Penguins Turn Focus to UIC for Saturday Contest

Melinda Trimmer (Photo by David Dermer)
Melinda Trimmer (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • YSU will try to win five straight Horizon League road games for the first time in program history when it plays at UIC on Saturday. Tipoff at the UIC Pavilion is set for 3 p.m. Eastern, and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins extended their road winning streak to four on Thursday with a spirited 70-67 win at IUPUI. The game featured 20 lead changes, and YSU had an impressive turnaround from when they lost 65-43 to the Jaguars on Jan. 6 in Youngstown.
  • Dating back to the win at Cleveland State on Jan. 20, the Penguins have won five of their last six games overall to improve to 11-13 overall and 7-6 in Horizon League play.
  • Over the last three contests, the Penguins have scored at least 19 points in 10 of the 12 quarters and shot at least 60 percent in eight of them.
  • YSU has made at least 10 3-pointers in three straight games, and it surpassed 200 for the season on Thursday. The Penguins lead the Horizon League with 8.5 3-pointers per game and a .341 3-point field-goal percentage.
  • Senior point guard Indiya Benjamin became the program's leader in career assists on Thursday. She increased her total to 578 to break a record that had stood since 1986.
  • Chelsea Olson has been named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week for each of the last three weeks. She is averaging team highs of 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds over the last six contests.
  • Kelley Wright has been a major contributor the past three games with 33 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 66.7 percent from the field.

Previewing UIC

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 12-13 overall and 8-6 in Horizon League play.
  • Be YSU's fifth straight on the road.
  • Allow YSU to sweep the season series with UIC and beat the Flames for the sixth straight time.
  • Be YSU's sixth straight at the UIC Pavilion.

On This Date

  • YSU is 5-5 in games played on Feb. 10. The Penguins are playing their first road contest on the date since 2000. One of the losses was at #3 Tennessee in 1992.
  • Individually, Dorothy Bowers had 28 points and 20 rebounds vs. Middle Tennessee in 1986.

Scouting The Flames

  • UIC is 7-16 overall and 0-12 in Horizon League play following a 64-42 loss to Cleveland State on Thursday. The Flames were 7-3 following a home won over North Texas on Dec. 18, but they've lost 13 straight since.
  • The Flames rank sixth in the conference in scoring defense allowing 63.4 points per game, but they are 10th in scoring offense with 57.4 points per contest. UIC has been held below 60 points in eight straight games.
  • Individually, Brittany Byrd ranks fifth in the conference with 14.9 points per game, but she missed Thursday's game with an injury. Taylor Toney is eighth in the league with 13.9 ppg, and she is also eighth in rebounding.

Recapping IUPUI

  • Indiya Benjamin became Youngstown State's all-time assists leader and scored 15 second-half points to lead the Penguins to a big 70-67 win at IUPUI on Thursday.
  • The Penguins endured 20 lead changes in a back-and-forth battle against the second-place Jaguars. The largest lead for either team was six, and both teams led for more than 15 minutes. The result was a huge turnaround from when IUPUI won 65-43 at Beeghly Center on Jan. 6.
  • YSU became the first Horizon League team other than Green Bay to beat the Jaguars.
  • Benjamin scored 17 points to go along with her 10 assists. Her record-breaking assist came on a pass in transition to Mary Dunn with 8:01 left in the second period. She passed Danielle Carson's mark of 573, which had stood since 1986. Benjamin had 10 assists for the second time in three games.
  • Chelsea Olson added 13 points, and Kelley Wright kept up her hot streak with 12 points and five rebounds for the Penguins. Olson reached double figures for the eighth time, and YSU improved to 8-0 in those contests. Wright has scored 33 points in the last three games after having 29 points in the first 21 games of the season.
  • YSU's largest leads were 6-0 and 21-15, which both came in the second period. IUPUI took its largest lead at 47-42 in the third period as it held the Penguins without a field goal for almost three minutes. Wright and Benjamin hit 3-pointers in a three-possession span to put the Penguins back up by one, and YSU either led or was within three the rest of the game.
  • YSU's success at the 3-point line was a big part of the win. The Penguins went 10-for-23 on offense and limited the Jaguars to 2-for-14 from the perimeter on defense. In the first matchup, IUPUI was 10-for-27 and YSU was 5-for-22.
  • Six different Penguins made at least one 3-pointer, and YSU reached 200 for the season for the eighth straight campaign.
  • YSU pushed the ball on offense and outscored the Jaguars 12-3 in transition. That, along with the advantage in 3s, helped offset IUPUI's 40-20 advantage in the paint.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State will play three games in a five-day stretch, starting with home contests against Milwaukee and Green Bay on Thursday and Saturday. Tipoff against the Panthers will be at 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN and ESPN3.