Aloha! Women's Basketball Plays at Hawaii Friday Evening

The Penguins attended the Paradise Cove Luau in Hawaii on Wednesday night
The Penguins attended the Paradise Cove Luau in Hawaii on Wednesday night

Scouting Report

  • The Youngstown State women's basketball team will begin a two-game stretch in the Aloha State when it plays Hawaii on Friday at 5:30 p.m./10:30 p.m. Eastern. The game will be broadcast in Youngstown on 570 WKBN, and it will be streamed on iHeart.com. Live video will be on OCSports in Hawaii and streamed through HawaiiAthletics.com. YSU will also play Sacramento State on Sunday as part of the Bank of Hawaii Classic.
  • The Penguins are 0-2 this season with a pair of 13-point losses. After a disappointing 77-64 loss to American at home to open the season, YSU showed positive signs in a 63-50 loss at Pitt on Monday morning.
  • YSU has been shorthanded so far this season. Starting shooting guard Nikki Arbanas is out for the season, and other significant guards Kelsea Newman and Kelley Wright both missed the Pitt game. Forward Sarah Cash, a preseason all-league honoree, has been limited to 23 minutes this season due to a nagging knee injury.
  • Friday's game will be John Barnes' 100th as YSU's head coach. His record through 99 games is 57-42, and his .576 winning percentage is second-best in school history.
  • The Penguins have won 21 games and advanced to a postseason tournament in each of the past two seasons. YSU went 21-13 last season and won two games in the Women's Basketball Invitational. The Penguins had not played in back-to-back postseason tournaments in their history prior to last year.
  • The Penguins were tabbed to finish fourth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll.

Experiencing Hawaii

  • YSU has done its best to take in as much of Oahu as possible in its first trip to Hawaii.
  • The Penguins arrived in Honolulu via Pittsburgh and Dallas on Tuesday afternoon and are staying at the Ohana Waikiki East hotel. It will travel back to Ohio Sunday night into Monday afternoon.
  • The team went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Wednesday morning, and it enjoyed the Paradise Cove Luau later that evening. YSU then went to Pearl Harbor on Thursday morning for another excursion.

A Win Would...

  • Be YSU's first of the 2016-17 season.
  • Give head coach John Barnes a 58-42 record through 100 games at Youngstown State.
  • Be YSU's 21st in 27 regular-season non-conference games dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season.
  • Improve YSU's record to 2-0 against teams in the Big West Conference.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State will be looking for its third consecutive victory in games played on Nov. 18. YSU's previous two wins came over Bryant in 2012 and Kent State in 2014.
  • Overall, YSU is 2-4 on Nov. 18 with some impressive individual performances coming on the date. Breanne Kenneally scored 33 points at Bowling Green in 2000, and Brandi Brown grabbed 19 rebounds in the win over Bryant in 2012.

Scouting Hawaii

  • Hawaii is 0-2 this season with road losses to USC and CSU Bakersfield. Hawaii was picked to finish fifth in a preseason poll of the Big West coaches and third in a media poll.
  • Briana Harris is coming off a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds against CSU Bakersfield. She leads UH with 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
  • The Rainbow Wahine return two starters and five letterwinners fom last year's squad that won 21 games and played in the NCAA Tournament. UH played in the Women's NIT in the three previous years.

Series with Hawaii / Big West Opponents

  • YSU and Hawaii will be playing for the first time on Friday.
  • The Penguins have played just one opponent from the Big West Conference. YSU defeated UC-Irvine 64-61 in Malibu, Calif., on Dec. 21, 1998.

Recapping Pitt

  • YSU trimmed a 22-point deficit down to 11 and had Pittsburgh on its heels in the fourth period before falling 63-50 on Monday morning. Nearly 9,800 fans were in attendance as part of a Kids Day promotion at Pitt.
  • The Penguins held a 16-12 lead in the first period before Pitt scored the final 10 points of the quarter. The lead grew to double digits for the first time at 29-19 at the 6:15 mark of the second period, and Pitt led by double digits for the final 24 minutes.
  • Pitt twice led by 22 and held a 52-32 lead heading into the fourth. YSU scored on its first three possessions of the fourth period to trim the deficit to 13, and it got to 11 with 6:05 left. Youngstown State missed its next eight shots as its rally came up short.
  • Jenna Hirsch scored the 500th point of her career on a 3-pointer on YSU's second possession of the game.
  • Pittsburgh-area natives Natalie Myers and Mary Dunn made their first career starts. Myers had six points and nine rebounds in 15 minutes, and Dunn finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
  • Sophomore guard Alison Smolinski scored a game-high 14 points. She was 2-for-11 from 3-point range and 3-for-4 inside the arc. It ended an 11-game stretch of scoring in single digits for Smolinski.
  • Junior point guard Indiya Benjamin scored eight of her 11 points in the fourth period.
  • YSU was plus-one in rebounding against the ACC opponent despite starting two freshmen at forward and getting 21 combined minutes from junior or senior posts.