The Youngstown State men's basketball team (11-8, 6-3 Horizon League) looks to keep pace with the Horizon League leaders and sweep the season series when it hosts Horizon League leader Cleveland State (17-4, 7-2 Horizon League), Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Beeghly Center. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast on 570 WKBN-AM.
The Cleveland State Series
This is the 77th meeting between Youngstown State and Cleveland State in a series that dates back to 1930. The Vikings own a 39-37 advantage in the all-time series, but the Guins won the most recent contest - a 73-67 victory at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio, on Dec. 31, 2011. Cleveland State had won the previous five meetings. The Guins are seeking their first season sweep of the Vikings since the 2003-04 campaign. That year, the Guins defeated the Vikings, 86-82, at the Beeghly Center on Jan. 10, and 61-59 in Cleveland on Jan. 24.
About Cleveland State
Cleveland State is currently tied for first place in the Horizon League with a 7-2 mark and owns an overall record of 17-4. The Vikings have also won five of their last six contests. Tre Harmon leads the Vikings with 12.1 points per game while D'Aundray Brown averages 11.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. Jeremy Montgomery is also averging in double figures with 10.7 points per game.
Last Time Against Cleveland State
In the last meeting against Cleveland State, Youngstown State pulled off a 73-67 win at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio, on Dec. 31. Junior Damian Eargle posted a double-double with 20 and 10 rebounds while seniors DuShawn Brooks and Ashen Ward scored 17 and 15 points, respectively. The Guins also shot 58.1 percent from the floor, including 65 percent in the second half.
A Win Will
• Improve YSU to 12-8 on the year and 7-3 in the Horizon League.
• Match YSU's most Horizon League victories in a season - 7 in 2008-09 and 2006-07.
• Mark YSU's most overall wins since 2006-07.
• Mark the quickest to 12 victories since the 2000-01 squad started 12-7. That year, YSU began 14-7 after 21 games.
• Mark YSU's eighth home win of the season.
• Mark the program's 38th win over Cleveland State.
• Mark first consecutive wins over Cleveland State since Jan. 28, 2006, and Jan. 20, 2007.
• Mark the first season sweep over Cleveland State since 2003-04 .
• Mark Head Coach Jerry Slocum's 650th career victory and his 70th at Youngstown State.
• Mark YSU's 1,004th victory in the program's history.
Allen Named Player of the Week
Junior guard Blake Allen was named the Horizon League Player of the Week on Jan. 23 after averaging 21.5 points per game and shooting 75 percent from the floor and 76.9 percent from 3-point range. Allen, who led the Guins to a 2-0 record, scored a career-high 27 points against Milwaukee and had 16 against Green Bay.
Guins Tie Horizon League POW Mark
With Blake Allen's accolade, Youngstown State becomes just the second school in Horizon League history and the first since Loyola in 1984-85 to have four different players earn player-of-the-week honors in the same season. Allen joins senior DuShawn Brooks (Dec. 5), junior Damian Eargle (Jan. 2) and senior Ashen Ward (Jan. 9) as recipients of the award this year.
Senior Steppin Up
Senior Ashen Ward has been one of the Guins' go-to players over the last seven games. The Cleveland, Ohio, native has averaged 16.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He also shot 54.3 percent (38-of-70) from the floor and 50 percent (20-of-40) from 3-point range.
Allen Has Career Night
Junior Blake Allen set a career scoring high with 27 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field against Milwaukee on Jan. 27. Allen also tied a career high with seven 3-pointers against the Panthers. He made seven 3-pointers against Penn State on Nov. 23, 2011. It also marked his third 20-point outing this season.
Need to Hit the Glass
Coaches often talk of the importance of rebounding and for the Guins it is vital to success. When the Guins outrebound their opponents they own a record of 7-0.
Hold Under 70
Another ingredient for the Guins to be successful is to hold their opponents under 70 points. YSU is 11-2 when not allowing its opponents to score 70 points or more.
Allen Now Second
With three 3-pointers made against Green Bay on Jan. 22, junior Blake Allen moved into third place on the YSU single-season list with 63 3-pointers. He needs three more to move into second place. He also ranks 11th all-time with 110 career 3-pointers and needs four more to move into 10th.
Biscuit in the Basket
With 63 3-pointers made, junior Blake Allen is the first player to make at least 60 3-pointers in season since Quin Humphrey made 65 in 2006-07. Allen also set the school's single-season mark for 3-pointers made by a junior.
Eargle Block Party
Junior Damian Eargle has recorded a block in every game this season. He has posted multiple blocks in 17 of 19 games and has swatted at least three blocks in 16 games. Over the last seven games, Eargle has tallied 27 blocked shots for an average of 3.9 blocks per contest. He has also posted at least five blocks nine times this season.
The Starting Line
• The Guins have had the same starting lineup in all 19 games.
• Four starters are averaging in double figures in all games.
• All five starters are scoring in double figures in Horizon League games only.
• Each starter has posted at least one 20-point outing.
• Three starters rank in the top 20 in scoring in the Horizon League.
• Starters account for 89 percent of the Guins' scoring.
Allen Streakin From 3
Junior Blake Allen has made at least one 3-pointer in all 19 games this season and has made at least one in 26 straight contests dating back to last year. He has also made at least three 3-pointers in 12 of 19 games this year. Allen also leads the Horizon League with 3.3 3-pointers made per game. Allen has also made 102 3-pointers in the last 36 games.
