By: August Vullo
The Cleveland State University women’s basketball team had a great season, going 14-9 and getting an invitation to the Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament. Their winning can be credited to how well the team worked together and to Head Coach Chris Kielsmeier.
The team was not without its standouts, with outstanding performances from senior guard Mariah White, who averaged 19.6 points, four assists, and three steals a game. Freshman guard Destiny Leo also had a great season with 11.4 points, 3.2 rebounds. She also hit 86.4% of her free throws and almost 40% from three.
To highlight the team’s success this season, fans can look at how they fared in the Horizon League Tournament. In their first match-up against University of Illinois at Chicago, the Vikings won 69-43 with standout scoring performances from White with 21 points, junior guard Isabelle Gradwell with 12 points and redshirt-junior forward Nadia Dumas with 12 points.
The second game they faced University of Wisconsin Green Bay, which they won 69-63. With outstanding performances from White with 22 points and Leo with 16. Unfortunately, the third tournament game they lost to Wright State University 73-62. However, they were able to capitalize in the WBI tournament.
In the tournament, the Vikings won their first game against Manhattan College 68-55. In their second game they faced Stetson University and won 64-54. In their last game, the Vikings faced the University of Portland, and they were just able to squeeze out a victory, winning 67-64.
They could pull through thanks to a game high 24 points and six steals from White, 15 points from Leo, 13 points and 10 rebound double-doubles from Gradwell, and sophomore center Aminata Ly’s 14 rebounds. Next season the Vikings will look to capitalize on their success and hopefully secure a bid into March Madness during the 2022 tournament.