Penguins Eye 600th Win on Saturday vs. Saint Francis U

Amara Chikwe (Photo by David Dermer)
Amara Chikwe (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will go for its 600th victory as a program and its seventh this season as it hosts Saint Francis U on Saturday at Beeghly Center. Tipoff against the Red Flash is set for 4:45 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN. The contest will be the second half of a doubleheader with the YSU men's team.
  • The Penguins earned wins number 598 and 599 last week, knocking off previously unbeaten Akron 72-61 on Wednesday and besting Canisius 62-36 on Saturday.
  • Alison Smolinski broke the single-game school record for 3-pointers by making nine at Canisius. The senior went 6-for-8 from beyond the arc in the second half as the Penguins outscored the Golden Griffins 34-15 over the final 20 minutes.
  • Dating back to Jan. 20, 2018, YSU has gone 16-6 over its last 22 contests. Before Jan. 20, the Penguins were 6-16 over their previous 22 games.
  • YSU will dress a maximum of nine players for the foreseeable future, and it dressed just eight players for the final three games of November.
  • Two of YSU's top three scorers – Alison Smolinski and McKenah Peters – as well as two of its top three rebounders – Chelsea Olson and Peters – are guards.
  • Smolinski has made at least one 3-pointer in each game, and she is tied for fifth in the country with 31 3-pointers this season. She moved into fifth place in program history in career 3s last Saturday, and her total is currently 184.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League in scoring margin, scoring defense, field-goal percentage defense, free-throw percentage, rebounding margin, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio and 3-pointers per game.
  • YSU has played in the postseason four times in the last six seasons with WNIT berths in 2013 and 2015 and WBI bids in 2016 and 2018.
  • YSU has made at least 200 3-pointers in eight straight seasons, and it has led the Horizon League in 3-pointers per game in four straight campaigns.

Tickets, Promotions and Fan Information

  • Parking Information
  • Visitors Guide
  • Advance tickets for Saturday's game are available at the YSU Athletic Ticket Office in Stambaugh Stadium. Tickets can be ordered in person or 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 1 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Saturday's doubleheader is sponsored by State Farm.
  • Fans who bring a children's toy or book to benefit Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley can purchase one $5 general admission ticket for each item they donate.
  • Fans in attendance will receive a YSU keychain, courtesy of Medical Mutual and 21 WFMJ.
  • This will be the first Rulli Brothers "Holiday Hoops" women's basketball game of the season. Rulli Brothers, an official PenguiN Partner, is proud to present a "Buy One, Get One Free" general admission ticket offer to any YSU men's or women's basketball home game in December.
  • YSU and Saint Francis U will be wearing yellow laces to support the Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer event. The national fundraiser helps kids with cancer and their families as part of the Go4TheGoal Foundation.
  • Saturday will be a Veterans Appreciation game, and all military personnel may bring a valid military ID to the ticket office to receive complimentary game tickets.

Previewing Saint Francis U

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 7-2 this season.
  • Even YSU's record against Saint Francis U at 3-3.
  • Be the 600th in school history and the 89th under Barnes.

Scouting Saint Francis U

  • Saint Francis U is 2-5 this season and is coming off an 83-69 loss to Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday.
  • The Red Flash play an up-tempo style and average 83.1 possessions per game (YSU averages 66). SFU averages 68.9 points on offense and allows 90.3 points per game on defense. Each of their six Division I opponents has scored at least 82 points against them.
  • Senior Jess Kovatch averages 17.7 points and has made 24 3-pointers this season. She is the NCAA's active leader in career points (2,282) and 3-pointers (373).
  • Susan Robinson-Fruchtl is the interim head coach and SFU's Director of Athletics. She was previously the Red Flash's head coach from 2007-12.

Series History

  • Overall: Saint Francis U leads 3-2
  • Barnes: 1-1 // Home: 1-1 // Away: 1-2 // Neutral: 0-0
  • Current Win Streak: 1 by Saint Francis U

On This Day

  • YSU is 1-4 all-time in games played on Dec. 8. The Penguins beat Michigan 75-66 at Beeghly Center on Dec. 8, 1990. Margaret Somple scored 23 points to lead five Penguins in double figures in the win over the Wolverines.

Recapping Canisius

  • Alison Smolinski made a school-record nine 3-pointers, and YSU had a strong defensive effort in a 62-36 victory at Canisius on Saturday.
  • Smolinski was 9-for-14 from beyond the arc in the contest, and she was 6-for-8 in the second half as YSU outscored the Golden Griffins 34-15 in the final 20 minutes to pull away.
  • Smolinski broke the previous record of eight, which she shared with Kelsea Newman (2015) and Kenya Middlebrooks (2012). Smolinski's record-breaker came with 1:17 left in the fourth period, and she went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in the quarter.
  • YSU scored the first seven points of the game and led for 39:43. Smolinski scored eight points in the first four minutes of the game, and her third 3-pointer of the game came at the 9:26 mark of the second period and put YSU up 20-15.
  • YSU held the Golden Griffins scoreless for a stretch of more than eight minutes in the second period, but Canisius hit a pair of late 3s to get within 28-21 at halftime.
  • Canisius opened the second half with another 3-pointer to close the gap to 28-24, but Smolinski hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions as part of a 12-0 run that put YSU up 40-24 with 5:33 on the clock. The Golden Griffins got no closer than 14 the rest of the game.
  • Smolinski finished with 29 points, one shy of her career high that she achieved twice as a sophomore. She became just the third player in the country this season to make at least nine 3-pointers in a game, and she became the first female to make nine 3-pointers at the Koessler Athletic Center, which opened in 1975.
  • Sarah Cash scored 12 points, and McKenah Peters added 11 for YSU. Chelsea Olson set a new career high with nine assists.
  • Canisius shot just 25.5 percent, which was the lowest by a Division I opponent since Cleveland State shot 25 percent on Feb. 20, 2016.

Up Next

  • YSU will be idle next week with finals exams taking priority. The Penguins' next contest will be at Patriot League preseason favorite Bucknell on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 11 a.m.