Jan 11, 2019
SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will continue its roadswing through the state of Wisconsin on Saturday, January 12, traveling to Milwaukee for a 3:00 p.m. EST contest. Entering the matchup, Cleveland State stands at 6-10 overall this year and 3-2 in Horizon League play, while Milwaukee owns a 6-9 overall record including a 1-3 mark against #HLWBB opponents.
A WIN ON SATURDAY WOULD…
Put the Vikings back in the win column…Improve Cleveland State to 4-2 in Horizon League play…Mark CSU's fourth win out of the last six games…Mark the first win for the Vikings over Milwaukee since the 2014-15 campaign.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/MILWAUKEE SERIES
Saturday's game will be the 55th meeting between the two teams, with Milwaukee owning a 31-23 advantage in the overall series. Entering Saturday's matchup, the Panthers have won seven straight meetings, with Cleveland State's last victory coming as a 67-58 decision during the 2014-15 campaign.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
Milwaukee enters the weekend with a 6-9 overall record on the season, including a 1-3 mark against Horizon League opponents…The Panthers picked up their first #HLWBB victory of the season last time out, earning a 71-68 overtime victory against Youngstown State…The win over YSU snapped a four-game losing skid for the Panthers, and marked just their third win at home this year…Earlier this year, Milwaukee was selected to finish fifth in #HLWBB play, and currently ranks eighth in the league standings…As a team, the Panthers lead the league in three-point field goal percentage (.345) and blocked shots (4.5).
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings dropped a hard fought contest at Green Bay, falling in a 62-53 decision. Mariah Miller led all scorers with 15 points on the night, while Jade Ely chipped in 12 points on a 4-for-7 effort from the floor. As a team, the Vikings tallied 13 steals, including five from Ely and four from Mariah White. Cleveland State posted one of its best performances from the free throw line against the Phoenix, making 11 straight free throws before missing the final two to go 11-for-13 on the night.
VIKINGS WITH THE STEAL
Entering Saturday's game at Milwaukee the Vikings continue to lead the Horizon League with 151 total steals on the year, including 54 steals in the first five #HLWBB games of the year. The Vikings have finished with 10+ steals in four of their first five league contests, including 13 against Green Bay last time out. As a team, the Vikings are averaging 9.4 steals per game, while Jade Ely is tops among league players individually, averaging 2.6 steals per game, and Mariah White ranks fourth with 1.8 takeaways per contest.
MILLER & ELY OFFENSIVELY IN #HLWBB PLAY
Entering Saturday's contest against the Panthers, the junior duo of Mariah Miller and Jade Ely have been Cleveland State's top offensive threat, combining for 49-percent of CSU's offense during Horizon League play. Miller leads the Vikings averaging 15.2 points per game, while Ely is averaging 15.0 points per contest, standing as two of just three #HLWBB players to average 15.0+ points per game in league games only. Through five league contests, Miller and Ely have combined for nine double-digit games.
#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 Saturday's contest at Milwaukee, Crockett is the top freshman among league players in rebounding (1st overall - 9.7 rpg), blocked shots (3rd - 1.4 bpg) and scoring (16th - 10.9 ppg).
Through the first 16 games of the 2018-19 season, Savanna Crockett has recorded eight double-doubles, including two against league opponents (at Oakland, vs. UIC). Crockett is one of just 24 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.
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 11.7 points and a team-best 3.4 assists per game. White, who is one of the most efficient shooters on the team with a .455 field goal percentage, has improved her scoring by more than 10.0 points per game since last year. White is also averaging 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game so far this year.
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.
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 422-126, 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 return home for a brief two-game homestand next weekend, hosting Northern Kentucky on Friday, January 18 and Wright State on Sunday, January 20.