Men's Basketball Seeks Best Start Since 2000-01; Host UIC Saturday

Men's Basketball Seeks Best Start Since 2000-01; Host UIC Saturday

Game Notes vs. UIC

The Youngstown State men's basketball team (8-6, 3-1 Horizon League) seeks to match its win total from a season ago when it hosts UIC (5-10, 1-4 Horizon League), Saturday, Jan. 7, at 7:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center. The game can be heard on 570 WKBN-AM.

The UIC Series
This is the 28th meeting between Youngstown State and UIC in an all-time series that dates back to 1993. The Flames own a 21-6 advantage in the series. The Guins have won five of the last six contests played in Youngstown, including the last two games. Last season, YSU defeated UIC, 71-69, at the Beeghly Center.

About UIC
UIC is currently 5-10 overall and 1-4 in the Horizon League. The Flames are coming off a 73-56 loss to Cleveland State on Thursday evening, but also have two overtime losses to league members Milwaukee and Wright State. Daniel Barnes leads the Flames with 11.3 points per game while Gary Talton and Darrin Williams are also averaging in double figures with 10.7 and 10.5 points per game, respectively.

A Win Will
• Improve YSU 9-6 on the year and 4-1 in the Horizon League.
• Match YSU's win total from last season.
• Mark the quickest to nine victories since the 2000-01 squad started 9-6.
• Mark the first time the Guins start conference play 4-1 since joining the Horizon League.
• Mark the first time since 1999-2000 YSU begins conference play with a 4-1 mark.
• Mark YSU's fifth home win of the season.
• Mark the program's seventh win over UIC.
• Mark the third straight win over UIC at the Beeghly Center.
• Mark Head Coach Jerry Slocum's 647th career victory and his 67th at Youngstown State.
• Mark YSU's 1,001st victory in the program's history.

YSU Nets 1,000th, Surpass HL Total
With the 68-64 overtime win over Loyola, the Guins secured the 1,000th victory in program history. The win also pushed their league record to 3-1, which surpassed their Horizon League win total from last season.

Ward Heating Up
Senior Ashen Ward has caught fire over the last two games. The Cleveland, Ohio, native is averaging 18 points and shooting 57.9 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range during that span. In four Horizon League games, Ward is averaging 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51.5 percent from the floor and 52.9 percent behind the arc.

Guins and OT
With their 68-64 overtime win over Loyola on Jan. 5, the Guins won two overtime games in the same season for the first time since the 2000-01 season. That year, YSU defeated Northern Iowa, 79-76, on Dec. 22, 2000, and Chicago State, 71-68, on Jan. 20, 2001. Both were double-overtime victories. The last time YSU won two consecutive games that went overtime was against UMKC, 66-61, on Jan. 20, 2000, and the UNI double-overtime contest. Prior to defeating UC-Riverside in overtime on Nov. 18, the Guins had lost 11 straight overtime contests.

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.

Eargle Single-Season Blocks Rank 4th
Junior Damian Eargle has 58 blocks in 14 games this season. His total already ranks fourth on the YSU single-season blocks chart. His 91 last season rank second on the list.

Allen Streakin From 3
Junior Blake Allen has made at least one 3-pointer in all 14 games this season and has made at least one in 21 straight contests dating back to last year. He has also made at least three 3-pointers in nine of the 14 games this year. Allen also leads the Horizon League with 3.2 3-pointers made per game. Allen has also made 84 3-pointers in the last 31 games.

Last Time Out
Senior Ashen Ward scored a team-high 21 points and led three other Penguins reaching double figures in 68-64 overtime win against Loyola on Jan. 5. Junior Damian Eargle just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds and Kendrick Perry and Blake Allen scored 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Up Next
The Guins visit Valparaiso, Friday, Jan. 13, at 8:05 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind.

Eargle Moves Into Second
Junior Damian Eargle has moved into second place on the YSU career blocks chart in just 44 games played. Eargle has 149 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 206 blocked shots for his entire college career.

Guins Setting Record Pace
The Guins have made 131 3-pointers in 14 games this season for an average of 9.4 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 16 guaranteed games, they will finish the season with 281 3-pointers made.

Brooks Tearin' Up Horizon League
Just four games into the Horizon League slate, senior DuShawn Brooks is having his way with his opponents. Brooks is averaging 16.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-7 forward is shooting 54.5 percent (24-for-44) from the field and 52.2 percent (12-for-23) from 3-point range.

Ward Highlights For Hometown
Senior Ashen Ward stepped up big for the Guins playing in front of his hometown crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, on Dec. 31. Ward scored 15 points, including 12 in the second half, to help YSU to a 73-67 win over Cleveland State. Ward connected on 4-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. In the three games prior, Ward was just 1-for-16 from the floor and 0-for-8 from behind the arc.

Allen Nearing 100 3's
In just 44 career games, junior Blake Allen is nearing the century mark for 3-pointers made. Allen has 92 3-pointers during his time at YSU. The fastest to reach 100 made 3-pointers in a career was Elmer Brown (1998-2000), who made his 100th triple in his 45th game.

Perry Nearing 500 Points
Sophomore Kendrick Perry could become the 33rd player in school history to score 1,000 career points. In just 44 career games, Perry has scored 478 points and needs just 22 more to reach the mid-way point of the coveted plateau. For his career, he is averaging 10.9 points per game, including a 14.9 points per game scoring average this year.

Ward Now Ranks 8th
With 21 3-pointers this season, senior Ashen Ward now ranks eighth all-time with 118 career 3-pointers. He needs six more to move into seventh place on the list.

Allen, Brooks Have Chance For Record
Junior Blake Allen and senior DuShawn Brooks are challenging to set the YSU single-season 3-point field-goal percentage record. Brooks is shooting 44.1 percent from 3-point range and Allen is shooting at a 43.3 clip from behind the arc. The single-season mark was set by Andre Smith (45.9 percent) during the 1993-94 season.

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 317-234 in games played in the Beeghly Center.

KP Notches Second Double-Double
Sophomore Kendrick Perry recorded his second career double-double with 18 points and 10 assists against Buffalo on Dec. 10. His first career double-double came against Wilberforce on Jan. 11, 2011,when he scored 13 points with 10 rebounds.

The 87 Percent
The Guins' offense has basically come from its five starters this season. Kendrick Perry, Blake Allen, Damian Eargle, Ashen Ward and DuShawn Brooks combine of an average of 58.8 points per game. As a team, the Guins are averaging 67.4 points per game, which translates into the starters scoring 87.2 percent of the team's points.

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.

Last With 10 Assists
With 10 assists against Buffalo on Dec. 10, sophomore Kendrick Perry became the first player to accomplish the feat since DeAndre May did so against Valparaiso on Feb. 13, 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 Third Nationally
Junior Damian Eargle continues to be a one of the top shot blockers in the country. Eargle currently ranks third nationally with 4.1 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. 1, YSU can be found throughout several categories. The Guins rank seventh nationally with 9.6 3-pointers made per game and 10.3 turnovers per game and 18th with 5.8 blocks per game. Individually, besides Damian Eargle, Blake Allen is 10th with a with 3.2 3-pointers made per game 34th with a .433 3-point percentage.

Allen, Perry Score 20
Junior Blake Allen and sophomore Kendrick Perry became the first duo to score at least 20 points in game since Vytas Sulskis (25) and Damian Eargle (24) accomplished the feat against Malone on Dec. 13, 2010. Allen scored 25 and Perry posted 23 against Penn State on Nov. 23.

Eargle Has Chance For 1,000
In under three seasons of playing college basketball, junior Damian Eargle has scored more than 700 points with 758. Eargle needs just 242 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.