Penguins Make Short Trip to Akron for Tuesday Night Contest

Morgan Brunner (Photo by Trevor Parks)
Morgan Brunner (Photo by Trevor Parks)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will make the short trip to Akron on Tuesday night for a contest with its nearby rival. Tipoff at James A. Rhodes Arena will be at 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • Tuesday's game will be the third of a four-game road stretch for the Penguins. YSU has played Akron more than any other non-Horizon League team.
  • YSU rallied from a 10-point deficit to force overtime at American on Saturday but ultimately fell 78-72. Nikki Arbanas made three of her six 3-pointers in the fourth period to help the Penguins come back, and Sarah Cash scored a season-high 25 points.
  • YSU's top four scorers alternated solid and off performances last week. Cash and Arbanas combined for 44 points at American but 17 against Robert Morris. Alison Smolinski and Indiya Benjamin had a combined 25 points at RMU but were held to nine at American.
  • YSU has made at least 10 3s in five straight games. The Penguins are shooting 37.6 percent (53-for-141) from beyond the arc in those five contests. YSU leads the Horizon League and ranks in the top 25 in the country with 9.1 3-pointers per game.
  • The Penguins are hungry to get back to their winning ways after enduring an injury-plagued 2016-17 season that ended with a 9-21 record and a first-round loss in the Horizon League Tournament. In each of the previous two seasons, YSU won 21 games and advanced to play in a postseason tournament — the WNIT in 2014-15 and the WBI in 2015-16.
  • YSU returns three players – Benjamin, Mary Dunn and Alison Smolinski – who averaged more than 11 points last season, and it also welcomes back two players – Nikki Arbanas and Sarah Cash – who averaged more than 11 points in 2015-16.

Weekly Press Conference

Previewing Akron

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 3-5 this season.
  • Give the Penguins their second road win. They had one last season.
  • Snap a two-game losing streak to Akron.
  • Be YSU's first win at James A. Rhodes Arena since Dec. 18, 2011.

On This Date

  • YSU is 7-5 in 12 previous games played on Dec. 5. The Penguins won five straight games played on the date between 1981 and 1998.
  • YSU last played on Dec. 5 in 2012 and lost 57-46 at Cincinnati. YSU lost at 75-63 at Akron on Dec. 5, 2009.
  • Holly Seimetz scored her 1,000th career point on Dec. 5, 1981.

Scouting Akron

  • Akron is 3-3 so far this season and will be playing its sixth straight home game on Tuesday against YSU. The Zips are 3-2 at James A. Rhodes Arena with wins over Southeastern Louisiana, Eastern Kentucky and Winthrop. Akron lost 75-54 to No. 15 Maryland on Saturday, and it opened the season with a 63-52 loss at Bucknell.
  • Akron was picked to finish sixth in the MAC East division in the conference's preseason poll. The Zips have three sophomores on their roster who are returning starters.
  • Austintown Fitch graduate Megan Sefcik leads the Zips with 12.8 points per game and 18 3-pointers. Haliegh Reinoehl is averaging 7.0 points and 8.7 rebounds.

Recapping American

  • Youngstown State rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth period to force overtime but ultimately fell 78-72 at American on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Penguins outscored the Eagles 21-13 in the fourth behind three 3-pointers from Nikki Arbanas to come back from a 57-48 deficit with eight minutes left. American scored the first three points in overtime, and YSU never caught up.
  • Arbanas finished with 19 points on six 3-pointers, and Sarah Cash scored a game-high 25 points to go along with six rebounds. Cash was 11-for-12 from the free-throw line in the game, and she split a pair of attempts with 42.9 seconds left to tie the game at 64 in regulation. She played a season-high 30 minutes.
  • The Penguins held American scoreless for a stretch of almost five minutes in the fourth period to tie the score at 57. Chelsea Olson and Arbanas hit 3-pointers in the final two minutes to set up Cash's tying free throw.  YSU got two defensive stops in the final 30 seconds.
  • American, which was picked to finish third in the Patriot League preseason poll, shot 53.8 percent from the field and got 31 points from its bench. YSU shot 38.7 percent but was able to stay in the game by making 10 3-pointers and grabbing 15 offensive rebounds. The Penguins won the rebounding battle 36-29.
  • Both of the Eagles' starting posts were whistled for two fouls in the first six minutes. Cecily Carl scored all 12 of her points in the second half, and she scored the first three points in overtime.
  • After being outrebounded 40-18 at Robert Morris last Wednesday, YSU won the rebounding battle at American 36-29. The Penguins had 15 offensive rebounds and converted those into 12 points.
  • McKenah Peters set season highs with eight points, nine rebounds and 21 minutes.
  • Arbanas scored her 700th career point and moved into seventh on YSU's career 3-pointers made list.