Sophomore Kendrick Perry continues to prove that he is one of the top all-around players in the Horizon League. Perry ranks fifth in the league in scoring (14.4), leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2), is second in steals (2.2) and third in assists (4.2).
Allen on Pace For 3-Point Mark
With 63 3-pointers made already and averaging 3.3 3-pointers made per game, junior Blake Allen is on pace to break the record of 92 set by Craig Haese in 2000-01. If he continues at his current clip, Allen would finish with 99 3-pointers made.
Ward Named POW
For the first time in his career, senior Ashen Ward was named the Horizon League Player of the Week on Jan. 9. Ward averaged 21.5 points per game last week and shot at a 63.6 percent clip from the field and 70 percent from 3-point range. He posted consecutive 20-point performance in two wins over Loyola (21 points) and UIC (22).
Guins Setting Record Pace
The Guins have made 176 3-pointers in 19 games this season for an average of 9.3 3-pointers made per game. They are on pace to shatter the school's single-season mark of 235 set last year. If YSU continues this pace over the next 11 guaranteed games, they will finish the season with 278 3-pointers made.
Eargle Fourth Nationally
Junior Damian Eargle continues to be one of the top shot blockers in the country. Eargle currently ranks fourth nationally with 4.2 blocks per game. Last season, he finished the year ranked 10th in the country with 3.0 blocks per game.
Guins in National Stats
In the latest NCAA stats released on Jan. 23, YSU can be found throughout several categories. The Guins rank eighth with 10.2 turnovers per game and with 9.3 3-pointers made per game, 15th with 5.8 blocks per game and 31st with a 1.29 assist-to-turnover ratio. Individually, besides Damian Eargle, Blake Allen is ninth with a with 3.3 3-pointers made per game and 11th with a .463 3-point percentage. Kendrick Perry ranks 43rd with 2.3 steals per game.
Eargle Single-Season Blocks Rank 4th
Junior Damian Eargle has 79 blocks in 19 games this season. His total already ranks fourth on the YSU single-season blocks chart. His 91 last season rank second on the list.
Last Time Out
Junior Blake Allen led four players scoring in double figures with 16 points and five assists and sophomore Kendrick Perry poured in 15 points and six assists in a 30-point win over Green Bay on Jan. 22. Seniors Ashen Ward and DuShawn Brooks each added 12 points.
The Guins hit the road for a three-game road trip when they visit Milwaukee, Tuesday, Jan. 31. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at U.S. Cellular Arena.
Eargle Moves Into Second
Junior Damian Eargle has moved into second place on the YSU career blocks chart in just 49 games played. Eargle has 170 blocked shots. The only player ahead of Eargle is Ricky Tunstall, who recorded 221 career blocks. Counting his 57 blocks at UNC-Greensboro, Eargle has reached 227 blocked shots for his entire college career.
Perry Surpasses 500 Points
Sophomore Kendrick Perry could become the 33rd player in school history to score 1,000 career points. In just 49 career games, Perry has scored 542 points and needs 458 more to reach the coveted plateau. For his career, he is averaging 11.1 points per game, including a 14.4 points per game scoring average this year.
Ward Now Ranks 7th
With 34 3-pointers this season, senior Ashen Ward now ranks eighth all-time with 132 career 3-pointers. He needs four more to move into sixth place on the list.
Guins Celebrate 40 Years in Beeghly
The 2011-12 campaign is the 40th season the Beeghly Center has been the home of Youngstown State men's basketball. YSU first took to the court in the Beeghly Center in 1972-73. YSU has a record of 320-234 in games played in the Beeghly Center.
Eargle Named HL Player of the Week
Junior forward Damian Eargle was named the Horizon League Player of the Week on Jan. 2. Eargle posted his second double-double with a season-high 20 points and 10 rebounds and led the Penguins to a 73-67 win over Cleveland State on Dec. 31. Eargle scored 14 of his points in the second half. He went 8-of-11 from the field. It marks the first time in his YSU career Eargle has won the league accolade.
Brooks Named Player of the Week
Senior DuShawn Brooks was named the Horizon League Player of the Week for Dec. 5. Brooks averaged 20.5 points per game and shot 61.5 percent from the field and 64.3 percent from 3-point range. He scored a career-high 24 points against Detroit on Dec. 1 to lead the Guins to a 64-61 win. He also led the team with 17 points in a one-point loss to Wright State on Dec. 3. The last YSU player to earn the award was DeAndre Mays on Jan. 11, 2010.
Guins Set 3's Mark Again
For the third time this season, the Guins tied the school single-game record with 14 3-pointers made in a game against Buffalo on Dec. 10. The Guins tied the school single-game mark with 14 3-pointers game against Penn State on Nov. 23. and Notre Dame College on Nov. 15. The previous time YSU made 14 3 pointers in a game was against Butler on Jan. 9, 2011. Against the Bulls, the Guins also tied the school single-game mark for most 3-point field goals attempted with 35.
Eargle Has Chance For 1,000
In under three seasons of playing college basketball, junior Damian Eargle has scored more than 800 points with 803. Eargle needs just 197 more points to reach 1,000 for his entire career, which includes 268 points during the 2008-09 season at UNC-Greensboro. Last season, Eargle ranked second on the squad with 339 points for an average of 11.3 points per game.