SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will return to the road to begin a three-game roadswing this weekend, beginning with a 7:00 p.m. contest at LIU on Saturday, November 16. Entering Saturday's contest, the Vikings stand at 1-1 on the season, while the Sharks are currently 0-3 this year.
A WIN ON SATURDAY WOULD…
Put the Vikings on a two-game winstreak…Even the overall record against LIU.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/LIU SERIES
Saturday's game will be the second meeting between the two teams, with LIU picking up a 62-52 victory during the 2006-07 season.
SCOUTING THE SHARKS
LIU enters Saturday's game searching for its first win on the season, as the Sharks stand at 0-3 after losses to Saint Peter's, Rhode Island and Fairfield. LIU returns nine letterwinners from last season, and is under the direction of first year head coach Rene Haynes. Earlier this season, the Sharks were selected to finish eighth in the NEC Preseason Poll, while Brandy Thomas was named to the Preseason All-League Team. Entering the weekend, Thomas leads the team averaging 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, while Jeydah Johnson is also averaging double-digit points (10.3 ppg) for the Sharks.
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 10-21 record at Cleveland State and a 426-137 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.
VIKINGS ECLIPSE CENTURY MARK
Cleveland State recorded the 12th 100-point game in program history last time out, finishing with 110 points against Davis & Elkins. The 110 points marked the fourth highest single-game total, while it was also the second straight season that the Vikings have scored 100 or more points in their home opener (113 vs. Salem last year). After Wednesday's win against Davis & Elkins, Cleveland State is now 10-2 all-time when scoring 100+ points.
MILLER HAS CAREER-HIGH NIGHT AGAINST DAVIS & ELKINS
Senior Mariah Miller posted a career-high night against Davis & Elkins last time out, finishing with 26 points on 10 made field goals. Both marks were career-highs for Miller, while the 26 points marked just the fifth 20-point of her career. After two games this season, Miller leads the Vikings and the Horizon League averaging 21.0 points per game.
CROCKET ON THE BOARDS
Sophomore Savanna Crockett recorded her second straight double-digit rebounding performance last time out, grabbing 11 boards against Davis & Elkins in the home opener. For the season, Crockett leads the team and the Horizon League averaging 12.0 rebounds per game, while she ranks 24th nationally in the category.
VIKING OFFENSE FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS
As a team, Cleveland State posted a .542 clip from the floor against Davis & Elkins last time out, converting 39 of 72 field goals. Four Vikings finished with double-digit points, including Mariah Miller (26 pts) and Taylah Levy (22 pts) who both recorded 20-point performances. Cleveland State also posted a .536 clip from three-point range on the game, converting 15 shots from behind-the-arc to mark the fourth highest single-game total in program history.
…AND SHARING THE WEALTH
The Vikings posted a program record 31 assists against Davis & Elkins last time out, breaking the 30-assist plateau for the sixth time in program history. Cleveland State's 31 assists came on 39 made field goals, and included eight from freshman Julia Hintz and seven from sophomore Savanna Crockett. Hintz and Crockett were two of eight Vikings to record at least one assist on the game.
VIKINGS WITH THE TAKEAWAY
Cleveland State finished with 21 steals against Davis & Elkins last time out, led by Mariah White who recorded a career-high nine steals on the game. Entering the weekend, Cleveland State ranks 18th nationally averaging 14.0 steals per game, while White ranks third nationally averaging 5.50 takeaways per game and 16th with 11 total steals on the year.
VIKINGS ON THE BLOCK
Last time out, Cleveland State recorded seven total blocked shots for the second straight game, and enters the weekend at the top of the Horizon League standings averaging 7.00 blocks per game. Against Davis & Elkins, Aminata Ly finished with five blocked shots, and is tied for the #HLWBB lead averaging 2.5 blocks per game. Nadia Dumas (3 blocks), Mariah Miller (2), Savanna Crockett (2), and Dana DeGraffenreid (2) have also recorded blocked shots through two games this season.
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 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.
Cleveland State will continue its three-game roadswing at Hofstra on Monday, November 18, with tipoff set for 5:00 p.m.