Men's Basketball Entertains Second-Place Wright State Thursday

The Youngstown State men's basketball team (8-19, 2-14 Horizon League) returns the to Beeghly Center for its final two home games of the 2009-10 campaign beginning with a matchup against in-state rival Wright State, Thursday, Feb. 25. Tipoff is set for 7:35 p.m. and is part of a women's and men's basketball doubleheader. The game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN AM and the Horizon League Network.

Opening Notes

• This is the the 40th meeting between Youngstown State and Wright State in a series that dates back to 1977. The Raiders own a 32-7 advantage in the all-time series and have won the last five contests, including a 67-54 victory earlier this season. The last time YSU defeated Wright State was during the 2006-07 season with a 72-57 decision at the Beeghly Center. Wright State has won the last two meetings in the Beeghly Center by a combined nine points - 67-61 in 2009 and 50-47 in 2008.
• 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 their third straight two points loss after falling to UC-Riverside, 62-60, on Feb. 20. UC-Riverside's David Chavarria's basket with 0.3 seconds remaining was the difference. Junior Vytas Sulskis led the Penguins with 18 points against the Highlanders.
• Junior Vytas Sulskis continues to move up the Youngstown State all-time 3-point chart. With 38 3-pointers made this season, Sulskis now ranks seventh all-time with 123 career 3-pointers. He needs four more to move into sixth place surpassing Ryan Patton who made 126 from 1998-2002. His season-high for 3-pointers made was 46 in 2007-08.
Opening Notes (Cont.)
• 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 709 points, Bright has scored 611 career points and Martin has totaled 560.
• Junior Vytas Sulskis has scored 885 career points and needs 115 more to become the 32nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points.

Mays Nearing 400
Senior DeAndre Mays is 13 points from eclipsing the 400-point total this season. He would become the fifth player - and the sixth time - to score at least 400 points in a single-season under Head Coach Jerry Slocum. The last player to score 400 points in a season was John Barber in 2007-08. Byron Davis also scored 465 that same year. Quin Humphrey posted 538 in 2005-06 and 584 in 2006-07 while Keston Roberts tallied 504 in 2006-07.

A Win Will
• Improve YSU to 9-19 overall and 3-14 in the Horizon League.
• Mark the program's eighth win over Wright State and the first since 2007.
• Snap a seven-game losing streak and a 10-game league losing streak.
• Mark YSU's seventh home 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.

The Wright State Series
This is the the 40th meeting between Youngstown State and Wright State in a series that dates back to 1977. The Raiders own a 32-7 advantage in the all-time series and have won the last five contests, including a 67-54 victory earlier this season. The last time YSU defeated Wright State was during the 2006-07 season with a 72-57 decision at the Beeghly Center. Wright State has won the last two meetings in the Beeghly Center by a combined eight points - 67-61 in 2009 and 50-47 in 2008.

Scouting Wright State
Wright State enters the contest with an overall record of 18-10 and stands in second place in the Horizon League with an 11-5 mark. The Raiders have won seven of their last nine contests, but are coming off a 64-59 loss at Ohio on Feb. 20. In league play, the Raiders are 7-1 over their last eight games. Vaughn Duggins leads the Raiders with a 14.5 points per game and Todd Brown ranks second on the team with 13.1 points per game. Duggins also ranks ninth in the league in scoring while Brown is 13th. Against league foes, Duggins is averaging 15 points per game, which ranks fifth in the circuit.

Mays Movin' Up
Since the start of the new year, DeAndre Mays has increased his scoring average by 2.5 points per game from 11.8 to 14.3 per contest. His overall scoring average ranks 10th 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 885 points, needs 115 more to reach 1,000. He scored in double figures in 18 of 27 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), 12 against Milwaukee (2/15) and 18 against UC-Riverside (2/20).

Mays Lately
Over the last 16 games, senior DeAndre Mays has been stellar. The Dallas, Texas, native is averaging 16.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and has scored in double figures in 14 of the 16 games.

Sulskis Steppin' Up
Junior Vytas Sulskis has been one of the Penguins' "go-to" guys recently. Over the last six games, Sulskis has scored in double figures in each contest and is averaging 16.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-7 guard is shooting 44.6 percent (29-of-65) from the field, 43.3 (13-of-30) from 3-point range and 75 percent (30-of-40) from the free-throw line.

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.

20-20 Vision
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.

First-Half Highs
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).

Up Next
The Penguins host Detroit on Senior Day, Saturday, Feb. 27, at 2:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center. The contest is also the Horizon League's Game of the Week and is part of a men's and women's basekttball 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.

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 10th 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.