Penguins Welcome Cornell to Beeghly Center on Saturday

Kelley Wright (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Kelley Wright (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Scouting Report

  • After a six-day break from game action to focus on final exams, Youngstown State will host an Ivy League opponent for the first time in program history as it welcomes Cornell on Saturday. Tipoff against the Big Red is set for noon, and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO/iHeart.com and ESPN3/WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins will be looking to build some momentum heading into the Christmas break after losing to Akron and Kent State last week. YSU fell 76-74 to Akron in overtime at Beeghly Center last Tuesday, and it lost 75-60 at Kent State on Saturday.
  • Forward Mary Dunn is the Horizon League Freshman of the Week for the second time in the first five weeks of the season. She averaged 16.5 points and shot 61.5 percent from the field in YSU's two games last week. Dunn leads all Horizon League freshmen in scoring, field-goal percentage and blocks.
  • Due to early-season injuries, Youngstown State has used six different starting lineups in the first nine games of the season. Three projected starters heading into the season that accounted for 31.9 points per game, 83.8 minutes per game and 149 3-pointers last year have missed the last two games because of injuries.
  • YSU is in a stretch of playing 10 out of 11 games in Ohio. It played three of its first six contests more than 1,700 miles from campus. YSU flew more than 13,000 miles and spent nearly 28 hours on airplanes from Nov. 15-29.

Tickets & Promotions

  • Advance tickets for Saturday's game are available at the YSU Athletic Ticket Office in Stambaugh Stadium. Tickets can be ordered over the phone by calling (330) 941-1YSU. The ticket office is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • The Beeghly Center Ticket Office will open at 1 a.m. on Tuesday.
  • Saturday continues the Rulli Bros. "Holiday Hoops" promotion for December where fans can receive a buy one, get one free offer on general admission tickets by asking for the "Holiday Hoops" special upon ordering their tickets.

A Win Would...

  • Be YSU's first in the two-game series against Cornell.
  • Give YSU is first victory over an Ivy League program.
  • Be YSU's 24th in 34 regular-season non-conference games dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 3-7 in 10 previous contests played on Dec. 17. The Penguins have been on the road for five of the last six times they've played on the date.
  • In their last contest on Dec. 17, YSU rallied for a 73-65 win in overtime at Robert Morris to improve to 9-0 on the season. The Penguins went 33-for-35 from the free-throw line and trailed by eight with 3:30 left in regulation.
  • YSU set a school record with 32 steals in a 73-67 win against Edinboro on Dec. 17, 1988. Individually, Heidi Schlegel's 14 free throws against RMU tied for the third-most in program history.

Scouting Cornell

  • Cornell will come to Youngstown with a 5-3 record and on a 13-day break from competition. The Big Red lost 63-53 to Drexel at home on Dec. 3 in what will be its last game before playing at YSU.
  • Cornell and YSU have played two common opponents and had the same result against both. Cornell won 78-72 at Saint Francis U, and it lost 56-44 at Pittsburgh.
  • Cornell was picked to finish fourth in the Ivy League Preseason Poll. Senior Nia Marshall led the league in scoring last season at 16.6 points per game, and she is averaging 16.6 points this season. Megan LeDuc (12.6 ppg) and Kerri Moran (10.3 ppg) also average double figures.

Series with Cornell

  • Youngstown State and Cornell have played just one previous time, and it was at Cornell in the final non-conference game of the 2014-15 season. That is the only contest that YSU has ever played against a team from the Ivy League.
  • In the previous contest played on Jan. 2, 2015, Cornell shot 57 percent as a team and outscored the Penguins by 16 in the second half en route to a 75-63 win. YSU shot 68.2 percent in the first half and just 29.2 percent in the second half.

Recapping Kent State

  • Kent State ended the third period on a 12-4 run and outscored Youngstown State 22-10 in the fourth to pull away for a 75-60 win at the M.A.C. Center on Saturday evening.
  • The Penguins led 46-41 following a Mary Dunn basket with 6:06 left in the third period. YSU didn't score again for more than four minutes as Kent State scored 10 straight points, and the Golden Flashes went into the final period leading 53-50. Kent State then scored the first seven points of the fourth to go up 60-50, and YSU got no closer than eight.
  • Youngstown State used its sixth different starting lineup in the first nine games of the season. Indiya Benjamin and Jenna Hirsch are the only players to start each game.
  • Sophomore guard Alison Smolinski came off the bench to score a season-high 16 points. Her four 3-pointers were the most by a Penguin this season. Smolinski has made at least one triple in six straight games, and she's made multiple in five of the last six.
  • YSU made a season-high 11 3-pointers as a team. In addition to Smolinski's four, Benjamin made three, and Natalie Myers made two. The Penguins shot 40.7 percent from beyond the arc.
  • For the second straight game, YSU faced a big deficit at the free-throw line. The Penguins were outscored by 14 at the free-throw line, and Kent State had 10 more attempts. In the last two games, YSU's opponents have held a 29-point edge at the free-throw line.