SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will return to action for the final time during regular season play this weekend, traveling to Youngstown State for a 4:15 p.m. contest on Saturday, February 24. Entering the regular season finale, the Vikings are 19-9 overall and 11-6 in Horizon League play, while Youngstown State is 14-14 overall and 10-7 against league opponents.
A WIN SATURDAY WOULD…
Mark the first 20-win season for the Vikings since 2010-11…Give the Vikings back-to-back wins for the fifth time this year…Mark Cleveland State's eighth win out of the last 10 games…Put the Vikings at 6-2 to finish the month of February.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/YOUNGSTOWN STATE SERIES
This will mark the 70th meeting between the two teams, with Youngstown State owning the 38-31 advantage in the overall series. The Penguins have picked up the victory in the last two meetings, snapping a four-game winstreak that the Vikings had in the series.
…THE FIRST TIME AROUND
In the first meeting between the two teams, Cleveland State was playing with a shorthanded lineup, as redshirt junior Ashanti Abshaw was out with an injury. Khayla Livingston was the lone Viking to finish in double-figures with 13 points, while Olivia Voskuhl was just shy of a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds. The Vikings shot just 30-percent from the field, and committed 12 turnovers that turned into 17 YSU points.
SCOUTING THE PENGUINS
Youngstown State enters the regular season finale with a 14-14 overall record and a 10-7 mark in Horizon League play…The Penguins have won six of their last seven games, including a 60-59 victory at Northern Kentucky last time out…YSU is currently sixth in the league standings with the opportunity to move up depending on this weekend's results…As a team, YSU leads the league with 8.6 three-pointers per game, while three Penguins rank individually in the top-10 in three-point efficiency…Indiya Benjamin leads the league with 5.1 assists per game, while she also became the YSU career record holder in the category earlier this year.
VIKINGS CLOSING IN ON 20-WIN SEASON
Entering the regular season finale at Youngstown State, the Vikings are just one win shy of notching their first 20-win season since the 2010-11 campaign. The Vikings, who stand at 19-9 entering Saturday's game, would become the third Horizon League team to reach the milestone this season. In program history, the Vikings have recorded just two 20-win campaigns, with one of them coming under head coach Kate Peterson Abiad during the 2010-11 season when the Vikings went 21-12.
…ALSO CHASING #HLWBB SINGLE-SEASON WIN MARK
For the sixth time during head coach Kate Peterson Abiad's tenure the Vikings have recorded double-digit Horizon League wins, as they enter the regular season finale with an 11-6 mark in league play. The 11 wins marks the highest #HLWBB win total since the 2010-11 campaign, while it also marks the first double-digit win season for the Vikings in league play since 2014-15. Cleveland State enters Saturday's game just one win shy of tying the program record for #HLWBB wins in a season which was set during 2008-09 and 2010-11.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Over the final four weeks of the regular season, Cleveland State has played five of its last seven games on the road, with Saturday's game at Youngstown State marking the sixth road game during the month of February. The Vikings are the only league team to have six of their final eight games on the road this season, and currently stand at 5-3 when playing on the road in Horizon League action this year.
LIVINGSTON CONTINUES CLIMB UP CSU SCORING CHART
Entering her final regular season contest in a Viking uniform, redshirt senior Khayla Livingston ranks 10th on the CSU Scoring Chart with 1,438 points, one of just 10 Vikings all-time with 1,400+ points. Livingston, who has been averaging a team-best 19.7 ppg in league games only, ranks second among Horizon League players and has recorded nine 20-point games against league opponents this year. With at least two games left to play, Livingston is 20 points shy of moving into ninth place on the CSU Scoring Chart and 30 points shy of moving into eighth place.
VOSKUHL CRACKS TOP-15 ON CSU REBOUNDING CHART
Earlier this season, Olivia Voskuhl moved into the top-15 on the CSU Rebounding Chart, and enters Saturday's contest ranked 14th with 645 career boards. Voskuhl, who tallied a team-high nine rebounds against Wright State last time out, leads the Vikings and ranks seventh among league players averaging 7.1 rebounds per game this year. Voskuhl is the 15th Viking all-time to record 1,000+ career points and 600+ career rebounds, and needs 13 more boards to move into 13th place in the CSU Career Record Book.
ABSHAW CLOSING IN ON 1,600-POINT MARK
After ranking second among league players averaging 19.3 points per game so far this season, Ashanti Abshaw continues to climb up the CSU Scoring Chart, currently ranking seventh with 1,573 points. Abshaw, who is just 27 points shy of 1,600 for her career, would become the first Viking all-time to reach 1,600 points as a junior. For the year, Abshaw has recorded 15 20-point games, including three 30-point games. Entering Saturday's game at Youngstown State, Abshaw needs just 11 more points to move into sixth place on the CSU Scoring Chart.
VOSKUHL NOTCHES 1,000TH POINT AGAINST GREEN BAY
Following her 21-point performance against the Phoenix earlier this season, redshirt senior Olivia Voskuhl eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career, and enters Saturday's game with 1,037 points. Voskuhl, who is the 29th Viking all-time to reach the milestone, is the 13th to do so under head coach Kate Peterson Abiad.
…TRIO OF VIKINGS NOW IN THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
For just the second time in program history, three Vikings on the same roster have recorded 1,000 career points, as the trio of Ashanti Abshaw, Khayla Livingston and Olivia Voskuhl have all achieved the feat. Abshaw, who recorded her 1,000th career point as a redshirt sophomore, ranks seventh on the all-time scoring list with 1,573 points, while Livingston ranks 10th with 1,438 points after reaching the 1,000-point milestone earlier this year.
LIVINGSTON SETS CSU THREE-POINT RECORD
After converting five three-pointers at UIC earlier this season, redshirt senior Khayla Livingston became the program record holder in three-pointers, and enters the regular season finale with 230 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 3.1 three-pointers per game and has 87 total conversions from behind-the-arc on the year - a mark that is just three shots shy of setting a Cleveland State Single-Season record.
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).
Cleveland State will take part in the 2018 Horizon League Tournament next weekend, with final seeding and pairings coming out Sunday (February 25) evening.