By Samantha Meyer
In their last two games of the regular season, the Cleveland State University women’s basketball team went up against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Feb. 27 and 29. The Vikings traveled to Wisconsin for both games, but they were unable to leave the state with any wins.
In the game against Green Bay, the Phoenix dominated in every statistical category, but there were still good performances from the Vikings. Junior Mariah White finished the game with 15 points, marking eight straight games that White had double-digits. She also contributed four of the team’s 10 assists in the game as well as five steals.
Sophomores Isabelle Gradwell and JaMiya Braxton also contributed to Cleveland State’s overall score, both putting up 12 points a piece. Gradwell and Braxton not only combined for 47% of Cleveland State’s points against Green Bay, but eight of those points were from behind the three-point line, with each of them sinking four 3-pointers.
After a devastating loss against Green Bay, it was time for the final game of the regular season against Milwaukee. It was a closely contested affair, but the Vikings were on the losing end of a 61-57 final score.
Despite trailing, the Vikings outscored the Panthers 32-25 in the second half, trying to record the come from behind win. A layup by White with four seconds left would pull the Vikings within three, but they couldn’t finish the job.
Even with the loss, Cleveland State had several players post double-digit points in the game. White and seniors Mariah Miller and Jade Ely all finished with double-digit points, with White leading the way scoring 25 points. Miller put up 15, and Ely contributed 10 points. Ely also recorded seven rebounds to lead the team in that category.
With the conclusion of the regular season, Cleveland State finished with a 19-10 record to finish in sixth place in the Horizon League. This was a nine-win improvement from last year. It also marks the third time over the past six seasons that Cleveland State has reached the 19-win mark, and the third time in the past six seasons that the team has posted a winning record.
With a new format for the 2020 Horizon League Tournament, the teams that finish in third place through sixth place will host first round games in the tournament. The Vikings were able to snag the final home game for the first round, and will be hosting Youngstown State University on March 3.
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