SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will finally return to the Wolstein Center for its first home game in over two weeks on Wednesday, December 5, hosting the Toledo Rockets in a 5:00 p.m. contest. Entering the game, the Vikings stand at 3-5 overall this season and will be trying to snap a three-game losing streak, while Toledo enters the game with a 5-2 mark on the year.
A WIN ON WEDNESDAY WOULD…
Keep the Vikings perfect in the Wolstein Center this season…Snap a three-game losing skid for the Vikings…Mark the first win for Cleveland State in the Toledo/Cleveland State series in the last four seasons.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/TOLEDO SERIES
Wednesday's contest will be the 27th meeting between the two teams, with Toledo owning a 17-9 advantage in the overall series. Toledo has won the last three matchups, with Cleveland State's last victory coming in an 81-71 decision during the 2014-15 season. Out of the nine Cleveland State wins in the series, seven have come when playing at home.
SCOUTING THE ROCKETS
Toledo enters the week with a 5-2 record on the season, and is currently in the midst of a three-game winstreak. Wednesday's game will be the fifth of a five-game roadswing for the Rockets, and their third game over the last seven days. The Rockets are under the direction of 11th-year head coach Tricia Cullop and return four starters from last year's squad that advanced to the second round of the WNIT. Earlier this year, Toledo was picked to finish second in the MAC West Division Preseason Poll, while senior Kaayla McIntyre was selected to the All-MAC West Division Preseason Team.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings closed out a three-game roadswing at Ohio, dropping a 72-54 decision to the undefeated Bobcats. Mariah Miller finished with a team-high 15 points, while Savanna Crockett grabbed a team-best eight rebounds. Isabelle Gradwell recorded a season-high nine points on the game, knocking down a trio of three-pointers.
VIKINGS @ THE WOLSTEIN CENTER
Over the last 17 home games – dating back to the beginning of last season – the Vikings own a 13-4 record when playing in the Wolstein Center. During the 2017-18 campaign, the Vikings recorded the sixth double-digit win season at home over the last 10 seasons, while they stand at 3-0 at home so far this season. Cleveland State has 11 home games remaining this year, including Wednesday's matchup against Toledo.
…DOUBLE THE FUN
Wednesday will mark the first of two doubleheaders at the Wolstein Center for Cleveland State basketball during the 2018-19 season, as the men will host Bowling Green at 7:30 p.m. following the women's game. The second doubleheader of the year will happen on Wednesday, December 19, with the women hosting Bradley and the men hosting Niagara.
VIKINGS STRONG ON OFFENSE
Entering the fifth week of the season, Cleveland State stands as one of the best offensive teams in the Horizon League, leading #HLWBB teams in points per game (74.0) and field goal percentage (.463). For the season, the Vikings have eclipsed the 60-point mark during all but one game, including a pair of 80+ point games against Salem and San Diego, while they have notched a .450 clip from the field on four occasions.
VIKINGS WITH THE STEAL
After eight games this season, Cleveland State currently sits at the top of the Horizon League averaging 9.8 steals per game, and has recorded 79 total takeaways this year. Earlier this season, the Vikings recorded double-digit steals in three straight games, including a season-high 16 takeaways against Illinois State.
CROCKETT NAMED #HLWBB FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Last week, Savanna Crockett picked up Cleveland State's first weekly honor of the season, as she was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week on Monday, November 26. Through three contests, Crockett averaged 12.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals, finishing with a .593 field goal percentage. Crockett led the Cleveland State rebounding effort in all three games last week, while she posted back-to-back double-doubles against San Diego and Tulane.
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 419-121, 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, November 6, 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.
VIKINGS ECLIPSE CENTURY MARK
Cleveland State recorded just the 11th 100-point game in program history in the 2018-19 season opener, 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 the win against Salem, Cleveland State is now 9-2 all-time when scoring 100+ points.
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 return to the road on Saturday, December 8, traveling to Marshall for a 5:00 p.m. contest.