Nov 18, 2018
SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will close out its current two-game homestand on Monday, November 19, hosting Illinois State at 7:00 p.m. Entering Monday's contest, the Vikings stand at 2-2 on the year, including a perfect 2-0 mark when playing at the Wolstein Center.
A WIN MONDAY WOULD…
Give the Vikings back-to-back wins for the first time this season…Keep Cleveland State perfect in the Wolstein Center this year…Give the Vikings a 3-0 all-time record against Illinois State.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/ILLINOIS STATE SERIES
Monday's game will be just the third meeting between the two teams, with Cleveland State owning a perfect 2-0 record in the series. Cleveland State's two wins came in a 56-47 decision last season and a 64-50 decision during the 2008-09 season. This will be the first matchup between the two teams in the Wolstein Center.
SCOUTING THE REDBIRDS
Illinois State enters Monday's contest with a 1-2 mark on the young season, with its lone win coming in a 67-55 victory over North Dakota… Monday's game will be the second in a three-game roadswing for the Redbirds…The Redbirds are under the direction of second year head coach Kristen Gillespie, and were picked fifth in the MVC Preseason Poll…ISU returns four starters from last season, including Simone Goods who was named the MVC Newcomer of the Year and Honorable Mention All-MVC last season…Paige Saylor also returns after earning All-Defensive and All-Freshman Team honors.
Cleveland State returns six letterwinners from last season's squad, including the senior duo of Rachel Slaney and Mariana Bautista. This duo is joined by all-league honoree Jade Ely, Mariah Miller, Mariah White, and Anyia Pride to form a veteran core for the upcoming season.
This experienced group will be joined by five true freshmen - Shyla Latone, Savanna Crockett, Isabella Geraci, JaMiya Braxton, and Isabelle Gradwell - along with redshirt freshman Nadia Dumas and sophomore transfer Dana DeGraffenreid.
HEAD COACH CHRIS KIELSMEIER
The Vikings will be under the direction of first-year head coach Chris Kielsmeier during the 2018-19 campaign, as he was named the seventh head coach in program history on April 17, 2018. Kielsmeier joined the Vikings following stints at Wayne State (NE) and Howard Payne, where he became the all-time winningest coach with both programs. Kielsmeier owns a career coaching record of 418-118, which includes a Division III National Title during the 2007-08 season at Howard Payne.
…VIKINGS OPEN KIELSMEIER ERA WITH VICTORY
Cleveland State opened up the 2018-19 season on Tuesday, November 6, cruising to a 113-81 victory over Salem. The win marked the first of the Chris Kielsmeier era, and marked the seventh time over the last 10 years that the Vikings were victorious in their season opener. Kielsmeier is the third Cleveland State head coach to win their first game on the Viking sideline, and the first since Louise Furjanic during the 1977-78 campaign.
VIKINGS @ THE WOLSTEIN CENTER
Over the last 16 home games - dating back to the beginning of last season - the Vikings own a 12-4 record when playing in the Wolstein Center. During the 2017-18 campaign, the Vikings recorded the sixth double-digit win season at home over the last 10 seasons, while they stand at 2-0 at home so far this season. Cleveland State has 12 home games remaining this year, including Monday's matchup against Illinois State.
…DOUBLE THE FUN
During the 2018-19 season the Cleveland State men's and women's basketball teams will play two doubleheaders in the Wolstein Center, with both of them coming during non-league play. The women's opponents on doubleheader dates will be Toledo (Dec. 5) and Bradley (Dec. 19).
ELY FROM THE FIELD
Last time out, junior Jade Ely led the Viking offense with 18 points against Lake Erie, posting a perfect 8-for-8 performance from the field. Ely's 18 points marked a season-high, while it also marked her fourth straight double-digit point game of the year. For the season, Ely is averaging 14.3 points per game, ranking eighth among Horizon League players.
…VIKINGS STRONG ON OFFENSE
After the first two weeks of the 2018-19 season Cleveland State ranks second in the Horizon League averaging 79.3 points per game, while also ranking second with a .476 field goal percentage. The Vikings have shot 45-percent or better from the floor twice this season, while they have eclipsed the 100-point mark once.
CROCKETT IN THE STARTING FIVE
Through the first four games of the season, freshman Savanna Crockett has earned a spot in the starting lineup during all four contests, and is averaging 29.3 minutes per game. For the year, Crockett is averaging a double-double with 10.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Entering Monday's game, Crockett is the only Horizon League player to be averaging a double-double this year.
…RECORDS BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Last time out, Savanna Crockett recorded her second straight double-double, finishing with 10 points and 12 rebounds against Lake Erie. Last Thursday's game marked the third time this season that Crockett finished with double-digit points, and the second time that she finished with 10 or more rebounds.
VIKINGS ON THE BOARDS
So far this season the Vikings have held the advantage on the boards, outrebounding their opponent in all four games. Entering Monday's contest, Cleveland State owns a +9.3 rebounding margin, and has grabbed 192 total boards. Among Horizon League teams, the Vikings rank second averaging 48.0 rebounds per game, while Savanna Crockett (1st - 10.0 rpg) and Mariah Miller (3rd - 9.0 rpg) both rank in the top-three individually.
VIKINGS ECLIPSE CENTURY MARK
Cleveland State recorded just the 11th 100-point game in program history in the 2018-19 season opener, recording 113 total points against Salem. The 113 points marked the second highest single-game total, while it was also the first time since the 2013-14 season that the Vikings have scored 100 or more points. After the win against Salem, Cleveland State is now 9-2 all-time when scoring 100+ points.
CLEVELAND STATE TABBED EIGHTH IN PRESEASON POLL
Last month the Vikings were tabbed to finish eighth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll - picking up 99 points. Last season, the Vikings finished sixth in the league standings. Defending champion Green Bay was selected as the preseason favorite by the league's 10 head coaches, sports information directors and media members, while IUPUI, Wright State, Youngstown State, and Milwaukee rounded out the top-five. Northern Kentucky and Oakland were selected sixth and seventh, respectively, while Detroit Mercy and UIC rounded out the poll.
2019 HORIZON LEAGUE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
New for the 2018-19 season, the Horizon League Tournament will feature only the top eight teams, with all eight teams beginning play with a quarterfinal matchup on March 5 or March 6. The quarterfinal winners will advance to the Motor City Madness semifinals, which will be held at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich. on Monday, March 11. The championship game will also be held in Detroit, Mich., and will take place on Tuesday, March 12. Both the men's and women's semifinals and championship games will be held at Little Caesars Arena, and will run concurrently. All games will be carried on the ESPN network.
The Vikings will hit the road for the San Diego Thanksgiving Tournament next weekend, facing the host Toreros on Friday, November 23 and Tulane on Saturday, November 24.