The Youngstown State men's basketball team (8-18, 2-14 Horizon League) plays its final regular -season road game when it takes on UC-Riverside in the annual BracketBuster, Saturday, Feb. 20. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. (EDT) at the UC-Riverside Student-Recreation Center in Riverside, Calif. The game will also be broadcast live on 570 WKBN AM.
• This is the first ever meeting between Youngstown State and UC-Riverside.
• 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 hard-fought 64-62 road loss at Horizon League foe Milwaukee on Feb. 15. Senior DeAndre Mays led the Penguins with 23 points while junior Vytas Sulskis added 12 points. The Penguins trailed by 13 points with 2:38 left in the game and were able to cut the deficit down to one with four seconds left. Sophomore Ashen Ward's 3-pointer was waved off as the clock expired.
• Junior Vytas Sulskis continues to move up the Youngstown State all-time 3-point chart. With 37 3-pointers made this season, Sulskis now ranks seventh all-time with 122 career 3-pointers. He needs five more to move into sixth place surpassing Ryan Patton who made 126 from 1998-2002.
• 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 702 points, Bright has scored 602 career points and Martin has totaled 554.
• Junior Vytas Sulskis has scored 867 career points and needs 133 more to become the 32nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points.
A Win Will
• Improve YSU to 9-18 overall
• Mark the program's first win over UC-Riverside.
• Mark the program's first BracketBusters road victory.
• Snap a six-game losing streak.
• Mark YSU's third road 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.
The UC-Riverside Series
This is the first meeting between Youngstown State and UC-Riverside.
UC-Riverside enters the game with a 10-15 record and have won two of the last three contests. The Highlanders are coming off a 74-57 win over UC-Irvine on Feb. 17. Leading the Highlanders is Kyle Austin who leads the team with 18.3 points per game. Larry Gurganious is averaging 8.1 points per game. UC-Riverside is 4-9 in the Big West Conference.
Mays Movin' Up
Since the start of the new year, DeAndre Mays has increased his scoring average by 2.8 points per game from 11.8 to 14.6 per contest. His overall scoring average ranks eighth in the Horizon League. More impressively, Mays has moved into fifth-place in the league scoring race in Horizon League games only. In 16 games, Mays is averaging 15.4 points per game. The Dallas, Texas, native is also dishing out 3.3 assists per game versus league foes.
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 867 points, needs 133 more to reach 1,000. He scored in double figures in 17 of 26 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), 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, 12 against Loyola (2/4), 21 against UIC (2/6), 14 against Butler (2/11), a season-high 24 against Valparaiso (2/13) and 12 against Milwaukee (2/15).
Over the last 14 games, senior DeAndre Mays has been stellar. The Dallas, Texas, native is averaging 17 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and has scored in double figures in 13 of the 14 games, including the last nine.
Mays Notches First Double-Double
With 16 points and 10 assists against Valparaiso on Feb. 13, senior DeAndre Mays recorded his first career double-double. He became the first YSU player since Derrick Harris had 10 points and 12 assists against Canisius on Feb. 16, 2006, to record a points-assists double-double.
Sulskis Collects First Double-Double
Just like DeAndre Mays, junior Vytas Sulskis recorded his first career double-double with a season-high 24 points and tied a career-high 11 rebounds against Valparaiso on Feb. 13.
Against UIC on Feb. 6, DeAndre Mays and Vytas Sulskis each eclipsed te 20-point plateau with 22 and 21 points. The duo is the first pair of Penguins to score at least 20 points in a game since Vance Cooksey (24) and Kelvin Bright did it against Kent State in 2008.
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 Now Seventh
Junior Vytas Sulskis continues to move up the Youngstown State all-time 3-point chart. With 37 3-pointers made this season, Sulskis now ranks seventh all-time with 122 career 3-pointers. He needs five more to move into sixth place surpassing Ryan Patton who made 126 from 1998-2002.
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 702 points, Bright has scored 602 career points and Martin has totaled 554.
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 Wright State, Thursday, Feb. 25. Tipoff is set for 7:35 p.m. and is part of a men's and women's basketball doubleheader.
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.
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.
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.