YSU Looks to Stay Hot Saturday vs. Oakland

McKenah Peters (Photo by David Dermer)
McKenah Peters (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will look to start to 2-0 in Horizon League play and 4-0 on this six-game homestand as it hosts Oakland on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on sportsanimal1390.com, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins beat Detroit Mercy 76-59 on Thursday in the league opener. YSU made six of its 12 3-pointers in the game in the first period and led by double figures for more than 33 minutes. Nikki Arbanas made five 3s and was one of four Penguins with at least 11 points.
  • Indiya Benjamin recorded the 500th assist of her career on Thursday. She is the only player in the country with career totals of at least 1,000 points, 500 assists and 150 3-pointers.
  • Four of YSU's five wins this season have been by at least 17 points, and the other is a two-point win over Northern Arizona.
  • YSU begins its conference slate with four straight home games as part of an overall six-game homestand. That is the Penguins' longest stretch at home since the 1990-91 season, and YSU will go 33 days between road games. After opening with four straight conference home games, YSU will play eight of its next 10 contests on the road.
  • In 12 games, YSU has led by at least seven at the end of the first period seven times and been within three points in three others. The second period has been a bugaboo, though, as YSU has held a lead at halftime just five times. YSU won each of those games.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League with 114 3-pointers and 9.5 3s per contest. The Penguins also rank fourth in the conference with a .350 3-point field-goal percentage. YSU has made at least 10 3s in eight of its 12 games.

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 noon on Saturday.
  • Fans in attendance will receive a YSU Koozie, courtesy of Farmers National Bank, McDonald's and TV-21 WFMJ.
  • Saturday's game is the final Rulli Brothers "Holiday Hoops" game of the season. Fans can receive a buy one, get one offer on general admission tickets for home women's basketball games in December. Fans should ask for the "Holiday Hoops" ticket special, courtesy of Rulli Brothers in and Boardman, in person at the Stambaugh Stadium Ticket Office or by calling (330) 941-1YSU.
  • Saturday's game is the second Veterans Appreciation Game of the season. All military personnel who bring a valid military ID to the Stambaugh Stadium Ticket Office will receive four complimentary game tickets to Saturday's contest.

Previewing Oakland

A Win Would...

  • Be YSU's sixth of the season and fourth in a row.
  • Improve YSU's record to 5-2 at Beeghly Center.
  • Allow YSU to start 2-0 in Horizon League play for the third time in the last five years.

On This Date

  • YSU is 5-10 all time in games played on Dec. 30. The Penguins' last game on the date was in 2015 and resulted in a 69-58 win over Tennessee State.
  • YSU shot 62.5 percent from the field, the second-best mark in program history, in a 97-83 over Kent State in 1987. Dorothy Bowers keyed the win with 46 points.

Scouting Oakland

  • Oakland is 7-5 this season after having a four-game winning streak snapped Thursday at Cleveland State, 70-62. That was Oakland's league opener.
  • Oakland possesses one of the Horizon League's top offenses. The Golden Grizzlies average 74.6 points, which ranks second in the conference, and five players average at least 10.9 points. On defense, Oakland forces a league-high 11.1 steals per game.
  • Sha'Keya Graves leads the team with 13.8 points per game, and she is one of three Golden Grizzlies who has made at least 22 3-pointers. Taylor Gleason leads the conference in both assists (5.1) and steals (2.9) per game.

Recapping Detroit Mercy

  • YSU surged out to a 10-point lead by the end of the first period and led by double figures for more than 33 minutes in a 76-59 win over Detroit Mercy on Thursday. The Penguins won their league opener for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
  • Detroit Mercy's final lead came at 4-3, and YSU went on 11-0 run to take its first double-digit lead of the evening at 14-4. The lead grew to 12 in the first period, and it was 17 at halftime. The teams played even in the second half, and the Titans go no closer than a dozen.
  • Youngstown State made six of its 12 3-pointers in the first period and finished with a season-best percentage of 54.5 percent (12-of-22) from long range. It was the eighth time this season that YSU made at least 10 3s in a game.
  • YSU had one more turnover than Detroit Mercy (14-13) but outscored the Titans 19-9 off turnovers.
  • Indiya Benjamin dished out a team-high nine assists and added a career-best nine rebounds and four points. On YSU's first basket of the night, Benjamin was credited with her 500th career assist.
  • Nikki Arbanas made her first five attempts from long range and finished the game 5-of-6. She finished with 17 points to pace four Penguins who finished with at least 11 points.
  • Arbanas passed Leslie Majewski to move into the top five in program history in career 3-pointers. She has 170 in her career, which is three behind Benjamin's total. The record is 199 by Liz Hornberger.
  • Arbanas and Benjamin did not sit until there were 42 seconds left in the game.
  • Sarah Cash had three fouls in the first half but made the most of her time on the floor, scoring 16 points in just 14 minutes in the game.
  • YSU had a pair of freshman guards shine in their first conference game. Chelsea Olson scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including three 3-pointers, in her second career start. McKenah Peters had 11 points in her first career start.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State opens the new year by hosting UIC on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. The contest will be the first half of a Horizon League doubleheader at Beeghly Center with the YSU men's team.