Cleveland State Enters Multiverse of Madness

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Non-conference schedule release season is just underway, but Cleveland State has already emerged as the focal point of a major early-season series of games.

According to Bellarmine’s non-conference schedule, posted on Tuesday, Cleveland State will host a multi-team event (MTE) at the Wolstein Center in November. The showcase, which is unnamed in the BU release, will also include Georgia State and St. Bonaventure, with games taking place on November 23rd, November 25th, and November 26th – Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.

The specific dates and times for each matchup are still to be determined.

While the Vikings have been involved in numerous MTEs over the years, they have been absent from the schedule in recent seasons, thanks mostly to COVID. Cleveland State’s last MTE took place in November 2018, when Chris Kielsmeier led the Vikings to San Diego for the seventh and eighth games of his tenure and dropped games to the hosting Toreros and Tulane. Kate Peterson Abiad’s last three teams each went to MTEs, with CSU chipping off wins against Louisiana at the Southpointe Shootout in Las Vegas in 2017 and over Richmond at the U.S. Naval Academy in 2016.

Hosting one is an altogether new experience for the Vikings of course, though a successful event could certainly lead to sequels.

The list of invitees offers plenty of novelty as well. The Vikings have never played Georgia State or Bellarmine (which only joined Division I in 2020), while they have faced off with St. Bonaventure five times, including a sweep of a series played in 2019-20 and 2021-22. Last season’s 58-49 home win over the Bonnies saw 20 points from Destiny Leo and 16 by Gabriella Smith, while Amele Ngwafang and Nadia Dumas each hauled down nine rebounds to help CSU open the year 2-0.

SBU went on to finish just under the level mark at 12-16 which, along with Georgia State’s 10-16 and Bellarmine’s 4-24, makes 23-9 CSU not only the host of the MTE but also its lead attraction.

Other components of Cleveland State’s non-conference schedule will undoubtedly trickle out over the next several weeks as teams across college basketball deliver their respective announcements. However, it’s unlikely that any of them will match the scope of this first bit of news – or the intrigue of awaiting further details on what’s sure to be a highlight of the Vikings’ 2022-23 slate.

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