a mark that ranks fifth in the CSU Single-Season Record Book. For her career, Bosley has 140 total blocks, ranking third in the CSU Career Record Book as one of just three Vikings all-time with 140+ blocked shots. Bosley is currently at the top of the league standings averaging 2.1 blocked shots per game.
HEAD COACH KATE PETERSON ABIAD
With the 71-70 overtime victory against Wright State earlier this year, Kate Peterson Abiad picked up the 200th win of her career, eclipsing the coaching milestone on her birthday. Peterson Abiad, who is in her 15th season at the helm of the Vikings, became 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).
DAVIDSON APPOINTED TO CSU BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Junior forward Sierra Davidson is currently serving a two-year term as a student member of the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees after being appointed to the position at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year. Davidson, who was a three-year class president in high school, carries a 3.93 GPA while pursuing a degree in psychology and is on track to graduate in three years. Davidson is also an active member of the CSU Student-Athlete Advisory Council, serving as the Community Service chair.
2018 HORIZON LEAGUE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
For the second straight season, the Horizon League men's and women's championships will run concurrently, with 'Motor City Madness' running from March 2 through March 6 at the brand new Little Caesers Arena in downtown Detroit, Mich. The five-day tournament will again feature two first round games, four second round games, two semifinals, and a championship contest. All nine games will be carried on the ESPN network.
Cleveland State will host its final game in the Wolstein Center during the 2017-18 season on Saturday, February 17, hosting the Milwaukee Panthers in a 1:00 p.m. contest. Saturday's game will mark Senior Day for Sierra Davidson, Khayla Livingston, Olivia Voskuhl, Mercedes Hobbs, and Shadae Bosley.