Penguins Host UIC Thursday to Begin Doubleheader

Nikki Arbanas (Photo by David Dermer)
Nikki Arbanas (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State looks to get back above .500 in Horizon League play and improve to 4-1 in its six-game homestand as it hosts UIC on Thursday. Tipoff against the Flames is set for 5:15 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN. YSU's men's team will play later in the evening as part of a doubleheader.
  • The Penguins beat Detroit Mercy 76-59 in the league opener last Thursday behind 12 3-pointers, but they were 2-for-22 from long distance in a disappointing 58-48 loss to Oakland on Saturday. Oakland also struggled going 3-for-21 from the arc, but the Golden Grizzles held advantages of 17-6 in points off turnovers and 16-8 in second-chance points.
  • Senior point guard Indiya Benjamin recorded the 500th assist of her career last Thursday. She is one of two active players 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.
  • Even with the off day against Oakland, YSU continues to lead the Horizon League with 116 3-pointers and 8.9 3s per contest. The Penguins also rank third in the conference with a .333 3-point field-goal percentage. YSU has made at least 10 3s in eight of its 13 games.


  • Advance tickets for Thursday'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 4:15 p.m. on Thursday.

Previewing UIC

A Win Would...

  • Be YSU's sixth of the season and fourth in the last five games.
  • Improve YSU's record to 5-3 at Beeghly Center.
  • Give YSU five straight wins over the Flames.

On This Date

  • YSU is 6-6 all time in games played on Jan. 4. The Penguins' last game on the date resulted in a 66-57 non-conference loss to new Horizon League member IUPUI in 2014.
  • Brianne Kenneally made 12 of YSU's school-record 35 free throws in an 87-72 win over Oakland on Jan. 4, 1999.

Scouting UIC

  • UIC comes in with a 7-5 overall mark and an 0-1 mark in conference games. The Flames won four straight games in December to push their record to 7-3, but they lost 57-55 to Loyola Chicago to end non-league play and 82-46 to IUPUI to start their Horizon League slate.
  • The Flames rank in the top four in the conference in assists (13.4) and steals (8.8) per game while also ranking fourth in turnover margin (plus-2.2). They are also second with 15.3 offensive rebounds per game.
  • Brittany Byrd ranks sixth in the league in scoring at 15 points per game, and Taylor Toney is ninth with 14.5 per contest. They rank first and second, respectively, in the league in minutes per game. Toney also ranks second in the league with 2.5 steals per game.

Recapping Oakland

  • In a game where both teams struggled offensively, Oakland made the most of offensive rebounds and turnovers to beat YSU 58-48 on Saturday at Beeghly Center.
  • YSU's only lead of the day was 2-0, and Oakland scored the next six points to go up 6-2. Oakland's final 3 of the day came from Somerfield at the 2:06 mark of the opening period, which made the score 15-6. The Golden Grizzlies led 17-11 at the end of the first, and the lead grew to 23-13 at with 5:39 left in the second period.
  • YSU closed out the second half on an 11-2 spurt to get within 25-24. Oakland scored the first six points of both the third and fourth periods and led by at least seven for the final eight minutes of the game.
  • Oakland grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and converted them into a 16-8 edge in second-chance points, and it also scored 17 points off of YSU's 14 turnovers. Oakland shot 35.5 percent from the field, slightly lower than YSU's 36.5 percent.
  • Both teams specifically struggled from the outside. Oakland was 3-for-21 from beyond the arc and went 0-for-10 over the final three periods. YSU was 2-for-22 on 3-point attempts and was 0-for-11 in the second half. YSU came into the game averaging 9.5 3s per game, and Oakland was averaging 7.7.
  • YSU was 17-for-30 (56.7 percent) inside the arc. Starting posts Sarah Cash (4-for-6) and Mary Dunn (3-for-4) combined to go 7-of-10 from the field.
  • The Penguins got plenty of attempts from their top available shooters. Nikki Arbanas (0-for-7), McKenah Peters (0-for-6) and Morgan Brunner (0-for-3) were each shooting at least 37 percent from 3-point range coming into the game.
  • Indiya Benjamin led the Penguins with 11 points, Cash scored 10 and Dunn added seven. Benjamin was held to one assist, and YSU had eight as a team.
  • Cash finished the game with 800 points in her career.
  • The Penguins were coming off a game in which they went 12-for-22 from 3-point range and had 18 assists on 25 field goals.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State concludes its six-game homestand on Saturday as it hosts Horizon League newcomer IUPUI. Tipoff against the Jaguars is at 4:15 p.m., and the game will be part of another doubleheader with the men's program.