SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will continue Horizon League play on the road this weekend, beginning with an 8:00 p.m. EST contest at UIC on Friday, February 8. Entering Friday's game, Cleveland State stands at 9-13 overall this year and 6-5 in #HLWBB matchups, while UIC owns a 3-19 overall record and 1-10 mark in league play.
A WIN ON FRIDAY WOULD…
Put the Vikings on a three-game winstreak for the first time this season…Keep Cleveland State perfect during the month of February…Mark a season sweep for the Vikings against UIC…Put the Vikings at 7-5 in #HLWBB play.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/UIC SERIES
Friday's game will be the 76th meeting between the two teams, with Cleveland State owning a 42-33 advantage in the all-time series. The Vikings have won six straight against the Flames, including a 71-53 victory earlier this year. When playing at UIC, the Flames own a 14-9 edge, with their last victory at home coming during the 2015-16 season.
…THE FIRST TIME AROUND
The first meeting between the two teams came during the second week of #HLWBB action, with Cleveland State earning a 71-53 victory. The Vikings had four players finish in double-figures, led by Jade Ely with 25 points. Two Vikings finished with double-doubles on the game (Savanna Crockett & Mariah Miller), as Cleveland State outrebounded UIC 58-36.
SCOUTING THE FLAMES
UIC enters Friday's game with a 3-19 overall record, including a 1-10 mark against Horizon League opponents…UIC's lone #HLWBB win of the year came against Oakland, when the Flames earned a 69-65 overtime win at home…UIC is currently on a six-game losing skid and is tied for eighth place in the league standings…As a team, UIC ranks second in the HL standings averaging 4.2 blocked shots per game, while Jada Nneji leads the league with 60 total blocks this year…Offensively, Brittany Byrd leads the Flames and ranks third among league players averaging 14.5 points per game.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings picked up their second straight win with a 98-90 victory over Oakland, marking the season sweep of the Grizzlies. Cleveland State shot 53-percent from the floor, with Mariah White (29 pts) and Savanna Crockett (24) both notching 20-point games. As a team, the Vikings recorded 14 assists on 37 made field goals, along with 10 steals and five blocked shots.
VIKINGS IN #HLWBB PLAY
After posting back-to-back wins over Detroit Mercy and Oakland last weekend, Cleveland State now stands at 6-5 in Horizon League play with four more weeks left of the regular season. The two wins kept the Vikings in a tie for fifth place in the #HLWBB standings, while they are one of six teams to post six or more wins in league play so far this season.
WHITE NAMED #HLWBB PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Earlier this week, sophomore Mariah White was named the Horizon League Player of the Week after leading the Vikings to a pair of wins over Detroit Mercy and Oakland last weekend. White averaged 23.0 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game last weekend, while she shot 67-percent from the floor. White is the second Viking to earn weekly honors from the league this season (Savanna Crockett), but is the first to earn Player of the Week accolades.
…WHITE NOTCHES CAREER-HIGH AGAINST OAKLAND
Last time out, Mariah White recorded a career-high 29-point performance against the Grizzlies, posting her fourth 20-point game of the season. White's 29 points came off a career-high 13 made field goals, as she posted a .722 clip from the floor (13-for-18). White, who is one of four Vikings to be averaging double-digit points this season (13.2 ppg), has increased her scoring average by more than 10.0 points per game from her rookie campaign, and is one of three Vikings to appear in the starting lineup during all 22 games this season.
VIKINGS WITH THE STEAL
Entering Friday's game against the Flames, Cleveland State continues to lead the Horizon League with 212 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 nine of their first 11 league contests, including 10 against the Grizzlies last time out. As a team, the Vikings are averaging 9.6 steals per game this season.
CLEVELAND STATE FIRE POWER
Offensively, the Vikings had one of their best games of the season last time out, shooting 53-percent from the floor, converting 37 field goals and eclipsing 90 total points. So far this season, Cleveland State has notched a .500 clip or better on four occasions, while the 37 made field goals and 98 total points are the second higest single-game marks this year. Among #HLWBB teams this season, the Vikings rank second in field goal percentage (.413) and third in scoring offense (68.2 ppg).
…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 15.7 points per game as one of only two players averaging 15.0+ ppg. Following her 13-point performance against Oakland, Miller has now recorded double-digit points in 18 straight games and has 314 total points on the 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 Friday's contest at UIC, Crockett is the top freshman among league players in rebounding (2nd overall - 8.8 rpg), blocked shots (3rd - 1.5 bpg), and scoring (11th - 11.8 ppg).
…CROCKETT ON THE BLOCK
Last time out, Savanna Crockett recorded two blocked shots against Oakland, recording two or more blocks for the 12th 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 seven games left this year, Crockett is just nine 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 425-129, 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 continue their two-game roadswing on Sunday, February 10, traveling to IUPUI for a 2:00 p.m. contest.