SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will close out the 2018-19 regular season this weekend, hosting Youngstown State on Saturday March 2 in its final home game of the year. Entering Saturday's game, CSU stands at 10-18 overall this season and 7-10 in Horizon League play, while Youngstown State is currently 20-8 on the year and 12-5 in league action.
A WIN ON SATURDAY WOULD…
Snap a five-game losing streak for the Vikings…Give Cleveland State 8+ #HLWBB wins for the third straight year…Give the Vikings a 1-0 start to the month of March.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/YOUNGSTOWN STATE SERIES
Saturday's game will be the 73rd meeting between the two teams, with Youngstown State owning a 41-31 advantage in the all-time series. After picking up a 73-55 victory in the first matchup earlier this season, the Penguins have now won four straight against Cleveland State. When playing at home, the Vikings own a 29-11 record against YSU.
…THE FIRST TIME AROUND
In the first meeting between the two teams, Youngstown State earned a 73-55 victory in the final game of the first round of the #HLWBB regular season slate. Mariah Miller led the Vikings with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Mariah White added 17 points and Savanna Crockett chipped in 15. As a team, the Vikings grabbed 12 steals on the game and committed just 11 turnovers.
SCOUTING THE PENGUINS
Youngstown State enters Saturday's game with a 20-8 overall record, and a 12-5 mark in #HLWBB play…The Penguins are currently on a two-game losing skid though, as they fell at Northern Kentucky and Wright State last weekend…The Penguins are currently in a tie for third place in the league standings, and are one of five #HLWBB teams with double-digit league wins this year…YSU ranks second among league teams averaging 69.7 points per game this year, while the Penguins have a league-best +12.8 scoring margin and a .424 field goal percentage…Individually, Chelsea Olson leads the league with 4.5 assists per game and Alison Smolinski is tops in the league standings with 3.3 three-pointers per game.
LAST TIME OUT…
The Vikings dropped a 74-55 decision at Northern Kentucky, closing out their regular season road slate. Three Vikings finished in double-figures - Savanna Crockett (12 pts), Rachel Slaney (10) and Mariah Miller (10) - while Miller also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds. Cleveland State recorded 11 steals on the game, and forced Northern Kentucky into 16 turnovers.
2019 SENIOR DAY
Saturday's game against Youngstown State will serve as Senior Day for Cleveland State, as the Vikings will be honoring the duo of Rachel Slaney and Mariana Bautista prior to tipoff. This duo has been a key part to the Viking lineup throughout their careers at Cleveland State, and will be looking to go out with a win in their final home game in the Wolstein Center.
VIKINGS IN #HLWBB PLAY
Entering the final weekend of regular season play, Cleveland State stands at 7-10 in Horizon League action with just one game remaining on the #HLWBB schedule. Entering Saturday's contest against YSU, the Vikings stand in seventh place in the league standings.
VIKINGS WITH THE TAKEAWAY
Entering Saturday's game against the Penguins, Cleveland State continues to lead the league in steals per game, sitting at the top of the standings with 9.4 takeaways per game. The Vikings have a league-best 264 total steals on the year - the only team with 260+ steals - and have recorded double-digit steals in 11 of 17 #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.
MILLER LEADS VIKINGS AT NKU
Last time out, junior Mariah Miller led the Vikings at NKU, posting her seventh double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Miller, who is one of four Horizon League players with seven or more double-doubles this season, enters Saturday's game leading the league with 15.3 points per game in #HLWBB games only.
…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 10-point effort against Wright State, Miller has now recorded double-digit points in 24 straight games.
CROCKETT ON THE BLOCK
Entering the final weekend of regular season play, Savanna Crockett has a team-best 41 blocked shots on the year, ranking third among league players averaging 1.5 blocks per game. With at least two games left this season, Crockett is just two 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 game of regular season play tracking down a freshman class record, as she is just seven three-pointers shy of tying the previous mark. Braxton, who has a team-best 48 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).
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 426-134, 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.