SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will compete in the 2018 Little Caesars Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship this weekend, entering the tournament as the No. 6 seed. The Vikings enter tournament action with a 19-10 overall record, and finished the regular season with an 11-7 mark against Horizon League opponents.
CLEVELAND STATE IN THE HORIZON LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
Under head coach Kate Peterson Abiad the Vikings own an 11-12 record in the Horizon League Tournament, advancing to the semifinals five times and earning an appearance in the championship game twice. Cleveland State won the Horizon League tournament title in both of its championship appearances, capturing the crown during the 2007-08 and 2009-10 seasons.
2018 HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNAMENT DESIGN
For the second straight season, the Horizon League men's and women's basketball tournaments will run concurrently, with Motor City Madness running Friday, March 2 through Tuesday, March 6 at the brand new state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich. The five-day tournament will 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.
HORIZON LEAGUE POSTSEASON HONORS
ASHANTI ABSHAW | Abshaw picked up postseason honors for the third straight year, earning a spot on the All-Horizon League First Team for the second consecutive season. Abshaw leads the Vikings and ranks second among league players averaging 19.4 points per game this season, while she is tops among league players averaging 2.8 steals per game. Abshaw has 543 total points this year – eclipsing the 500-point mark for the second straight season – and has recorded 16 20-point performances.
KHAYLA LIVINGSTON | Livingston was named to an All-League team for the third time in her career, earning a spot on the All-Horizon League First Team for the first time. On the season, Livingston is averaging 17.5 points and 4.0 assists per game, ranking in the top-five among league players in both categories. Livingston, who has played and started in every game this season, set career-highs in points and assists earlier this season, posting 36 points at Detroit and recording 10 assists against Green Bay.
SHADAE BOSLEY | Bosley picked up All-League honors for the first time in her career, earning a spot on the Horizon League All-Defensive Team. Bosley ranks second among league players averaging 1.9 blocked shots per game, and has 55 total blocks this year, a mark that ranks third in the CSU Single-Season Record Book. Bosley has recorded at least one blocked shot in 20 games so far this year, including a season-high six at Oakland.
VIKINGS CLOSING IN ON 20-WIN SEASON
Entering Motor City Madness, the Vikings are just one win shy of notching their first 20-win season since the 2010-11 campaign. The Vikings, who stand at 19-10 entering #HLWBB tournament play, would become the fifth 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.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Throughout the final four weeks of regular season play, Cleveland State played six of its last eight games on the road, posting a 4-2 record during those six road contests. The Vikings were the only league team to have six of their final eight regular season games on the road this season, and will be playing their seventh road game out of their last nine matchups when they hit the court to begin Motor City Madness.
HEAD COACH KATE PETERSON ABIAD
Cleveland State head coach Kate Peterson Abiad is in her 15th season at the helm of the Vikings, and enters the 2018 Horizon League Tournament with a 206-251 career mark at CSU. Earlier this year, Peterson Abiad notched her 200th career win in a 71-70 overtime victory against Wright State, becoming the second active Horizon League coach to reach the milestone at their current school. During her tenure, Peterson Abiad has led the Vikings to six 19-win seasons, two Horizon League Tournament Championships, and four trips to the postseason (2015-WNIT, 2011-WBI, 2010-NCAA, 2008-NCAA).
LIVINGSTON FROM BEHIND-THE-ARC
Redshirt senior Khayla Livingston enters Motor City Madness as the best three-point shooter in program history, owning Cleveland State career records in three-pointers made (232) and three-point field goal percentage (.381). Livingston, who is one of just two Vikings all-time with 200+ three-pointers, set the program record after converting five three-pointers at UIC earlier this season. Livingston, who leads the league with 3.1 three-pointers made and a .416 three-point field goal percentage this season, also set a single-game program record with nine three-pointers at Detroit Mercy earlier this year and is currently tied for the program record with 89 shots from behind-the-arc on the season.
…CONTINUES TO CLIMB CSU SCORING CHART
After becoming the 28th Viking all-time to record 1,000 career points earlier this season, Khayla Livingston continues to climb up the CSU Scoring Chart, entering Motor City Madness ranked 10th with 1,453 points. Livingston, who is the 10th Viking all-time to surpass 1,400 career points, ranks third among league players this season averaging 17.5 points per game. Livingston has tallied 11 20-point performances on the year, including a career-high 36-point game at Detroit Mercy.
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 #HLWBB tournament play ranked 14th with 651 career boards. Voskuhl, who has a team-high 206 rebounds this season, leads the Vikings and ranks seventh among league players averaging 7.1 rebounds per game this year. Voskuhl is the 13th Viking all-time to record 1,000+ career points and 650+ career rebounds, and needs just seven more boards to move into 13th place in the CSU Career Record Book.
ABSHAW CLOSING IN ON 1,600-POINT MARK
After posting 543 points through regular season play, redshirt junior Ashanti Abshaw enters Motor City Madness just six points shy of 1,600 for her career. Abshaw currently ranks sixth on the CSU Scoring List with 1,594 points, and would become the first Viking ever to eclipse 1,600 points as junior. Last season, Abshaw became the third fastest Viking to reach 1,000 career points, doings so in just 62 games, and was the first Viking to achieve the feat as a sophomore/redshirt sophomore.
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 sixth on the all-time scoring list with 1,594 points, while Livingston ranks 10th with 1,453 points after reaching the 1,000-point milestone against Saint Louis earlier this year, and Voskuhl joined the club in the upset win over Green Bay.
VIKING STARTING FIVE
Throughout the 2017-18 season the Vikings have used the same starting lineup for 21 of their 29 games, with Ashanti Abshaw, Khayla Livingston, Jade Ely, Olivia Voskuhl, and Shadae Bosley on the court for tipoff. This group has combined for almost 350 career starts, while the trio of Livingston, Voskuhl and Bosley have been in the starting lineup during every game so far this season.
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.