Cleveland State's men's and women's basketball teams won their season-opening games against Snead State, Wednesday night.
Starting with the women's team, under the direction of new head coach Evelyn Thompson, defeated Snead State with a final score of 57-50. The Lady Cougars were led by sophomore guard, Abby Hubert, who totaled 19 points, 9 rebounds while going 9 for 18 from the field. Julia Gaither was also a deciding factor, racking up 12 points, 7 steals while drawing 3 charges. "To go out there and get our first win in our first game is a great thing. I told our team that we could do it, so to actually go out there and accomplish that against a really good team in Snead was great for us. I think it speaks a lot to where we are and where we're moving as a team," said Head Coach Evelyn Thompson.
With a halftime score of 23-24 in favor of Snead State, the Lady Cougars came out in the 3rd quarter, outscoring Snead 15-8 en route to a 57-50 final score. Coach Thompson commented, "The impression I came away with last night was our team's display of hard work and perseverance. This is something we've preached the entire time that I've been here. The chemistry of our team is really strong, we are all pushing towards that common goal of becoming better players and better women."
On to the men's team, the Cougars defeated Snead State 78-75 in an overtime win. Leading the charge was Tevin Olison, who tallied 27 points on 8 for 21 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Cam Copeland and Victor Curry both got in on the action, each contributing 10 points. Copeland had 4 assists and 3 steals while Curry clocked in 10 rebounds and 3 steals. "This year, starting off with a win was important. As a coach who's done this for so long, the main goal is to see progress. How you play at the beginning of the season doesn't necessarily mean that's how you'll play at the end of the season. So you want to see constant progress throughout the year. But it's nice to be able to learn and win at the same time, which was great for our first-year players."
With the score tied at 65 at the end of regulation, Domont'a Wright, a freshman Forward/Center for the Cougars, dropped 8 crucial points to help lift Cleveland State to a 78-75 overtime win. "Everyone was able to get some minutes tonight. I was glad we were able to get everyone some experience, especially our younger guys," said Head Coach Lee Cigliano.
With both teams earning a win, they'll look to replicate that success in their upcoming weekend games. The Lady Cougars will stay right at home with a tilt against Atlanta Metropolitan College on Saturday at 2:00 PM EST. The men's team will be traveling to the Roane State Classic as they'll face South Georgia Technical College and Bristol Prep Academy on Friday and Saturday, respectively.