Posted: Jan 30, 2019
SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will begin the second half of Horizon League play with a two-game homestand this week, starting with a 7:00 p.m. contest against Detroit Mercy on Thursday, January 31. After the first part of the #HLWBB slate, the Vikings stand at 7-13 overall and 4-5 in league play, while Detroit Mercy currently stands at 3-17 on the year and 1-8 against league opponents.
A WIN ON THURSDAY WOULD…
Put the Vikings back in the win column…Give Cleveland State an even 5-5 record in #HLWBB play…Mark a season sweep for the Vikings against Detroit Mercy.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/DETROIT MERCY SERIES
Thursday's game will be the 62nd meeting all-time between the two teams, with Detroit Mercy owning a 40-21 advantage in the overall series. Entering Thursday's game, the Vikings have won three straight against the Titans, and four of the last five matchups.
…THE FIRST TIME AROUND
The first meeting between the two teams came during the first week of #HLWBB play earlier this season, with Cleveland State claiming a 67-49 victory at Calihan Hall. Jade Ely and Mariah Miller combined for 38 points in the first matchup, while the Vikings tallied 13 assists on 23 made field goals. The Vikings held the advantage on the boards against the Titans, outrebounding Detroit Mercy 49-27, with a team-high nine rebounds coming from Rachel Slaney.
SCOUTING THE TITANS
Detroit Mercy enters Thursday's contest with a 3-17 record on the season, including a 1-8 mark in league play…The Titans are currently tied for eighth in the league standings with Oakland and UIC after the first part of the Horizon League slate…Detroit Mercy's lone #HLWBB victory came against UIC earlier this year, while the Titans enter Thursday's game on a four-game losing skid…Brittney Jackson (9.8 ppg) and Zoey Oatis (9.7 ppg) have been UDM's leading scorers this year, while Oatis also leads the team averaging 2.1 steals per game to rank second among league players.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings finished the first half of league play on the road, dropping a 73-55 contest at Youngstown State. Mariah White led the Viking offense with 17 points, while Mariah Miller tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, the Vikings recorded 12 steals on the game, while they also posted four blocked shots.
#HLWBB FIRST HALF RECAP
Last weekend marked the end of the first half of Horizon League regular season play, with Cleveland State finishing the first nine #HLWBB games with a 4-5 record. The Vikings currently sit in the middle of the league standings and are one of seven teams to post four or more wins during the first nine games.
VIKINGS WITH THE STEAL
Entering Thursday's game against Detroit Mercy the Vikings continue to lead the Horizon League with 190 total steals on the year, including 93 steals in the first nine #HLWBB games of the year. The Vikings have finished with 10+ steals in seven of their first nine league contests, including 12 at Youngstown State last time out. As a team, the Vikings are averaging 9.5 steals per game this season.
MILLER NOTCHES DOUBLE-DOUBLE AT YSU
Last time out, junior Mariah Miller recorded her fourth double-double of the year, posting 13 points and 10 rebounds at Youngstown State. Miller, who leads the Vikings averaging 15.9 points per game this season, has tallied double-digit points in all but one game she has played in, including 16 straight performances. Among Horizon League players, Miller ranks second in scoring as one of just three players to average 15.0+ points per game this season.
WHITE IN THE STARTING LINEUP
After earning a spot in the starting lineup at the start of the 2018-19 campaign, sophomore Mariah White has made the most of her time on the court, averaging 12.3 points and a team-best 3.5 assists per game. White, who is one of the most efficient shooters on the team with a .464 field goal percentage, has improved her scoring by more than 10.0 points per game since last year. White is also averaging 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game so far this year.
#HLWBB FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONORS
So far this season, Savanna Crockett has been named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week four times, a mark that leads all league players. Crockett's four league weekly honors are the most for a Viking since the 2015-16 campaign when redshirt freshman Ashanti Abshaw picked up six #HLWBB Freshman of the Week accolades. Entering Thursday's contest against the Titans, Crockett is the top freshman among league players in rebounding (1st overall - 8.8 rpg) and blocked shots (3rd - 1.5 bpg), and is the second rookie in scoring (12th - 11.5 ppg).
VIKINGS ON THE DEAN'S LIST
With the 2018 Fall Semester in the books, five Vikings earned a spot on the Cleveland State University Dean's List - Dana DeGraffenreid, Isabella Geraci, Isabelle Gradwell, Rachel Slaney, and Mariah White. This marks the first Dean's List honors for DeGraffenreid, Geraci, Gradwell, and Slaney, while White has earned a spot on the Dean's List every semester of her collegiate career (3).
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 423-129, which includes a Division III National Title during the 2007-08 season at Howard Payne.
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 their brief two-game homestand on Saturday, February 2, hosting Oakland at 1:00 p.m.