Nov. 14, 2011
Contact: Renee Adam
Cleveland State (1-1) at Fordham (0-1)
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Site: Rose Hill Gym - Bronx, N.Y.
Series: First Meeting
Tickets: Available at Site
SETTING THE SCENE
Cleveland State will hit the road for the first time during the 2011-12 season this week, as the Vikings travel to New York to face the Fordham Rams on Wednesday, November 16. Wednesday's 7:00 p.m. contest will be the first meeting between the two teams and the third game of the season for the Vikings. CSU enters Wednesday with a 1-1 record after splitting its two contests last weekend, defeating Tennessee State 74-56 (Nov. 11) and falling to Illinois 72-42 (Nov. 13). Fordham enters the contest looking for its first win of the season, as the Rams fell to Albany, 59-42 during their season opener (Nov. 11).
PREVIEWING CLEVELAND STATE
With four starters returning for the 2011-12 season, the Cleveland State women's basketball team is poised to have yet another successful season under ninth year head coach Kate Peterson Abiad. The starting lineup is centered around junior Shalonda Winton (13.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.0 apg), a preseason first team all-league pick. Winton will combine with the senior trio of Janelle Adams (6.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 5.0 apg), Destinee Blue (14.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and Takima Keane (8.5 ppg, 2.0 apg) to form the backbone of the Viking roster. Peterson Abiad will have a deep bench to work with this season, as five additional letterwinners will be returning in juniors Honesty King and Kaila Montgomery (3.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and sophomores Ondrea Hughes (4.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg), Brandee Kelly and Haley Schmitt (1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg). The CSU veterans will be joined by four freshmen, guards Cori Coleman (1.5 ppg), Kiersten Green (3.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg) and Tess Zufall and forward Imani Gordon (5.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg).
SCOUTING THE RAMS
Fordham, who enters Wednesday's contest with an 0-1 record, returns just five letterwinners and one starter from the 2010-11 team that posted a 12-19 mark. Head coach Stephanie Gaitley is in her first year with the Rams, and brings with her 10 newcomers making Fordham a very young team. In their season opener, the Rams fell to Albany, 59-42 while Becky Peters eclipsed the 1,000 career point mark and Abigail Corning led Fordham with a career-high 14 points.
CSU LAST WEEK
Destinee Blue and Shalonda Winton each scored in double digits for the Vikings, but CSU fell short against Illinois, dropping their first contest of the season in a 72-42 decision. Blue had 11 points and Winton had 10, while Winton also posted a team-high seven rebounds. The Vikings were plagued with 22 turnovers and just eight bench points while they shot just 24-percent from the field.
VS. TENNESSEE STATE
Behind 18 points from Destinee Blue and 16 from Shalonda Winton the Cleveland State women's basketball team won their season opener against Tennessee State, 74-56. In her debut as a Viking, Imani Gordon tallied nine points and three rebounds while classmate Kiersten Green added five points. The Viking bench was strong once again, as they outscored TSU 22-8. CSU tallied 16 assists on 24 field goals, led by Janelle Adams who posted five. Friday's contest marked the third straight season opener that the Vikings have won, also defeating Cornell (2010-11) and Ohio (2009-10) in the past two seasons.
SOLID AT THE FREE THROW LINE
After the first two games this season, CSU is shooting 74-percent (37-50) from the free throw line, while they are holding their opponents to a 48-percent clip (13-27). Senior Destinee Blue is 11-for-12 (.917) from the charity stripe to lead the Vikings, while Shalonda Winton is 13-for-20 (.650). Among Horizon League schools, CSU ranks fourth in free throw percentage, but among league schools that have played two games they lead the standings.
WINTON MOVES INTO CAREER TOP-20
After combining for 16 rebounds against Tennessee State and Illinois last weekend, Shalonda Winton now ranks 20th on the CSU all-time career rebounds list with 476. Winton, who posted 300 rebounds as a sophomore last year, needs 14 more to move into 19th place all-time.
...WINTON IN THE HORIZON LEAGUE STANDINGS
After the opening weekend of the 2011-12 season, Shalonda Winton ranks sixth in the Horizon League in rebounding, averaging 8.0 per game. Her 16 total rebounds over the first two contests is tops in the league, while her 14 defensive rebounds also leads the league.
GREEN ON THE POINT
After playing just 14 minutes in her collegiate debut against Tennessee State, Kiersten Green had to step in and become CSU's main point guard against Illinois due to injuries on the CSU bench. In her first collegiate start, Green played 35 minutes, posting two points, three rebounds and an assist.
HEAD COACH Kate Peterson ABIAD
Cleveland State head coach Kate Peterson Abiad is entering her ninth season at the helm of the Vikings, and ranks second on the all-time wins list at CSU. Peterson Abiad became the third coach in program history to record 100 career victories last season, and currently has 107, needing just nine more to take over first place on the all-time wins list. Peterson Abiad has led the Vikings to four straight 19-win seasons, including a 21-12 record last year, the second most wins in program history.
38th SEASON OF CSU BASKETBALL
The 2011-12 season will be Cleveland State's 38th year of intercollegiate competition. The Vikings have compiled an all-time record of 415-575 (.419), while also going 121-150 (.446) in 18 seasons in the Horizon League.
CSU TABBED SECOND IN PRESEASON POLL
Cleveland State was picked to finish second in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, receiving 238 points. The Vikings finished behind preseason favorite Green Bay, who received 29 first place votes and 299 points. Wright State (212 points), Butler (197) and UIC (186) rounded out the top five. Detroit was the only other team to collect a first place vote, as they finished seventh with 141 points behind Milwaukee who placed sixth with 177 points. The Titans were followed by Loyola (88), Valparaiso (64) and Youngstown State (48).
WINTON NAMED PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE
Junior Shalonda Winton was named to the 2011-12 Preseason All-Horizon League first team in voting conducted by the league's 10 head coaches, sports information directors and select media. Last season Winton ranked sixth in the league in rebounding (9.1), seventh in blocks (0.8), ninth in field goal percentage (.462; 146-316) and 15th in scoring (12.5). She also became the fourth player in school history to grab at least 300 rebounds in a season, ending right on the number.
FOURTH STRAIGHT WINNING SEASON
The Vikings 21-12 overall record last year allowed CSU to finish with a winning record for the fourth straight season, a first in program history. The streak started with the Vikings going 19-14 in 2007-08 and continued with CSU's 19-13 record in 2008-09 and their 19-14 record during 2009-10.
CSU VS. TEAMS IN 2011 POSTSEASON
The Vikings will play seven games against teams that advanced to postseason play last year, including Green Bay who reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. CSU will face the Phoenix twice, as well as Butler who played in the WNIT and Wright State who played in the WBI. The final game will come against Toledo, the 2011 WNIT champion.
CSU HOOPS LUNCHEON RETURNS
This season marks the third annual CSU Hoops Luncheon Series, with Viking basketball fans having the opportunity to get monthly updates from CSU basketball head coaches Kate Peterson Abiad and Gary Waters throughout the 2011-12 season. The luncheon will take place beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the fifth floor Viking Loge of the Wolstein Center annex. The next luncheon will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 14, with future luncheons to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 7 and Monday, Feb. 13. Reservations can be made by calling (216) 687-5454.
The Vikings will stay on the road, and travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. for a 5:00 p.m. contest at Western Michigan on Friday, November 25.