Men's Basketball Visits Valpo Seeking to Stay Atop Horizon League

YSU Basketball vs UIC
YSU Basketball vs UIC

Game Notes vs. Valparaiso | Jerry Slocum Interview | Ashen Ward Interview

The Youngstown State men's basketball team (9-6, 4-1 Horizon League) looks to stay atop the Horizon League standings but faces a tough matchup when it visits Valparaiso (10-7, 3-2 Horizon League) on Friday, Jan. 13. Tipoff is set for 8:05 p.m. (EDT) at the Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind. The game can be heard on 570 WKBN-AM.

The Valpo Series
This is the 33rd meeting between Youngstown State and Valparaiso in an all-time series that dates back to 1989. The Crusaders own a 25-7 advantage in the all-time series and have won the last 13 contests. Last season, the Guins dropped three games to the Crusaders, including an 86-78 overtime loss at the Beeghly Center. The last time YSU defeated Valparaiso was a 55-49 victory on Jan. 15, 2000. The last Penguin victory at the ARC was a 69-66 win on Jan. 24, 1998.

About Valparaiso
Valparaiso is currently 10-7 overall and 3-2 in the Horizon League. Ryan Broeckhoff leads the Crusaders with 15.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game while Kevin Van Wijk is posting 15 points per contest. Jay Harris is also averaging in double figures with 10.2 points per game. As a team, the Crusaders are averaging 73.5 points per game but are allowing 70.4 points per contest.

Series Against Valparaiso (7-25)
March 1, 2011 Valparaiso L, 71-80
Feb. 5, 2011 Youngstown LOT, 78-86
Jan. 7, 2011 Valparaiso L, 55-79
Feb. 13, 2010 Youngstown L, 75-77
Jan. 14, 2010 Valparaiso L, 66-70
Feb. 28, 2009 Valparaiso L, 59-67
Dec. 4, 2008 Youngstown L, 57-68
Feb. 16, 2008 Valparaiso L, 58-77
Jan. 17, 2008 Youngstown L, 61-67
Nov. 29, 2001 Valparaiso L, 50-80
Feb. 10, 2001 Youngstown L, 68-82
Jan. 11, 2001 Valparaiso L, 51-60
Feb. 19, 2000 Valparaiso L, 57-65
Jan. 15, 2000 Youngstown W, 55-49
Feb. 13, 1999 Youngstown W, 61-60
Jan. 9, 1999 Valparaiso L, 76-83
March 3, 1998 Moline, Ill. L, 48-67
Feb. 19, 1998 Youngstown L, 68-70
Jan. 24, 1998 Valparaiso W, 69-66
Feb. 3, 1997 Youngstown W, 66-64
Jan. 6, 1997 Valparaiso L, 46-57
Feb. 17, 1996 Youngstown W, 75-60
Jan. 22, 1996 Valparaiso L, 63-73
March 4, 1995 Valparaiso L, 52-77
Feb. 27, 1995 Youngstown W, 79-75
Jan. 30, 1995 Valparaiso L, 58-72
Feb. 28, 1994 Youngstown L, 55-70
Jan. 24, 1994 Valparaiso L, 84-93
Feb. 18, 1993 Youngstown L, 72-93
Jan. 30, 1993 Valparaiso L, 76-85
Dec. 10, 1990 Valparaiso L, 65-68
Dec. 11, 1989 Youngstown W, 89-71

A Win Will
• Improve YSU 10-6 on the year and 5-1 in the Horizon League.
• Mark YSU's first 10-win season since 2008-09.
• Mark the quickest to 10 victories since the 2000-01 squad started 11-6.
• Mark the first 5-1 start in conference play since 1999-2000.
• Mark YSU's fifth road win of the season.
• Mark the most road victories in a season since the 2000-01 season.
• Mark the program's eighth win over Valparaiso.
• Snap a 13-game losing streak to Valparaiso.
• Mark Head Coach Jerry Slocum's 648th career victory and his 68th at Youngstown State.
• Mark YSU's 1,002nd victory in the program's history.

