SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will hit the road for the first time during the 2018-19 season on Friday, November 9, as the Vikings are set for a 1:30 p.m. contest at Eastern Michigan. The Vikings enter the game with a 1-0 record on the year, while Friday will mark the first game of the season for the Eagles.
A WIN FRIDAY WOULD…
Give the Vikings a perfect 2-0 record during the Chris Kielsmeier era…Mark the second straight win for the Vikings over Eastern Michigan…Keep Cleveland State undefeated during the 2018-19 season.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/EASTERN MICHIGAN SERIES
Friday's game will be the 17th meeting between the two teams, with EMU owning an 11-5 advantage in the overall series. Cleveland State picked up a 77-65 victory in last year's meeting, snapping a three-game winstreak for the Eagles in the series. A win on Friday would mark the first for the Vikings when playing at Eastern Michigan.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
Eastern Michigan will be playing in its first contest of the 2018-19 season on Friday, and returns eight letterwinners - including four starters…The Eagles will be under the direction of third year head coach Fred Castro, who led EMU to an 11-20 record last season…Redshirt senior Danielle Minott was named to the Mid-American Preseason team earlier this year after averaging 16.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season…Over the last six years, EMU has opened its season at home on five occasions, owning a perfect 5-0 record in those matchups.
Cleveland State returns six letterwinners from last season's squad, including the senior duo of Rachel Slaney and Mariana Bautista. This duo is joined by all-league honoree Jade Ely, Mariah Miller, Mariah White, and Anyia Pride to form a veteran core for the upcoming season.
This experienced group will be joined by five true freshmen - Shyla Latone, Savanna Crockett, Isabella Geraci, JaMiya Braxton, and Isabelle Gradwell - along with redshirt freshman Nadia Dumas and sophomore transfer Dana DeGraffenreid.
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 417-116, which includes a Division III National Title during the 2007-08 season at Howard Payne.
…VIKINGS OPEN KIELSMEIER ERA WITH VICTORY
Cleveland State opened up the 2018-19 season on Tuesday, cruising to a 113-81 victory over Salem. The win marked the first of the Chris Kielsmeier era, and marked the seventh time over the last 10 years that the Vikings were victorious in their season opener. Kielsmeier is the third Cleveland State head coach to win their first game on the Viking sideline, and the first since Louise Furjanic during the 1977-78 campaign.
MILLER HAS CAREER-HIGH NIGHT AGAINST SALEM
Junior Mariah Miller posted a career-high night against Salem in the season opener, finishing with 22 points and 17 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double. Miller tallied career-highs in points and rebounds against the Tigers, with the 22 points marking the first 20-point game of her career. Miller went 9-for-12 from the floor in 27 minutes of action.
VIKING OFFENSE FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS
As a team, Cleveland State posted a .597 clip from the floor against Salem last time out, marking the second highest single-game field goal percentage in program history. Six Vikings - including all five in the starting lineup - finished with double-digit points, led by Mariah Miller with 22. Cleveland State went 46-for-77 from the field on the game, including a 12-for-19 mark during the first quarter.
…AND SHARING THE WEALTH
The Vikings did a great job of spreading the offense around during the season opener, recording 27 total assists on 46 made field goals. Nine out of the 10 players that saw action against Salem recorded at least one assist, with Jade Ely posting a career-high seven helpers.
VIKINGS ECLIPSE CENTURY MARK
Cleveland State recorded just the 11th 100-point game in program history last time out, recording 113 total points against Salem. The 113 points marked the second highest single-game total, while it was also the first time since the 2013-14 season that the Vikings have scored 100 or more points. After Tuesday's win against Salem, Cleveland State is now 9-2 all-time when scoring 100+ points.
CLEVELAND STATE TABBED EIGHTH IN PRESEASON POLL
Last month 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.
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 close out the first week of the 2018-19 campaign on Sunday, November 11, traveling to Ball State for a 2:00 p.m. contest.