SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will close out its 11-game non-league schedule on Wednesday, December 19, hosting Bradley in a 5:00 p.m. contest. The Vikings enter their final non-league game with a 3-7 overall record, while Bradley enters the week with a perfect 8-0 mark on the season.
A WIN ON WEDNESDAY WOULD…
Put the Vikings at 4-1 when playing in the Wolstein Center this season…Snap a five-game losing skid for Cleveland State…Keep the Vikings perfect in the overall series against Bradley.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/BRADLEY SERIES
Wednesday's game will be just the third meeting between the two teams in the overall series, with Cleveland State owning a 2-0 advantage. Last year, the Vikings picked up a 67-65 victory at Bradley, while the first win in the series came as an 82-61 decision during the 2007-08 campaign. Wednesday will mark the first time that the two teams will be playing in the Wolstein Center.
SCOUTING THE BRAVES
Bradley enters Wednesday's game with a perfect 8-0 record on the year, marking just the second time in program history that the Braves have started a season with eight straight wins…Bradley stands as one of 18 undefeated teams in the country, and is under the direction of third-year head coach Andrea Gorski…Wednesday's game will be the second of a three-game roadswing for Bradley, and the ninth of an 11-game non-league schedule…Bradley has four players averaging double-digit points so far this season, while Chelsea Brackmann is averaging a double-double with 10.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings dropped an 86-64 contest at Marshall on Saturday, December 8, and will have 11 days off from competition before returning to action against Bradley. Savanna Crockett finished with a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Isabelle Gradwell grabbed a team-best 11 boards. Mariah White also finished with double-figure points (11), while the Vikings tallied 14 assists as a team, including four from Rachel Slaney.
CROCKETT NAMED #HLWBB FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Last week Savanna Crockett picked up her second weekly accolade from the Horizon League, as she was named the #HLWBB Freshman of the Week following a pair of 18-point performances against Toledo and Marshall. The 18 points marked a season-high for the freshman, while she has now recorded double-digit points in seven out of 10 games so far this year.
Crockett also recorded her fifth double-double of the season at Marshall last time out, posting 18 points and 10 boards. Crockett is one of 12 #HLWBB players to post a double-double this season, but is the only league player to have five or more. For the season, Crockett is just shy of averaging a double-double, as she leads the league with 9.6 rebounds and ranks eighth with 12.0 points per game. Crockett is one of three players to rank in the top-10 in both categories, but the only rookie to do so.
VIKINGS @ THE WOLSTEIN CENTER
Over the last 18 home games – dating back to the beginning of last season – the Vikings own a 13-5 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 3-1 at home so far this season. Cleveland State has 10 home games remaining this year, including Wednesday's matchup against Bradley.
…DOUBLE THE FUN
Wednesday will mark the second of two doubleheaders at the Wolstein Center for Cleveland State basketball during the 2018-19 season, as the men will host Niagara at 7:30 p.m. following the women's game.
VIKINGS STRONG ON OFFENSE
Entering the final non-league contest, Cleveland State stands as one of the best offensive teams in the Horizon League, leading #HLWBB teams in points per game (71.6) and field goal percentage (.437). 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 freshmen duo of Isabelle Gradwell and JaMiya Braxton have been Cleveland State's leading three-point shooters, with the duo combining for 31 of Cleveland State's 59 made three-pointers. Braxton, who has converted a team-best 20 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 5.9 three-point field goals per game, and have been shooting at a .307 clip from deep.
WHITE IN THE STARTING LINEUP
After earning a spot in the starting lineup at the start of the 2018-19 campaign, sophomore Mariah White has made the most of her time on the court, averaging 10.8 points and a team-best 2.9 assists per game. White, who is one of the most efficient shooters on the team with a .467 field goal percentage, has improved her scoring by more than 9.0 points per game since last year. White is also averaging 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game so far this year.
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 419-123, 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 open their Horizon League slate on the road next week, traveling to Oakland (Friday, December 28) and Detroit Mercy (Sunday, December 30) for a two-game roadswing.