SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will return to the road this week, opening up its annual Wisconsin roadswing with an 8:00 p.m. contest at Green Bay on Thursday, January 10. The Vikings enter Thursday's matchup with a 6-9 record on the year, and stand at 3-1 against Horizon League opponents. Green Bay enters the week with a 7-6 overall mark, and a 2-1 record in #HLWBB play.
A WIN ON THURSDAY WOULD…
Give the Vikings back-to-back wins for the third time this season…Mark Cleveland State's fourth win out of the last five games…Put the Vikings at 4-1 to start #HLWBB play for the second time over the last three seasons…Mark the first win for the Vikings at Green Bay since the 2009-10 campaign.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/GREEN BAY SERIES
Thursday's game will mark the 69th meeting between Cleveland State and Green Bay, with the Phoenix owning a 62-6 advantage in the overall series. Last year, the two teams split the matchups, with the Vikings picking up a 71-60 upset victory over Green Bay who was ranked 19th nationally at the time. Prior to Cleveland State's upset win in the second meeting last year, the Phoenix had won 15 straight against the Vikings.
SCOUTING THE PHOENIX
Green Bay enters the week with a 7-6 record on the year, including a 2-1 mark against Horizon League opponents…Green Bay's two league wins came over Milwaukee (76-62) and Northern Kentucky (81-61), while its loss came against Wright State (85-67)…Thursday will be Green Bay's first home contest in Horizon League play during the 2018-19 campaign, and will be just one of two home games for the Phoenix during the first seven #HLWBB games…Earlier this year, Green Bay was selected as the favorite in the preseason poll, and currently ranks fourth in the standings.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings got back in the win column with a 71-53 victory over a shorthanded UIC team. Mariah Miller (15 pts, 15 rbs) and Savanna Crockett (10 pts, 15 rbs) both recorded double-doubles on the game, while Jade Ely tallied a game-high 25 points. As a team, the Vikings recorded 10 assists along with 11 steals, and eclipsed the 70-point mark for the fifth time this season.
VIKINGS OFF TO STRONG START IN #HLWBB PLAY
After the first two weeks of Horizon League play, Cleveland State stands at 3-1 against #HLWBB opponents, marking the third straight year that the Vikings have picked up three wins out of their first four league games. Over the last two seasons, the Vikings have posted a 14-8 record in regular season league play, and enter Thursday's contest ranked third in the current league standings.
…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.
MILLER CONTINUES STRONG PLAY
Last time out, junior Mariah Miller had an impact on both ends of the court, as she posted her third double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds against the Flames. For the season, Miller leads the Vikings and ranks second among league players with 16.1 points per game, while she ranks fourth in the league averaging 8.2 boards. In league play only, Miller is averaging a double-double (15.3 points & 10.0 rebounds), while she has now tallied double-digit points in all but one game she has played in this season.
VIKINGS WITH THE STEAL
Entering Thursday's game against Green Bay the Vikings continue to lead the Horizon League with 138 total steals on the year, including 41 steals in the first four #HLWBB games of the year. The Vikings have finished with 11 steals in three of their first four league contests, and are averaging 9.1 steals per game overall this season. Individually, Jade Ely is tops among league players, averaging 2.4 steals per game, while Mariah White ranks sixth with 1.7 takeaways per contest.
#HLWBB FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONORS
So far this season, Savanna Crockett has been named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week four times, a mark that leads all league players. Crockett's four league weekly honors are the most for a Viking since the 2015-16 campaign when redshirt freshman Ashanti Abshaw picked up six #HLWBB Freshman of the Week accolades. Entering the third week of Horizon League play, Crockett is the top freshman among league players in rebounding (1st overall - 9.8 rpg), blocked shots (3rd - 1.5 bpg) and scoring (15th - 11.1 ppg).
Through the first 15 games of the 2018-19 season, Savanna Crockett has recorded eight double-doubles, including a 10-point and 15-rebound performance against UIC last time out. Crockett is one of just 21 players nationwide to have at least eight double-doubles on the year - the only freshman to eclipse the mark - and leads the Horizon League in the category.
ELY ON THE OFFENSIVE END
In Horizon League games only, junior Jade Ely has been Cleveland State's top offensive threat, averaging 15.8 points per game to rank third among league players. Through four #HLWBB games, Ely has posted two 20-point performances, including a 25-point effort against UIC last time out. Overall this year, Ely is one of four Vikings to average double-digit points, ranking second on the team with 15.8 points per contest.
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 11.8 points and a team-best 3.4 assists per game. White, who is one of the most efficient shooters on the team with a .458 field goal percentage, has improved her scoring by more than 10.0 points per game since last year. White is also averaging 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game so far this year.
VIKINGS ON THE DEAN'S LIST
With the 2018 Fall Semester in the books, five Vikings earned a spot on the Cleveland State University Dean's List - Dana DeGraffenreid, Isabella Geraci, Isabelle Gradwell, Rachel Slaney, and Mariah White. This marks the first Dean's List honors for DeGraffenreid, Geraci, Gradwell, and Slaney, while White has earned a spot on the Dean's List every semester of her collegiate career (3).
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 422-125, which includes a Division III National Title during the 2007-08 season at Howard Payne.
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 their Wisconsin roadswing at Milwaukee on Saturday, January 12, facing the Panthers at 3:00 p.m. EST.