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).

Ward Award Sets Mark
Senior Ashen Ward's selection as the Horizon League Co-Player of the Week marks the third time this season a YSU player has won the award. It marks the first time since the 2006-07 season that YSU won three player-of -the-week awards. It is also the first time since joining the Horizon League that three different players won the award in the same season.

2006-07 Award Winners
Dec. 11 - Keston Roberts
Jan. 2 - Keston Roberts
Feb. 19 - Quin Humphrey

2011-12 Award Winners
Dec. 5 - DuShawn Brooks
Jan. 2 - Damian Eargle
Jan. 9 - Ashen Ward

The Starting Line
• The Guins have had the same starting lineup in all 15 games.
• All five starters are averaging in double figures.
• Each starter has posted at least one 20-point outing.
• All five starters rank in the top 20 in scoring in the Horizon League.
• Starters account for 87.5 percent of the Guins' scoring.

KP=All-Around Player
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 (14.9), second in steals (2.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2), tied for second in assists (4.3) and tied for ninth in 3-pointers made per game (1.7).

Eargle Third Nationally
Junior Damian Eargle continues to be one of the top shot blockers in the country. Eargle currently ranks third nationally with 4.3 blocks per game. Last season, he finished the year ranked 10th in the country with 3.0 blocks per game.

Ward Heating Up
Senior Ashen Ward has caught fire over the last three games. The Cleveland, Ohio, native averaged 19.3 points per game during that span and shot 62.1 percent (18-for-29) from the field and 66.7 percent (10-for-15) from 3-point range.

Fantastic Four
The Guins are seeking their first four-game winning streak since they won four straight during the 2008-09 season.

Guins in National Stats
In the latest NCAA stats released on Jan. 8, YSU can be found throughout several categories. The Guins rank sixth with 10.2 turnovers per game seventh nationally with 9.3 3-pointers made per game, 18th with 5.8 blocks per game and 22nd with a 1.29 assist-to-turnover ratio. Individually, besides Damian Eargle, Blake Allen is 11th with a with 3.1 3-pointers made per game 34th with a .431 3-point percentage. Kendrick Perry ranks 25th with 2.3 steals per game.

Allen Streakin From 3
Junior Blake Allen has made at least one 3-pointer in all 15 games this season and has made at least one in 22 straight contests dating back to last year. He has also made at least three 3-pointers in nine of the 15 games this year. Allen also leads the Horizon League with 3.1 3-pointers made per game. Allen has also made 86 3-pointers in the last 32 games.

Eargle Single-Season Blocks Rank 4th
Junior Damian Eargle has 63 blocks in 15 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
Senior Ashen Ward scored a scored a season-high 22 points in a 71-50 win over UIC on Jan. 7. Kendrick Perry scored 14 points while Damian Eargle added 11 points and Blake Allen had 10.

Up Next
The Guins visit two-time national runners-up Butler, Sunday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m. at Hinkle Field House.

Eargle Moves Into Second
Junior Damian Eargle has moved into second place on the YSU career blocks chart in just 45 games played. Eargle has 154 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 211 blocked shots for his entire college career.

Guins Setting Record Pace
The Guins have made 140 3-pointers in 15 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 15 guaranteed games, they will finish the season with 280 3-pointers made.

Allen Nearing 100 3's
In just 45 career games, junior Blake Allen is nearing the century mark for 3-pointers made. Allen has 94 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 45 career games, Perry has scored 492 points and needs just eight 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 25 3-pointers this season, senior Ashen Ward now ranks eighth all-time with 122 career 3-pointers. He needs five more to move into seventh 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 318-234 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.

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 Has Chance For 1,000
In under three seasons of playing college basketball, junior Damian Eargle has scored more than 700 points with 769. Eargle needs just 231 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.

Last to Score 30
With 30 points against Loyola on Jan. 9, 2010, 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 was 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.