SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will hit the road for the final time during regular season play this weekend, beginning with a 7:00 p.m. contest at league-leading Wright State on Friday, February 22. The Vikings enter the matchup with a 10-16 overall record, including a 7-8 mark in Horizon League play, while the Raiders stand at 20-6 on the year and 12-2 in league action.
A WIN ON FRIDAY WOULD…
Snap a three-game losing streak for the Vikings…Put Cleveland State back at .500 in #HLWBB play with an 8-8 record…Give the Vikings their second win on the road over the last three games away from home.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/WRIGHT STATE SERIES
Friday's game will be the 75th meeting between the two teams, with the overall series tied at 37-37. The Raiders have won two straight matchups heading into Friday's contest, and seven of the last nine. When playing at Wright State, the Raiders own a 20-13 edge in 33 total games.
…THE FIRST TIME AROUND
In the first meeting between the two teams, Wright State came away with a slim five-point victory, picking up a 70-65 win back in January. The Vikings had three players finish the game in double-figures, led by Savanna Crockett who tallied a then career-high tying 18 points. The Vikings recorded just six steals on the game, while Mariah White recorded five of Cleveland State's 10 assists.
SCOUTING THE RAIDERS
Wright State enters Friday's game with a 20-6 overall record and a 12-2 mark in league play, and has won seven of its last eight games…The Raiders notched 20 wins for the sixth straight season following a 78-56 victory over Northern Kentucky last time out, and sit at the top of the league standings with two more weeks of regular season play remaining…WSU is averaging a league-best 70.5 points per game, while the Raiders are also grabbing a league-high 44.5 rebounds per game…Individually, Symone Simmons is averaging a league-best 9.2 rebounds per game, while Tyler Frierson sits at the top of the standings with a .574 field goal percentage.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings dropped a 76-63 contest against Green Bay despite a furious second half comeback. Four Vikings finished the game with double-digits, including Rachel Slaney who was just shy of her career-high with 17 points. The Vikings forced Green Bay into 17 turnovers, and recorded nine steals along with 11 assists.
VIKINGS IN #HLWBB PLAY
Entering the final two weeks of regular season play, Cleveland State stands at 7-8 in Horizon League action with just three games remaining on the #HLWBB schedule. The Vikings remain in sixth place in the standings following last weekend's games against Green Bay and Milwaukee, and are one of six teams to enter the week with seven or more league wins 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 13-point effort against Green Bay, Miller has now recorded double-digit points in 22 straight games.
CROCKETT NOTCHES 10th DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Last time out, freshman Savanna Crockett recorded her 10th double-double of the year, posting 13 points and 10 rebounds against Green Bay. Crockett, who is the leading #HLWBB freshman in scoring (12th - 11.4 ppg) and rebounding (3rd - 8.7 rpg), is the only league player with 10 or more double-doubles this season. Nationally, Crockett is one of 50 players to record 10+ double-doubles, and one of just three rookies.
VIKINGS WITH THE TAKEAWAY
After limiting Green Bay to just one steal last time out, Cleveland State regained its lead in steals per game, sitting at the top of the standings with 9.5 takeaways per game to begin the week. The Vikings have a league-best 248 total steals on the year, and have recorded double-digit steals in 10 of 15 #HLWBB games so far this season. Individually, Mariah White ranks second averaging 2.3 steals per game, while Rachel Slaney is tied for ninth with 1.4 spg.
CROCKETT ON THE BLOCK
Entering the final stretch of regular season play, Savanna Crockett has a team-best 40 blocked shots on the year, ranking third among league players averaging 1.5 blocks per game. With at least three games left this season, Crockett is just three blocks shy of tying a CSU freshman class record and earning a spot in the top-10 in the CSU single-season record book.
…BRAXTON TRACKING THREE-POINT MARK
JaMiya Braxton also enters the final three games of regular season play tracking down a freshman class record, as she is just nine three-pointers shy of tying the previous mark. Braxton, who has a team-best 46 three-pointers so far this season, has converted three or more shots from behind-the-arc during eight games this year, including a career-high five against Detroit Mercy and Oakland in back-to-back games.
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).
KLEIN PART OF 2019 HALL OF FAME CLASS
On Saturday, February 16 former Cleveland State women's basketball standout Kailey Klein was inducted into the Cleveland State Athletic Hall of Fame, becoming the 11th women's basketball player to earn the distinction. Klein (2006-10) guided Cleveland State to its first Horizon League Championship in program history during the 2008-09 season, and then helped the Vikings capture a second title during the 2009-10 campaign. Klein graduated as the all-time leading scorer in program history with 2,140 points, and was a three-time All-Horizon League First Team honoree.
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 426-132, 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 roadswing on Sunday, February 24, traveling to Northern Kentucky for a 2:00 p.m. contest.