SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will officially kick off the 2019-20 season this week, traveling to Bowling Green for a 6:00 p.m. contest on Wednesday, November 6. The Vikings will be opening their 47th season of basketball, and their second under head coach Chris Kielsmeier.
A WIN ON WEDNESDAY WOULD…
Give head coach Chris Kielsmeier a 2-0 record in season openers at Cleveland State…Put the Vikings at 7-3 in season openers over the last 10 years…Mark the third straight win for the Vikings against Bowling Green.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/BOWLING GREEN SERIES
Wednesday's game will be the 15th meeting between the two teams, and the first since the 2016-17 campaign. Although Bowling Green owns a 9-5 edge in the series, the Vikings have picked up two straight wins against the Falcons, earning victories during the 2016-17 and 2015-16 seasons.
Cleveland State returns eight letterwinners from last season's squad, including the duo of Mariah Miller and Savanna Crockett who earned #HLWBB Preseason honors earlier this season. This duo is joined by Mariah White and JaMiya Braxton who finished last year as part of the starting lineup for the Vikings, giving Cleveland State four returning starters for the upcoming 2019-20 campaign. This experienced group will be joined by four true freshmen along with redshirt sophomore Dana DeGraffenreid to give head coach Chris Kielsmeier a well-rounded roster for the season.
…HEAD COACH CHRIS KIELSMEIER
The Vikings will be under the direction of second-year head coach Chris Kielsmeier during the 2019-20 campaign, who owns a 10-20 record at Cleveland State and a 426-136 overall record in 19 seasons as a head coach. Kielsmeier, who joined the Vikings as the seventh head coach in program history prior to last season, also had stops at Wayne Sate (NE) and Howard Payne, becoming the all-time winningest coach at both schools. During his time at Howard Payne, Kielsmeier led the program to a Division III National Title.
CLEVELAND STATE TABBED SEVENTH IN PRESEASON POLL
Last month the Vikings were tabbed to finish seventh in the Horizon League Preseason Poll - picking up 37 points. Last season, the Vikings finished seventh in the league standings with a 7-11 #HLWBB record, falling in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament. Defending champion Wright State and Green Bay were tied at the top of the preseason standings, while IUPUI also earned first-place votes to finish third in the poll.
MILLER & CROCKETT NAMED #HLWBB PRESEASON SECOND TEAM
Earlier this season, senior Mariah Miller and sophomore Savanna Crockett were named to the #HLWBB Preseason Second Team, marking just the fourth time that two Vikings have earned Preseason honors in the same season. Miller led the Vikings in scoring last season averaging 15.5 points per game, while she ranked second among league players in the category. Crockett averaged 11.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game as a freshman last year, recording 11 double-doubles to lead the Horizon League.
…POSTSEASON HONOREES RETURN
Along with Mariah Miller and Savanna Crockett, junior Mariah White also returns as a 2018-19 postseason #HLWBB honoree, with Miller earning First Team accolades, White being named to the All-Defensive Team and Crockett being tabbed the Freshman of the Year. White posted 65 total steals as a sophomore last year, ranking second in the Horizon League standings averaging 2.3 steals per game.
During the 2019-20 season the Vikings will play eight of their first 11 games away from the friendly confines of the Wolstein Center - the only Horizon League team to play eight or more true road games during the non-league portion of their schedule. During this stretch the Vikings will travel to six different states and will cover over 5,200 miles throughout the first two months of the season. Cleveland State's eight road games during the non-league slate marks the highest total for the Vikings since the 2000-01 campaign.
Cleveland State will have a week off from competition, returning to the floor in the 2019-20 home opener when the Vikings host Davis & Elkins on Wednesday, November 13.