The Youngstown State men's basketball team (8-14, 2-10 Horizon League) goes for a season-series sweep of UIC (5-17, 1-11 Horizon League) when it visits the Flames, Saturday, Feb. 6, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m. EDT. The game will also be broadcast live on 570 WKBN AM and the Horizon League Network.
• This is the 25th meeting between Youngstown State and UIC in series that dates back to 1993. The Flames own a 19-5 advantage in the all-time series, but the Penguins have won the three of the last four and five of the last eight contests, including a 76-67 win at the Beeghly Center earlier this season. In the last meeting at the UIC Pavilion, Youngstown State came away with a 68-60 victory, marking YSU's first-ever win at the Pavilion.
• Youngstown State Head Coach Jerry Slocum is one of 18 active coaches with more than 600 career victories. He currently ranks seventh among active Division I coaches with 629 career wins.
• The Penguins are coming off a disappointing 92-95 overtime loss at Loyola on Feb. 4. Six Penguins scored in double figures led by Kelvin Bright's 22 points. Senior Sirlester Martin and junior Vytas Sulskis each poured in 12 points, senior DeAndre Mays scored 11 points and junior Vance Cooksey and sophomore Ashen Ward each added 10 points.
• Junior Vytas Sulskis continues to move up the Youngstown State all-time 3-point chart. With 28 3-pointers made this season, Sulskis now ranks tied for eighth all-time with 113 career 3-pointers. He needs one more to move into eighth place surpassing Dave Henderson who made 113 from 1994-97. He also needs four more to move into seventh place on the all-time list passing Anthony Hunt, who made 116 from 1995-98.
• In less than two full seasons, seniors Kelvin Bright, Sirlester Martin and DeAndre Mays have eclipsed the 500 career point total at YSU. Mays has scored 623 points, Martin has totaled 546 and Bright has scored 566 career points.
• Junior Vytas Sulskis has scored 796 career points and needs 204 more to become the 32nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points.
A Win Will
• Improve YSU to 9-14 overall and 3-10 in the Horizon League.
• Mark the program's sixth win over UIC.
• Mark YSU's second straight win over UIC at the UIC Pavilion and the fourth win in the last five games against the Flames.
• Mark just the second win at the UIC Pavilion.
• Mark YSU's third road victory of the season.
• Mark Head Coach Jerry Slocum's 630th career victory and his 50th at Youngstown State.
• YSU's 984th victory in the program's history.
UIC enters the game with a 5-17 overall record and a 1-11 mark in the Horizon League. The Flames have lost nine straight contests and 11 of the last 13 games. Robo Kreps leads the Flames with 14 points per game while Zavion Neely and Jeremy Buttell are averaging double figures with 11.8 and 11.7 points per game, respectively. Buttell also leads the team with seven rebounds per contests.
Last Time Against UIC
In the last meeting against UIC, the Penguins shot 46 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free-throw line in a 76-67 victory at the Beeghly Center. Vytas Sulskis scored a team-high 17 points while senior DeAndre Mays posted 15 points and senior Sirlester Martin added 12 points. Sulskis connected on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range.
Last Time Out
The Penguins are coming off a disappointing 92-95 overtime loss at Loyola on Feb. 4. Six Penguins scored in double figures led by Kelvin Bright's 22 points. Senior Sirlester Martin and junior Vytas Sulskis each poured in 12 points, senior DeAndre Mays scored 11 points and junior Vance Cooksey and sophomore Ashen Ward each added 10 points.
Six Reach Doubles
Against Loyola on Feb. 4, six Penguins scored in double figures. It marked the first time that many YSU players reached double digits since a 96-59 win over Allegheny on Nov. 22, 2008.
Sulskis Burns Flames
Vytas Sulskis enjoyed playing against UIC during his career. In six games against the Flames, the 6-foot-7 guard is averaging 15.5 points per game, including a 20-point effort in the 73-68
loss last season. Sulskis is shooting 47 percent (33-of-70) from the floor and is averaging 5.3 rebounds per game. He also had a career-high 26 points against UIC as a freshman (1/3/08).
Sulskis Now Tied For Eighth
Junior Vytas Sulskis continues to move up the Youngstown State all-time 3-point chart. With 25 3-pointers made this season, Sulskis now ranks ninth all-time with 110 career 3-pointers. He needs four more to move into eighth place surpassing Dave Henderson who made 113 from 1994-97.
Bright, Martin, Mays in 500-Point Club
In less than two full seasons, seniors Kelvin Bright, Sirlester Martin and DeAndre Mays have eclipsed the 500 career point total at YSU. Mays has scored 623 points, Martin has totaled 546 and Bright has scored 566 career points.
Against Loyola on Feb. 4, the Penguins set several first-half season highs. The Guins' new first-half bests include points (53), field-goals made (19), 3-point field-goals made (9), field-goal percentage (.633) and assists (12).
The Penguins return home to host nationally-ranked Butler, Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.
Slocum In Select Company
Youngstown State Head Coach Jerry Slocum is in some pretty elite company. Slocum, who has 629 career wins, is one of nine active Division I head coaches with more than 600 career victories and ranks seventh among that group.
Over the last three games, senior Kelvin Bright has improved his offensive production. Bright is average 15.7 points per game and is shooting 46.7 percent (14-of-30) from the floor and 75 percent (18-of-24) from the free-throw line. He scored 13 points against North Carolina Central on Jan. 27, 12 points against Cleveland State on Jan. 30 and a season-high against Loyola (Feb. 4).
Sulskis Closing In on 1,000
Junior Vytas Sulskis is inching his way toward becoming the 32nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Sulskis, who has scored 796 points, needs 204 more to reach 1,000. He scored in double figures in 13 of 22 games this season, including 12 against Xavier (11/13), 10 against Hiram (11/15), 15 against Kent State, 10 against Geneva (11/24),14 against Detroit (12/3), a season-high 17 against Green Bay (12/19),13 against High Point (12/22), 17 against UIC (1/7), 11 against Valparaiso (1/16), 11 against Milwaukee (1/22), 11 against North Carolina Central and 12 against Loyola (2/4).
Mays Named Player of the Week
For the first time in his career, Youngstown State senior DeAndre Mays was named the Horizon League's Player of the Week, the league announced Jan. 11. Mays averaged 22.5 points per game and shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field and 66.7 percent (6-of-9) from 3-point range. The Dallas, Texas, native led the Penguins to a 2-0 record and shot 84.6 percent (11-of-13)from the free-throw line. He is the 40th player in school history with a 30-point game.
Blocker, Ward Nab More Career Bests
Against Loyola, senior Dallas Blocker and sophomore Ashen Ward each set career highs in assists and rebounds, respectively. Blocker dished out seven assists to go with eight points and nine rebounds against the Ramblers. Ward grabbed a career-best eight rebounds while scoring 10 points.
Last to Score 30
With 30 points against Loyola on Jan. 9, senior DeAndre Mays set a career-high and became the first player to score at least 30 points since Keston Roberts scored 31 against Detroit on Feb. 27, 2007. Mays' performance is the 10-time under Jerry Slocum a player has scored at least 30 points in a game. YSU had just 10 30-point plus performances from Feb. 1988 to Dec. 2005.