CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State women's basketball team extended its winstreak to five straight games Wednesday evening, picking up a 66-62 victory over Akron to improve to 5-1 on the season.
· Mariah Miller led the Vikings with 28 points on the night, while Mariah White chipped in 16 points.
· On the boards, Mariah Miller grabbed a team-high 13, while Dana DeGraffenreid posted 12 rebounds.
·As a team, the Vikings posted 17 assists on the night, including seven from Mariah White.
·The Viking defense recorded nine steals, and forced Akron into 16 turnovers.
·The Vikings shot 40-percent from the floor, including a .529 clip during the third quarter.
· Wednesday's win marked the fifth straight for the Vikings, and also kept CSU perfect at home this season with a 2-0 record in the Wolstein Center.
· Mariah Miller recorded her first double-double of the season with her 28 points and 13 rebounds, while she notched her fourth 20+ point game of the year.
· Dana DeGraffenreid recorded a season-high with her 12 boards against Akron, which included four offensive rebounds.
· The Vikings have now shot 40-percent or better during five of their six games this season.
· Cleveland State's 17 assists marks the second-highest single-game total this season, while they are now averaging 15.8 per game.
PDF BOX SCORE: Cleveland State 66, Akron 62
After coming out of the halftime break trailing by six at 35-29, the Vikings posted five straight points to begin the third quarter, closing the gap to 35-34 at the 7:58 mark. Cleveland State's offense during this stretch came from Mariah Miller and Mariah White, as White posted two points and Miller recorded three.
Although the Zips were able to extend their lead over the next few possessions, an Isabella Geraci three-pointer at the 5:02 mark brought the Vikings back within one at 40-39 heading into the halfway mark of the third quarter.
The Vikings then outscored Akron 6-2 over the next 2:40, gaining a 45-42 advantage with just over two minutes left in the period. Cleveland State continued its momentum throughout the end of the quarter then, closing out the period with a Miller buzzer-beater from half court to gain a 51-44 lead heading into the final frame.
Although Akron was able to regain control of the game over the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Cleveland State worked its way back into the contest late in the game, pulling within two at 60-58 following a pair of Miller layups at the 1:56 mark.
Akron was able to extend its lead once again with a pair of free throws over the next few plays, but another Miller three-pointer put the score at 62-61 with just 20 seconds left to play.
The Vikings were forced to foul Akron on the ensuing inbounds play then, but the Zips weren't able to capitalize from the free throw line, missing both shots and allowing Isabelle Gradwell to grab the rebound.
After a CSU timeout that allowed the Vikings to advance the ball, White converted a layup in traffic, giving the Vikings a one-point lead at 63-62 with just 12 seconds left in regulation.
The Vikings then held strong on the defensive end on Akron's next possession, forcing them into a turnover and foul, putting Taylah Levy on the free throw line with three seconds left on the clock.
Levy split her trip to the free throw line, putting the score at 64-62 Cleveland State, and another defensive stance from the Vikings forced Akron into yet another turnover and foul situation, putting Miller at the line.
Miller was able to convert both of her free throw attempts to give Cleveland State a 66-62 lead, and then a White steal on the inbounds play clinched the four-point victory for the Vikings.
The Vikings will return to the road to begin a four-game roadswing, beginning with a 5:00 p.m. contest at Delaware State on Monday, December 2.