First Place Up for Grabs for YSU on Sunday at Green Bay

First Place Up for Grabs for YSU on Sunday at Green Bay
Youngstown State at Green Bay
Date & Time Sunday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m. Eastern
Location Kress Events Center
Tickets GreenBayPhoenix.com
Radio 570 WKBN | iHeartRadio
Video Horizon League Network
Live Stats GreenBayPhoenix.com
Live Tweets @YSUSports | @YSUWomensHoops | @javogel34
Hash Tags #GoGuins | #HLWBB
Mobile App YSU Front Row

 

The Youngstown State women's basketball team will try to move into a tie for first place in the Horizon League when it takes on conference-leading Green Bay on Sunday. Tipoff at the Kress Events Center is set for 2 p.m. Eastern, and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and the Horizon League Network.

Youngstown State is alone in third place in the Horizon League following its 81-69 victory at Milwaukee on Friday evening. The Penguins are 8-3 in league play, one game back of Green Bay (9-2) and a half game behind Wright State (9-3). A win would move YSU into a three-way tie at the top, and a loss would give the Guins an uphill battle for the league title over the final two weeks of the season.

Leading scorers Heidi Schlegel (19.8 points per game) and Liz Hornberger (10.1 ppg) were outstanding Friday evening in YSU's win at the Klotsche Center. Hornberger made five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 26 points, and Schlegel added 25. The pair combined to go 19-for-26 from the field and scored YSU's first 18 points as the Penguins built an early 18-5 lead. The Penguins made just six 3s, their lowest total during conference play, but tied their season high with 42 points in the paint.

Hornberger scored in the twenties for the second consecutive game – she had no 20-point games the first 113 games of her career – and has made 11 3-pointers over her last two games. Schlegel ranks third in the conference in scoring, and her 7.8 rebounds per game ranks sixth. She needs just two points to become the 18th Penguin in school history to score 1,000 points.

Green Bay has won eight straight games since its 66-57 loss to YSU on Jan. 16. The Phoenix beat Cleveland State 59-56 on Friday evening, and a win on Sunday gives it a good chance at winning at least a share of its 16th straight conference title.

Youngstown State will play three of its last four games at home, starting with a contest Thursday against UIC. Tipoff against the Flames will be at 7:05 p.m. Eastern.

Top Story Lines

  • Youngstown State has tied last season's team for the best start to Horizon League play in school history at 8-3. YSU finished 11-5 in the conference last year.
  • Heidi Schlegel needs two points to become the 18th member of YSU's 1,000-points club. She has already scored 213 more points this season than in any other season of her career.
  • In YSU's eight Horizon League wins, opponents have averaged 61.9 points. In the three league losses, opponents have averaged 88 points.
  • The Penguins have their best scoring offense in 14 years, and they are shooting a conference-best 39.5 percent from 3-point range during league play.
  • Of YSU's five remaining games, four are against teams in the top five of the conference standings.

Scouting Green Bay

Green Bay is 16-7 overall and 9-2 in Horizon League play following its 59-56 win over Cleveland State on Friday. The Phoenix has won eight straight games since the loss at Youngstown State on Jan. 16.

Green Bay is the league's best scoring defense, as usual, at 58.6 points per game. Only one other team, UIC, allows fewer than 70 points on average. Kaili Lukan leads a balanced attack with 12.3 points per game, and four other Phoenix average at least 8.7 points.

Last Time vs. Green Bay

Youngstown State used a strong team effort and a career-high 20 points from Jenna Hirsch to beat Green Bay 66-57 on Jan. 16. It was the Penguins' first home win ever against the Phoenix.

YSU held Green Bay scoreless over the final eight minutes of the first half and led for the final 26:47. The Penguins outshot the Phoenix 31.3 percent to 44.7 percent and outscored them by 16 at the free-throw line.

Hirsch led all players with 20 points, 11 of which came in the final 5:09 of the game.

Series with Green Bay

Green Bay leads the all-time series with Youngstown State 29-2 and had won 17 straight against the Penguins before a 66-57 YSU victory in January.

The Penguins' only win at Green Bay was on Feb. 19, 2005, when the Phoenix was ranked 23rd in the country. YSU is 0-7 (0-6 versus Green Bay) all-time at the Kress Events Center.

Recapping Milwaukee

Liz Hornberger and Heidi Schlegel combined for 51 points, and YSU never trailed in an 81-69 victory at Milwaukee on Friday evening at the Klotsche Center.

The pair started hot by scoring YSU's first 18 points, and they finished 19-for-26 from the field for the game. Hornberger scored a career-high 26 points behind five 3-pointers, and Schlegel finished with 25. Latisha Walker added 11 points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.

YSU led 11-2 and 18-5 in the first six minutes, but Milwaukee went on a 16-5 run to get within two. The Penguins got the lead back to eight at halftime and separated with an 8-0 run early in the second half. They led by dougle digits for all but 19 seconds in the final 16:21.

One-On-One Matchups Were Favorable

Youngstown State had just 11 assists on its 29 baskets in the win over Milwaukee. That's because the Penguins had favorable one-on-one matchups and drove to the basket frequently. The 11 assists were tied for the fourth-fewest this season. YSU had tallied at least 20 assists in three of its last four contests heading into Friday's game.

Keeping Turnovers Low

YSU committed just nine turnovers, including two in the second half, in the win over Milwaukee. It was the third time in Horizon League play that the Penguins committed fewer than 10 turnovers, and they've committed fewer than 15 in seven of their last eight contests. YSU is averaging 14.1 turnovers per game during league play, which is the third-lowest in the conference. It committed an average of 18.4 turnovers during the non-league schedule.

Pounding the Paint

Youngstown State tied its season high with 42 points in the paint in Friday's win over Milwaukee. The Penguins also had 42 points in the paint against Ohio Valley on Dec. 13, and they had their most points in the paint in a Division I game since at least 2004-05. Twelve of YSU's first 18 points were in the paint, and all 10 of Heidi Schlegel's field goals were in the paint.

Odds & Ends

Schlegel started 7-for-7 from the field, misssed her next three attempts, then made her last three... YSU did not make a field goal for the final 4:35 of the first half but went 9-for-9 from the free-throw line during that stretch... YSU had just two turnovers in the first half... After Milwaukee scored the first four points of the second half to get within four, Hornberger made three 3-pointers in a span of 2:26... Hornberger was 5-for-8 from distance, and her teammates were 1-for-13... Schlegel missed the front-end of a one-and-one with 1:16 remaining to snap a consecutive makes streak of 29.