INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With the 2017-18 women's basketball season right around the corner, the Horizon League announced the league matchups for the upcoming season Thursday afternoon, with Cleveland State beginning #HLWBB play in late December.
The 18-game league slate combined with Cleveland State's non-league schedule which was released last month, gives head coach Kate Peterson Abiad a full 29-game lineup for the 2017-18 season.
"This may be the most challenging league schedule that we have faced in my 15 years at Cleveland State," head coach Kate Peterson Abiad said. "The teams in the league are exceptionally strong this year, and a great majority of the top players from last year are returning, which will lead to a very exciting season of basketball. With the addition of IUPUI the league has taken another step forward and will contend as one of the best mid-major conferences in the country this season."
For the second straight season the Vikings will start Horizon League play during the month of December, as Cleveland State will host Oakland (Thursday, December 28) and Detroit Mercy (Saturday, December 30) to begin a four-game homestand. The league opener against Oakland will also mark the second straight season that the Vikings will be opening league play at home.
Cleveland State will continue this homestand against IUPUI (Thursday, January 4) and UIC (Saturday, January 6) the following week, before hitting the road for the first time during league play.
Next up the Vikings will not only embark on their first league roadtrip, but also one of the toughest stretches of their schedule. Cleveland State will make its annual trip to Wisconsin to face Milwaukee (Thursday, January 11) and Green Bay (Saturday, January 13), before traveling to Northern Kentucky (Monday, January 15) for its third game over a five-day span.
The Vikings will then return home to the friendly confines of the Wolstein Center for a three-game homestand, hosting Youngstown State (Saturday, January 20), Wright State (Thursday, January 25) and Northern Kentucky (Saturday, January 27).
"Our league schedule will begin with the majority of the games at home, and will conclude with six of the last eight on the road," Peterson Abiad said. "We will need to mature and grow as a team so that we are prepared to take on the challenge of the road to wrap up a long season. We look forward to the challenges that we will face during Horizon League play, and we are very excited to see what this team is capable of this year."
After starting Horizon League play with seven of the first 10 games at home, Cleveland State will close out the season with six of its last eight contests on the road during the month of February.
The Vikings will open this stretch with a four-game roadswing over the first two weeks of the month, traveling to Detroit Mercy (Thursday, February 1), Oakland (Saturday, February 3), UIC (Thursday, February 8), and IUPUI (Saturday, February 10).
Cleveland State's final homestand of the 2017-18 season will happen next, with the Vikings hosting Green Bay (Thursday, February 15) and Milwaukee (Saturday, February 17) in their final home contests of the year.
The Vikings will then hit the road once again to close out the regular season, traveling to Wright State (Monday, February 19) and Youngstown State (Saturday, February 24) to conclude the 18-game league slate.
The 2018 Horizon League Basketball Championship will once again be held in Detroit, Michigan, with this year's event being held in the brand new Little Caesars Arena. The tournament will be played from March 2-6 and will run concurrently with the men's tournament.