CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland State Women’s Basketball Team did something on Sunday they had never done before: win a post-season tournament.
They beat Portland 67-64 in the Women’s Basketball Invitational Final.
It’s a big step for the program.
“Our players were extremely focused, extremely motivated, and really wanted to go win this tournament,” said Women’s Head Coach Chris Kielsmeier.
Basketball is hot right now at CSU after the men’s program won the Horizon League regular season and tournament.
Getting the women’s program on par with them would be a huge boost to a university that considers itself a basketball school.
“We are still very much in the early stages of developing this program,” said Kielsmeier.
Of the 15 players on the roster, there was only one senior, and nine were underclassmen.
Hitting the road and winning any tournament is an invaluable experience for this group.
“Part of this trip was about the growth. Can we go show that we can play great in big moments and tough situations?”
Winning the WBI was big for the program and the school, but make no mistake, this is not the ceiling for their expectations.
This is the floor.
They want to go to the big dance.
“Everything we want Cleveland State women’s basketball too is winning Horizon League championships to get to the NCAA tournament,” said Kielsmeier.
The CSU Women’s team last made the NCAA Tournament in 2010, their only other appearance was 2008.
Both times they were eliminated in the first round.