No 9 Penguins to Face No. 8 Cleveland State Friday in Little Caesar's Horizon League Championship

Cameron Morse (Photo by David Dermer)
Cameron Morse (Photo by David Dermer)

2018 Little Caesars Horizon League Championship Bracket

Youngstown State will be the No. 9 seed and take on No. 8 Cleveland State, Friday, March 2, in the first round of the Little Caesars Horizon League Championship. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.

The Penguins and Vikings split the season series this season each winning on the other's home court. Cleveland State defeated the Penguins in double overtime, 99-94, on Feb. 24 at the Beeghly Center. YSU defeated the Vikings, 80-77, on Jan. 1.

The YSU-CSU winner will play regular-season champion and No. 1 seed Northern Kentucky, Saturday, March 3, at 8 p.m.

Youngtown State Storylines

• First-year Head Coach Jerrod Calhoun became the program's 13th head coach on March 28, 2017.
• Senior guard Cameron Morse needs just 100 more points to become the third player in program history to record 2,000 points in a career.
• Morse became the 6th player school history to score 1,900 points and ranks 6th all-time with 1,900. Morse also ranks 18th in Horizon League history in scoring.
• Morse also needs 92 points to become YSU's Division I all-time leading scorer. The YSU Division I scoring record is 1,991 by set by Kendrick Perry (2010-14).
• Freshman Naz Bohannon became the first YSU freshman to post at least four double-double in season since joining the Horizon League in 2001-02.
• Bohannon ranked third in Horizon League play with 9.0 rebounds per game. He also ranks fifth overall with 8.1 rpg.
• Senior Cameron Morse has scored 1,147 points in his last 54 Horizon League games for an average of 21.2 points per game.
• Morse ranks in the YSU top 10 in 3-pointers made (2nd), free throws made (5th), scoring (6th), assists and points per game (7th), field goals made and steals (8th). 
• In league play, Morse ranks sixth in scoring with 17.2 points per game.
• Sophomore Braun Hartfield led the Horizon League with 54 steals and 1.7 steals per game.
• That total ranks 6th on the single-season list.
• Senior Cameron Morse was named to the All-Horizon League Second-Team, becoming just the second player in YSU history to be named all-conference three straight seasons.
• Freshman Naz Bohannon was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team, and his 251 rebounds are the most since Jerome Sims has 327 in 1991-92.
 
Game Preview
• The No. 9 Youngstown State men's basketball team faces No. 8 Cleveland State in the first round of the 2018 Little Caesars Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship, Friday, March 2.
• Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.
• The game will be broadcast on 570 WKBN and ESPN3.
 
Up Next
• With a win, the Penguins will face regular-season champion and No. 1 seed Northern Kentucky, Saturday, March 3, at 8 p.m. 
• The will be broadcast on 570 WKBN and ESPN3.
 
Last Time Out
•The Penguins are coming off a tough 99-94 double-overtime loss to Cleveland State on Feb. 24.
• Senior Jaylen Benton scored a career-high 21 points and led four other players reaching double figures in the loss.
• Senior Cameron Morse scored 20 points while junior Devin Haygood had 16 points and nine rebounds.
• Sophomore Braun Hartfield and freshman Garrett Covington added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
 
The Cleveland State Series
• This is the 91st meeting between Youngstown State and Cleveland State in a series that dates back to 1930. 
• The Vikings own a 47-43 advantage in the all-time series, including the last meeting on Feb. 24, a 99-94 double-overtime win in the Beeghly Center. 
• Earlier this season, Youngstown State defeated the Vikings, 80-77, on Jan. 1 at the Wolstein Center.
 
Penguins-Vikings in MotorCityMadness
• This is the second straight season Youngstown State and Cleveland State will square off in the first round of the Little Caesars Horizon League Championship.
• Last season, the Penguins defeated the Vikings, 84-69, and eventually advanced to the Horizon League semifinals for the first time.
 
Guins in the Tourney
• The Penguins own a Horizon League Tournament record of 6-16 since joining the league in 2001-02.
• Last season, Youngstown State advanced to the Horizon League semifinals for the first time after defeating No. 8, Cleveland State, 84-69, and No. 1 Oakland, 81-80.
• YSU lost to eventual champion Northern Kentucky in the semifinals, 84-74.
• YSU owns a 5-11 record in first round Horizon League tournament games.
 
Morse, Bohannon Earned HL Postseason Honors
• Senior Cameron Morse and freshman Naz Bohannon each earned Horizon League postseason honors.
• Morse was named to the All-Horizon League Second-Team while Bohannon earned a spot on the Horizon League All-Freshmen Team.
 
Morse Up to 1,900
• With 20 points against Cleveland State, senior Cameron Morse became the sixth player in school history to score at least 1,900 career points and ranks sixth all-time.
• Morse also ranks 18th all-time in Horizon League history.
• He also ranks second on the YSU Division I scoring chart.
• Morse needs 100 points to become the third player in school history to score 2,000 career points.
• Morse also needs 92 points to become YSU's Division I all-time leading scorer with 1,992 points.
• Last season, Morse scored 711 points and had 608 as a sophomore.
 
YSU Breaks Steals Mark
• With nine steals against Cleveland State, Youngstown State broke the single-season steals record and has 261 on the year.
• The old mark of 255 was set in 1990-91.
• YSU's 13 steals against Oakland on Feb. 14 are the most against a Division I opponent this season and the seventh time this year the Penguins have eclipsed 10 steals in a game.
 
Penguins Third Nationally in Offensive Rebounds
• The Penguins have been the top offensive rebounding in the Horizon League all season. 
• Youngstown State leads the Horizon League and ranks third nationally with 14.3 offensive rebounds per game.
 
Morse In Elite 3-Point Company
• With 78 3-pointers this season, senior Cameron Morse is just the second player in school history to have multiple seasons of at least 70 made 3s. 
• His 78 this season rank sixth on the single-season chart and the 76 3s made last season rank seventh.
• The other is Blake Allen, who had 94 in 2012-13 and 91 in 2011-12.
 
Bohannon Board Crashing
• Freshman Naz Bohannon is becoming one of the Horizon League's top rebounders.
• Over the last 22 games, Bohannon has grabbed 197 rebounds for an average of 9.0 per game.
• Bohannon ranks fifth in the Horizon League with 8.1 rebounds per game and is averaging 9.0 rebounds in league play, which ranks third.
• He has recorded seven double-digit rebound games and had at least six rebounds in 26 of 31 games.
• Bohannon's 251 rebounds are the most since Jerome Sims' 327 in 1991-92 and the most by a YSU freshman since Jeff Covington's 311 in 1974-75.
 
A Win Would
• Give Youngstown State its 45th win over Cleveland State.
• Mark the second straight win over the Vikings in the Horizon League Championship.
• Mark YSU's seventh win in the Horizon League Championship.
• Mark the Penguins' second straight win in the first round of the championship.
• Mark Jerrod Calhoun's 133rd career win and his ninth at Youngstown State.
• Mark the 1,085th victory in program history.
• Give the Penguins a 9-23 overall record
• Mark YSU's first neutral site win of the season.