SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will return to the friendly confines of the Wolstein Center this week, hosting Akron on Wednesday, November 27. The Vikings enter Wednesday's contest with a 4-1 record on the year - and on a four-game winstreak - while Akron owns a matching 4-1 record so far this season.
A WIN ON WEDNESDAY WOULD…
Put the Vikings on a five-game winstreak…Keep the Vikings perfect in the Wolstein Center this season…Improve the Vikings to 5-1 on the year.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/AKRON SERIES
Wednesday's game will mark the 43rd meeting between the two teams, with Cleveland State owning a 25-17 advantage in the overall series. The last meeting between the two teams came during the 2011-12 season, while Cleveland State's last win over the Zips came as a 70-54 decision during the 2008-09 campaign.
SCOUTING THE ZIPS
Akron enters Wednesday's game with a 4-1 record on the young season, and has won back-to-back games over Youngstown State (91-62) and Detroit Mercy (81-60)…Cleveland State will be the third straight Horizon League opponent for the Zips…Akron is under the direction of second-year head coach Melissa Jackson, and returns eight letterwinners from last year…The Zips were picked to finish fifth in the MAC East Division earlier this season…Three Zips enter the week averaging double-digit points, led by Haliegh Reinoehl with 14.2 ppg…Reinoehl is also averaging a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game, while Shaunay Edmonds has a team-best 15 steals.
LAST TIME OUT…
Cleveland State picked up its fourth straight win, earning a 65-62 victory at St. Bonaventure. Mariah Miller and Mariah White led the Viking offense after combining for 46 of Cleveland State's 65 points, while the Vikings posted a .385 clip from the field as a team. Defensively, the Vikings forced the Bonnies into 17 turnovers, and outscored St. Bonaventure 34-22 during the second half of play.
Cleveland State returns eight letterwinners from last season's squad, including the duo of Mariah Miller and Savanna Crockett who earned #HLWBB Preseason honors earlier this season. This duo is joined by Mariah White and JaMiya Braxton who finished last year as part of the starting lineup for the Vikings, giving Cleveland State four returning starters for the upcoming 2019-20 campaign. This experienced group will be joined by four true freshmen along with redshirt sophomore Dana DeGraffenreid to give head coach Chris Kielsmeier a well-rounded roster for the season.
…HEAD COACH CHRIS KIELSMEIER
The Vikings will be under the direction of second-year head coach Chris Kielsmeier during the 2019-20 campaign, who owns a 14-21 record at Cleveland State and a 430-137 overall record in 20 seasons as a head coach. Kielsmeier, who joined the Vikings as the seventh head coach in program history prior to last season, also had stops at Wayne Sate (NE) and Howard Payne, becoming the all-time winningest coach at both schools. During his time at Howard Payne, Kielsmeier led the program to a Division III National Title.
MILLER LEADING THE VIKING OFFENSE
Entering Wednesday's game, Mariah Miller is averaging 21.8 points per game this season, a mark that ranks her 14th nationally. Through the first five games, Miller has posted double-digit points each time out, including three 20-point games against Davis & Elkins (26 points), LIU (30 points) and St. Bonaventure (27 points). Miller is one of just four Horizon League players to record a 30+ point game so far this season, while she is the only #HLWBB player with three 20+ point games through the first three weeks of the 2019-20 season.
CLEVELAND STATE FROM LONG RANGE
So far this season, Cleveland State has been one of the most efficient teams from behind-the-arc, ranking eighth nationally with a .427 three-point field goal percentage. The Vikings, who have gone 38-for-89 from behind-the-arc through the first five games, recorded a season-best eight three-pointers at Hofstra earlier this season. Individually, JaMiya Braxton has a team-best 11 three-pointers on the season, while Mariah Miller has converted nine.
VIKINGS WITH THE TAKEAWAY
After three weeks of the 2019-20 campaign, Cleveland State is averaging 12.6 steals per game, a mark that ranks the Vikings 25th nationally. Earlier this season, the Vikings grabbed 21 steals against Davis & Elkins, and followed that up with 18 steals at LIU, with both marks ranking at the top of the #HLWBB standings. Among Horizon League teams, Cleveland State is the only team to have 60+ steals already this season, entering Wednesday's game against Akron with 63 total takeaways.
…WHITE LEADING THE WAY INDIVIDUALLY
After the first five games of the year, junior Mariah White has a team and Horizon League-best 22 total steals on the season, ranking sixth nationally in the category. White set a career-high against Davis & Elkins earlier this season, grabbing nine steals against the Senators, while she recorded four steals at St. Bonaventure last time out.
…AND ON THE OFFENSIVE END
Mariah White has also been one of Cleveland State's top offensive threats through the first part of the 2019-20 campaign, as she enters Wednesday's game averaging 16.2 points and 4.4 assists per game. White's 16.2 scoring average ranks her third among Horizon League players, as she has tallied double-digit points in all five games so far this year, including a season-high 19-point effort at St. Bonaventure last time out. In the #HLWBB standings, White is the only player to rank in the top-five in scoring, assists and steals after three weeks of action.
VIKINGS ECLIPSE CENTURY MARK
Cleveland State recorded the 12th 100-point game in program history earlier this month, finishing with 110 points against Davis & Elkins in the 2019-20 home opener. The 110 points marked the fourth highest single-game total, while it was also the second straight season that the Vikings have scored 100 or more points in their home opener (113 vs. Salem last year). Cleveland State is now 10-2 all-time when scoring 100+ points.
…AND SET PROGRAM RECORD
The Vikings posted a program record 31 assists against Davis & Elkins in the home opener earlier this month, breaking the 30-assist plateau for the sixth time in program history. Cleveland State's 31 assists came on 39 made field goals, and included eight from freshman Julia Hintz and seven from sophomore Savanna Crockett. Hintz and Crockett were two of eight Vikings to record at least one assist on the game.
VIKINGS AT THE WOLSTEIN CENTER
Wednesday's game against Akron will mark the second of just three non-league home games for the Vikings this season, as they are slated to play eight of their first 11 games on the road. Cleveland State opened its 2019-20 home schedule with a 110-41 victory over Davis & Elkins earlier this month, while the Vikings are also scheduled to host Lake Erie (December 20) in non-league play.
Cleveland State will hit the road once again, beginning a four-game roadswing on Monday, December 2. The Vikings will open this four-game stretch at Delaware State, with tipoff set for 5:00 p.m.