Penguins to Salute Seniors, Host Detroit Mercy on Saturday

2016-17 YSU Women's Basketball seniors Jenna Hirsch, Kelsea Newman and Tamira Ford
2016-17 YSU Women's Basketball seniors Jenna Hirsch, Kelsea Newman and Tamira Ford

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will play at Beeghly Center for the final time in 2016-17 as it hosts Detroit Mercy on Saturday. Tipoff against the Titans in the regular season finale for both teams will be at noon, and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • Saturday will be the final time that seniors Tamira Ford, Jenna Hirsch and Kelsea Newman will play at Beeghly Center, and they will be recognized prior to the game.
  • YSU is hoping to end the regular season with some momentum heading into next week's Little Caesar's Horizon League Tournament. The Penguins will be seeded seventh or eighth in the conference tournament, and it will play Northern Kentucky, Valparaiso or UIC on Friday afternoon of March 3 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
  • Both teams are coming off disappointing results on Thursday. The Penguins had their worst shooting day from 3-point range since the season opener, going 4-for-27 overall and missing their first 16 attempts in an 80-58 loss to Oakland. YSU dug a 22-8 hole after the first period as it closed the quarter by missing its final 10 shots from the field. Detroit Mercy lost 75-50 at Cleveland State on Thursday.
  • Three of YSU's last six losses have been by four points, and the Penguins trailed by just two in the final 15 seconds in each of those. YSU is 2-6 in games decided by five points or fewer this season after going 7-1 in such contests last season.
  • Mary Dunn is the reigning Horizon League Freshman of the Week, an honor she earned for a league-high fourth time. She averaged 12 points and shot 56.2 percent from the field last week. A top candidate to be named the Horizon League Freshman of the Year, she leads all league freshmen in scoring, field-goal percentage and blocks.
  • Alison Smolinski leads the Horizon League with 76 total 3-pointers and 2.9 3s per game. She has jumped into the all-league conversation by averaging 15.9 points in HL play, which ranks seventh in the conference. She has made 11 more 3s in league play than any other player, and she has made 10 more triples than any other player in the country since Jan. 14.
  • With season-ending injuries to three primary players, YSU has had 13 different starting lineups in 28 games this season. Indiya Benjamin has started all 28 games, and Jenna Hirsch is the only other Penguin with more than 20 starts (21). Thirteen different players have started at least once.
  • Benjamin has moved into 20th place on YSU's career scoring list, and she scored a career-high 23 points last Saturday against Wright State. Benjamin needs 12 points to move into 19th, and she is 60 points from 1,000. She ranks in the top 10 in program history in career assists, 3-pointers and 3-point field-goal percentage.

Tickets

  • The Beeghly Center Ticket Office and gates will open at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
  • Advance tickets can be ordered on Friday by calling (330) 941-1YSU.

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's Horizon League record to 6-12.
  • Allow YSU to split the season series with Detroit Mercy.
  • Be YSU's fourth over UDM in the last six meetings.
  • Secure a winning record at Beeghly Center for the fifth straight year.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 2-5 all time in seven previous games played on Feb. 25. The last time the Penguins played on the date was in 2012, and they lost 67-64 to Detroit Mercy at Calihan Hall.
  • Only one of the previous seven games has been at Beeghly Center.
  • On Feb. 25, 1996, YSU had 23 steals at Troy. That is tied for the fifth-most in program history.

Scouting Detroit Mercy

  • Detroit Mercy will come to YSU with a 15-13 overall record and an 11-6 mark in Horizon League play. The Titans went 10-2 at Calihan Hall this season, including a 9-0 mark against league opponents. UDM is 4-11 on the road.
  • The Titans rank third in the Horizon League in scoring offense at 70.7 points per game. Detroit Mercy is third in field-goal percentage and second in field-goal percentage defense.
  • Individually, Rosanna Reynolds was the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year and ranks fifth in the league in scoring and is second in assists. Brianne Cohen is eighth in the conference in scoring and first in field-goal percentage.

Series with Detroit Mercy

  • Detroit has a slim 22-18 lead in the all-time series with YSU, though the Penguins have won three of the last five meetings.
  • Home court has been a huge factor in the series as Detroit is 15-5 at Calihan Hall, and YSU is 13-7 at Beeghly Center. The teams split last season with each team winning a close game on the road.

Recently vs. Detroit Mercy

  • At Calihan Hall on Jan. 20, Detroit Mercy jumped out to a 10 point lead in the first eight minutes in an 80-63 win. YSU trailed by as many as 16 in the second period before coming back to get within 56-54 with 9:10 left in the game. The Titans scored the next eight points and outscored the Penguins 24-9 the rest of the way.
  • At Beeghly Center last year on Feb. 6, YSU battled back from a 17-point deficit to take a 68-65 lead with a minute left. Detroit scored on its final two possessions to hold off the Penguins for a 69-68 win.