YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Cleveland State women's basketball team dropped its first game of the 2018-19 season Friday, dropping a 69-63 decision at Eastern Michigan in the first road game of the year. The Vikings now stand at 1-1 on the season.
· Crockett, Slaney, Ely, White, Miller
· Mariah White finished with a team-best four steals.
· Cleveland State posted a .373 field goal percentage on the day, including a .636 clip during the first quarter.
· Mariah White recorded a career-high with her 23 points against the Eagles, marking the first 20-point game of her career.
· Rachel Slaney tied her career-high with 10 rebounds on the day, marking the second double-digit rebound game of her career.
· This marked just the second game under head coach Chris Kielsmeier, and the first road game of his tenure at Cleveland State.
After getting out to a slow start over the first few minutes of the contest, the Vikings went on a 7-0 run midway through the first period, gaining a 13-9 lead on a Rachel Slaney layup. The Vikings were able to hold the advantage for the rest of the first quarter then, closing out the frame with an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 23-14 after the first 10 minutes of action.
Just 17 seconds into the second quarter Cleveland State was able to gain a double-digit lead at 25-14 on a Jade Ely layup at the 9:43 mark. The Vikings were able to hold this double-digit advantage until midway through the period when Eastern Michigan started working its way back into the contest. Over the final minutes of the second quarter the Eagles went on a 9-2 run, including a three-pointer as time expired, to close the Cleveland State lead to 36-33 heading into the halftime break.
The Eagles carried their momentum into the third quarter then, as they gained control of the contest with a 15-1 run during the first seven minutes of the frame. The Vikings responded with a 7-0 run of their own to close the quarter, putting the score at 53-47 EMU heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
Despite the late push at the end of the third quarter, the Vikings were never able to close the gap during the final 10 minutes of action, as the Vikings recorded their first loss of the 2018-19 season with a 69-63 decision at Eastern Michigan.
From The Sidelines
Overall thoughts on the game…
"I think we did a lot of things well throughout the game today, we just didn't handle adversity when things weren't going our way. Instead of playing the game, I think we fought the game, and when things didn't go exactly as we had planned, we didn't do a good job of working ourselves out of trouble. Good basketball teams know how to handle adversity, and when things aren't going your way you need to find a way to get stops and get the game back under control. This was evident during the third quarter today, we started struggling out of the halftime break, and we let that affect us for too long, which didn't allow us to start making a comeback."
Impact of playing on the road with a young team…
"I think it's important to remember that we are all freshmen when it comes to playing this new system. For the true freshmen it is completely new to them, and to the returners, they are all doing a lot of things differently than they have in the past. The inexperience that we have with a new way of doing things definitely made today's game more difficult on us, but with that said, I will never let a lack of experience be an excuse for any result on the court, we need to grow up fast as a team and find a way to get it done moving forward."
Thoughts on Mariah White's performance…
"Mariah played really well today, she played hard on both ends of the floor, and really gave us everything she had each time she was in the lineup. She grew a lot as a college basketball player in today's game, and that is what you hope every player does throughout the season, be it in practice or in games."
Cleveland State will stay on the road to close out the first week of the 2018-19 campaign, traveling to Ball State for a 2:00 p.m. contest on Sunday, November 11.