Posted: Mar 04, 2020
SETTING THE SCENE
The Cleveland State women's basketball team will continue postseason play on Thursday, March 5, traveling to Wright State for a Quarterfinal matchup in the 2020 Horizon League Basketball Championship. Entering Thursday's game, CSU stands at 20-10 overall this season and earned the No. 6 seed in this year's tournament, while Wright State is currently 19-11 on the year and is playing as the No. 3 seed.
A WIN ON THURSDAY WOULD…
Put the Vikings into the Semifinals of the 2020 Horizon League Basketball Championship…Give Cleveland State back-to-back wins for the sixth time this year…Give head coach Chris Kielsmeier a 2-1 record in #HLWBB Tournament play.
THE CLEVELAND STATE/WRIGHT STATE SERIES
Thursday's contest will be the 78th meeting between the two teams, with Wright State owning a slight 40-37 edge in the all-time series. Wright State has won five straight entering Thursday's game, with Cleveland State's last win over the Raiders coming during the 2017-18 campaign.
…AGAINST WRIGHT STATE THIS SEASON
The Raiders were able to pick up wins in both meetings during the regular season, posting a 78-62 win at home and earning a 75-73 victory in Cleveland. Three Vikings finished with double-figure points in the first meeting, while Jade Ely and Mariah Miller both posted 20-point performances in the second meeting.
SCOUTING THE RAIDERS
Wright State entered the #HLWBB Tournament as the No. 3 seed after finishing regular season play with a 13-5 mark against league opponents…In their First Round game, the Raiders posted an 83-47 victory over No. 10 seed UIC, improving to 19-11 overall this season…Wright State enters Thursday's Quarterfinal having won five straight and seven of its last eight games…WSU is the best rebounding team in the league, averaging 43.8 boards per game, including 17.0 offensive rebounds per game…Tyler Frierson is tied for the league-lead averaging 8.9 rebounds per game, while Shamarre Hale is tied for fifth with 7.6 boards per game.
2020 HORIZON LEAGUE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
This year's #HLWBB Tournament began with four First Round games on Tuesday, with the winners advancing to Thursday's Quarterfinal games - No. 3 Wright State vs. No. 6 Cleveland State and No. 4 Northern Kentucky vs. No. 5 Milwaukee. The league's top two seeds earned byes into the semifinals, which are slated for Monday, March 9, while the Championship will be held on Tuesday, March 10 - with both the semifinals and championship game being held at the Indiana Farmers Colesium in Indianapolis, Ind. All games will be carried on the ESPN Network.
…VIKINGS IN THE #HLWBB TOURNAMENT
Tuesday's victory over Youngstown State marked the first #HLWBB Tournament win for the Vikings under head coach Chris Kielsmeier, as they now stand at 1-1 in postseason play under his direction. Over the last 13 years, the Vikings stand at 11-10 in tournament play, advancing to the semifinals six times and earning an appearance in the championship game twice. The Vikings won the Horizon League Tournament title in both of their championship appearances, capturing the crown during the 2007-08 and 2009-10 seasons.
VIKINGS RECORD 20-WIN SEASON
Tuesday's 84-48 victory over Youngstown State marked the 20th victory of the season for Cleveland State, as the Vikings enter Thursday's quarterfinal with a 20-10 record on the season. This is just the third 20-win campaign in program history, while it's the first time the Vikings have reached the milestone since the 2010-11 season. Cleveland State became the second Horizon League team to reach the 20-win mark this year, while it marks the 13th time in head coach Chris Kielsmeier's career that he has recorded 20+ wins in a season.
#HLWBB FIRST ROUND RECAP
Cleveland State posted one of its most complete performances of the season last time out, posting an 84-48 victory over Youngstown State to earn a trip to Thursday's quarterfinals. On the offensive end, the Vikings shot 45-percent from the field (32-for-70), with four Vikings finishing in double-figures. Defensively, the Vikings recorded 15 total steals and forced the Penguins into 18 turnovers. This marked the sixth time this season that Cleveland State has eclipsed the 80-point plateau, while it marked the 12th time that the Vikings have recorded double-digit takeaways.
MILLER LEADS VIKING OFFENSE AGAINST YSU
After picking up All-Horizon League First Team honors earlier this week, senior Mariah Miller led the Vikings offensively in their 84-48 victory over YSU last time out, finishing with 27 points on an 11-for-15 performance from the floor. Miller's 27 points marked her 10th 20-point game of the year, while it gave her 1,139 points on her career - just shy of earning a spot in the top-20 on the CSU Career Scoring List. Entering Thursday's game, Miller ranks second among Horizon League players averaging 17.2 points per game, while she is one of three players with 10 or more 20-point games this season.
BRAXTON FROM BEHIND-THE-ARC
After snapping her streak of 15 straight games with a three-pointer at Milwaukee in the regular season finale, JaMiya Braxton returned to form last time out, knocking down a trio of three-pointers against YSU in Tuesday's #HLWBB First Round game. Braxton now has 68 three-pointers on the season, a mark that ranks her third in the CSU Single-Season Record Book, while she ranks 30th nationally with a .417 clip from behind-the-arc through the first 30 games.
WHITE NAMED #HLWBB DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
After averaging a league-best 3.1 steals per game through the regular season and helping the Vikings grab a league-high 290 total steals, junior Mariah White was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year earlier this week. White showed her defensive strength against YSU in Tuesday's First Round matchup, finishing with a team-high five steals and helping force the Penguins into 18 turnovers. White now has 94 steals on the year - which ranks her ninth nationally - as she also moved into the top-10 in the CSU Single-Season Record Book in the category.
…CLEVELAND STATE DEFENSIVELY
Entering Thursday's game, Cleveland State ranks 18th nationally with 305 total steals as one of the best defensive teams in Division I. So far this season, the Vikings have recorded 10+ takeaways during 12 games, including 15 steals against YSU last time out. Through the first 30 games of the year, the Vikings have forced their opponents into 524 turnovers, owning a league-best 3.30 turnover margin.
DUMAS IN THE STARTING LINEUP
After the first 30 games of the season, redshirt sophomore Nadia Dumas is the only Viking to have appeared in the starting lineup during all 30 games. Dumas, who became part of the starting five for the first time in her career this season, is one of 14 Horizon League players to appear in the starting lineup during every game. Against YSU last time out, Dumas recorded a career-high 12 rebounds, marking the first double-digit rebound game of her career. For the season, Dumas is averaging 4.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game.
VIKINGS POST RECORD SETTING WINSTREAK
Throughout the first part of the 2019-20 campaign, the Vikings posted an 11-game winstreak, setting a program record for consecutive wins. Cleveland State's winstreak stretched from November 13 through December 28, as the Vikings rattled off a double-digit winstreak for the first time in program history. The 11-game winstreak topped the previous record of nine consecutive wins which was set during the 1982-83 season.
...AND NOTCH BEST START IN PROGRAM HISTORY
Cleveland State's 11-1 start to the 2019-20 campaign marked the best start in program history, bettering the previous mark of 7-1 that was set during the 1974-75 campaign. Ten of Cleveland State's 11 wins came during non-league play, which marked the first time that the Vikings had recorded 10+ wins during non-league play since joining the Horizon League in the 1994-95 season.
HEAD COACH CHRIS KIELSMEIER
The Vikings are under the direction of second-year head coach Chris Kielsmeier during the 2019-20 campaign, who owns a 30-30 record at Cleveland State and a 446-146 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.