SETTING THE SCENE
Following a brief stint in the Wolstein Center earlier this week, the Cleveland State women's basketball team will return to the road this Saturday (December 8), traveling to Marshall for a 5:00 p.m. contest. Entering the game, Cleveland State stands at 3-6 overall this year, while Marshall owns a 3-5 record entering the contest.
A WIN ON SATURDAY WOULD…
Mark the first road victory of the season for Cleveland State…Snap a four-game losing skid for the Vikings…Give the Vikings back-to-back wins against Marshall for the first time in series history.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/MARSHALL SERIES
Saturday's contest will be the sixth meeting between the two teams, with Marshall owning a 3-2 advantage in the series. Cleveland State picked up an 85-76 victory in last year's matchup, while Marshall owns a 2-0 record when playing in Huntington.
SCOUTING THE HERD
Marshall enters Saturday's game with a 3-5 record on the year, most recently dropping a 67-49 decision at Wisconsin…Marshall's three wins on the year came over Coppin State, Evansville and Bluefield State…The Herd is under the direction of second-year head coach Tony Kemper, and returns 10 letterwinners, including three starters…Earlier this year, Marshall was selected to finish 13th in the Conference USA preseason poll…Marshall features two players that are averaging double-digit points - Shayna Gore (17.8 ppg) and Kristen Mayo (11.0 ppg) - with Gore ranking fifth among C-USA players in the category.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings returned home for the first time in over two weeks on Wednesday, dropping a hard fought 65-60 decision against Toledo. The loss marked the first in the Wolstein Center this year, and put the Vikings at 3-6 overall this season. Savanna Crockett led the Vikings with 18 points, while Rachel Slaney grabbed a team-best 13 rebounds.
SLANEY ON THE BOARDS
Last time out, senior Rachel Slaney grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds, marking the ninth double-digit rebound game from a Viking this season. For the year, Slaney ranks third on the team averaging 7.6 rebounds per game, and has posted 10 or more boards in three matchups. Slaney is part of a Viking team that ranks third in the Horizon League averaging 40.0 rebounds per game.
CROCKETT TALLIES CAREER-HIGH AGAINST TOLEDO
Freshman Savanna Crockett recorded a career-high performance against Toledo last time out, finishing with 18 points on seven made field goals. Crockett, who has now tallied double-digit points during six games, is one of four Vikings to average 10.0+ points per game this season, ranking third with 11.3 points per contest. Among Horizon League players, Crockett ranks 12th, and is one of just three players to rank in the top-12 in both scoring and rebounding (1st).
…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 (72.4) and field goal percentage (.450). For the season, the Vikings have eclipsed the 60-point mark during all but one game, including a pair of 80+ point games against Salem and San Diego, while they have notched a .450 clip from the field on four occasions.
GRADWELL & BRAXTON FROM BEHIND-THE-ARC
So far this season, the freshman duo of Isabelle Gradwell and JaMiya Braxton have been Cleveland State's leading three-point shooters, with the duo combining for 28 of Cleveland State's 51 made three-pointers. Braxton, who has converted a team-best 18 shots from behind-the-arc, ranks third in the Horizon League averaging 2.0 three-pointers per game. As a team, the Vikings are averaging 5.7 three-point field goals per game, and have been shooting at a .311 clip from deep.
CROCKETT NAMED #HLWBB FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Last 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 on Monday, November 26. Through three contests, 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, while she posted back-to-back double-doubles against San Diego and Tulane.
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 419-122, 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 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.
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 close out non-league play at home on Wednesday, December 19, hosting Bradley at 5:00 p.m. This will be the first part of a Cleveland State basketball doubleheader, as the men's team will host Niagara at 7:30 p.m. following the women's game.