SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will begin the month of December on the road this weekend, traveling to Ohio University for a 1:00 p.m. contest on Saturday, December 1. Entering Saturday's contest, the Vikings stand at 3-4 this season, and will be trying to rebound from a pair of losses at the San Diego Thanksgiving Tournament last time out.
A WIN ON SATURDAY WOULD…
Put the Vikings at .500 for the 2018-19 season…Mark the first win on the road this year…Give the Vikings back-to-back wins over Ohio for the first time since the 1981-82 season.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/OHIO SERIES
This will be the 26th meeting between the two teams, with Ohio owning a 16-9 advantage in the overall series. Last year, the Vikings picked up a 71-64 victory, and have won three of the last five meetings. Cleveland State has yet to win in Athens, as Ohio owns an 11-0 record when facing the Vikings at home.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings traveled to the West Coast for the San Diego Thanksgiving Tournament, dropping a pair of hard fought contests against San Diego (83-82) and Tulane (81-72). These games marked the first time that the Vikings were playing in the state of California since the 2007-08 season, when Cleveland State played at Stanford in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
CROCKETT NAMED #HLWBB FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Earlier this week, Savanna Crockett picked up Cleveland State's first weekly honor of the season, as she was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week. Through three contests last week, Crockett averaged 12.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals, finishing with a .593 field goal percentage. Crockett led the Cleveland State rebounding effort in all three games last week, and currently sits at the top of the Horizon League standings in the category.
Through the first seven games of the season, freshman Savanna Crockett is averaging 11.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, and has tallied four double-doubles. As one of just 24 players nationwide to have at least four double-doubles on the year, Crockett leads all #HLWBB players in the category, and enters Saturday's game at Ohio coming off of back-to-back double-double performances. Crockett, who has appeared in the starting lineup during all seven games this season, owns season-high marks of 15 points and 14 rebounds.
VIKINGS STRONG ON OFFENSE
Entering the weekend Cleveland State stands as one of the best offensive teams in the Horizon League, leading #HLWBB teams in points per game (76.9) and field goal percentage (.473). For the season, the Vikings have eclipsed the 60-point mark during every game, including a pair of 80+ point games, while they have notched a .450 clip from the field on four occasions.
…ELY RECORDS 30-POINT GAME
Junior Jade Ely has been a big part of the Viking offense this season, as she leads the team averaging 16.9 points per game this year. Last weekend, Ely recorded 33 points against San Diego, marking the first 30-point game of her career, and just the second 30-point game among Horizon League players this season. Ely has also been Cleveland State's top playmaker, as she has a team-best 27 total assists on the year.
VIKINGS WITH THE STEAL
After seven games this season, Cleveland State currently sits at the top of the Horizon League averaging 10.0 steals per game, and has recorded 70 total takeaways this year. Earlier this season, the Vikings recorded double-digit steals in three straight games, including a season-high 16 takeaways against Illinois State. Individually, Jade Ely leads the Horizon League with 3.9 steals per game, while Mariah White ranks seventh averaging 3.1 takeaways.
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 419-120, 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.
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.
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
Earlier this season 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 return home for one of just two games in the Wolstein Center during the month of December next Wednesday (December 5), hosting Toledo at 5:00 p.m.