SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will close out its current two-game homestand on Saturday, February 2, hosting Oakland in a 1:00 p.m. contest. The Vikings will be trying for a 2-0 weekend in the Wolstein Center, as they enter the game with an 8-13 overall record and a 5-5 mark in Horizon League play following their win over Detroit Mercy last time out. Oakland currently stands at 4-17 overall and 1-9 in league action.
A WIN ON SATURDAY WOULD…
Give the Vikings back-to-back wins for the third time this season…Mark a season sweep for the Vikings against Oakland…Put the Vikings at 6-5 in #HLWBB play.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/OAKLAND SERIES
Saturday's game against Oakland will be the 13th meeting between the two teams, with Cleveland State owning a 7-5 advantage in the overall series. The Vikings picked up a 64-62 victory at Oakland earlier this year, and have now won three straight and five of the last six matchups.
…THE FIRST TIME AROUND
The first meeting between the two teams came in the Horizon League opener, when the Vikings picked up a 64-62 victory at Oakland. Mariah White finished with a team-high 22 points, while Savanna Crockett and Mariah Miller both added 16 points. As a team, the Vikings posted 18 assists on 23 made field goals, while they held a 45-40 advantage on the boards.
SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES
Oakland enters Saturday's game with a 4-17 overall record, including a 1-9 mark in Horizon League play…Oakland's lone #HLWBB victory came over Detroit Mercy, when they earned a 74-67 victory earlier this year…The Grizzlies are currently on a seven-game losing skid, and are in the midst of a five-game roadswing…With the 1-9 record in league play, Oakland is currently tied for eighth place in the league standings…Brianna Breedy leads the league with a 2.5 assist/turnover ratio, while LaKyesha Stennis ranks second averaging 2.1 three-point field goals made.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings opened the second half of Horizon League play with a 67-51 victory over Detroit Mercy, notching the season sweep over the Titans. Three Vikings finished in double-figures, led by Mariah White with 17. Mariah Miller and Savanna Crockett combined for 26 rebounds, as the Vikings held a 46-34 edge on the boards. As a team, the Vikings recorded 18 assists and grabbed 12 steals.
For Saturday's game against Oakland, the Vikings will be trading in their normal green & white jerseys and wearing special pink uniforms in honor of the team's annual #ThinkPink initiative. Each year, Cleveland State participates in the national Play4Kay initiative to help raise awareness for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
VIKINGS IN #HLWBB PLAY
After finishing the first half of the league slate with a 4-5 record, Cleveland State is now back to even on the year following the 16-point win over Detroit Mercy last time out. The win moved the Vikings into a tie for fifth place in the #HLWBB standings, while they are one of seven teams to post five or more wins in league play so far this season.
MILLER NOTCHES BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Junior Mariah Miller recorded her second straight double-double against the Titans last time out, finishing with 15 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. Miller, who also finished with 13 points and 10 boards against YSU last week, has now recorded five double-doubles on the year and is one of four league players with five or more double-doubles this season.
…MILLER ON THE OFFENSIVE END
So far this season, Mariah Miller has been Cleveland State's top offensive threat, ranking second among Horizon League players averaging 15.8 points per game as one of only two players averaging 15.0+ ppg. Following her 15-point performance against Detroit Mercy, Miller has now recorded double-digit points in 17 straight games. Miller has also been one of the most efficient shooters from the floor, as she ranks 11th with a .443 clip.
VIKINGS WITH THE STEAL
Entering Saturday's game against Oakland the Vikings continue to lead the Horizon League with 202 total steals on the year - the only team to surpass the 200-steal mark so far this season. The Vikings have finished with 10+ steals in eight of their first 10 league contests, including 12 against the Titans last time out. As a team, the Vikings are averaging 9.6 steals per game this season.
#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 Saturday's contest against the Grizzlies, Crockett is the top freshman among league players in rebounding (2nd overall - 8.8 rpg) and blocked shots (3rd - 1.5 bpg), and is the second rookie in scoring (12th - 11.2 ppg).
…CROCKETT ON THE BLOCK
Last time out, Savanna Crockett recorded three blocked shots against Detroit Mercy, recording three or more blocks for the fifth time this season. Crockett, who has a team-high 32 blocked shots on the year, ranks third among league players averaging 1.5 blocks per game. With at least eight games left this year, Crockett is just 11 blocks shy of tying a CSU freshman class record and earning a spot in the top-10 in the CSU single season record book.
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 424-129, 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 return to the road next week, traveling to UIC (Friday, February 8) and IUPUI (Sunday, February 10).