Men's Basketball Goes For Sixth Straight Against UIC on RED-OUT Saturday

Jelani Simmons (Photo by Robert Hayes)
Jelani Simmons (Photo by Robert Hayes)
 
Opening Tip
• Youngstown State closes out its four-game homestand against UIC, Saturday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.
 
The Penguins play their final two road games of the regular season next week at Northern Kentucky, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. and at Wright State, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m.
 
The Coaches
• Jerrod Calhoun is in his second year at Youngstown State and his seventh season overall as a head coach. The 13th head coach in program history, Calhoun owns a career mark of 143-78 overall and is 19-40 at Youngstown State. The Cleveland, Ohio, native came to YSU after spending five years at Fairmont State, where he led the Fighting Falcons to the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championship game and a 34-3 overall record. Calhoun was named the 2017 Mountain East Conference Coach of the Year and the Mountain East Conference Men's Sports Coach of the Year.
 
• Steve McClain is in his fourth season as head coach at UIC and his 13th overall season as a head coach. He owns a career record of 213-187 and a 63-88 record with
the Flames.
 
Quick Hitters
• For the second straight week, freshman Darius Quisenberry was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week on Feb. 11. Quisenberry led the Penguins to a 2-0 record last week with a pair of home win against Milwaukee on Feb. 7 and Green Bay on Feb. 9. He averaged 16 points and 5 assists per game last week. Quisenberry tied a career-high 24 points and dished out seven assists against the Phoenix. 
 
• This is the 43rd meeting between Youngstown State and UIC in a series that dates back to 1993. The Flames own a 30-11 advantage in the all-time series. UIC has won
the last five games and six of the last eight. The last time Youngstown State won was a 92-91 double-overtime victory on Feb. 16, 2016, at the Beeghly Center.
 
• Youngstown State's current five-game winning streak is the program's longest wining streak since joining the Horizon League in 2001-02 and the longest since 1998-99. The last time Youngstown State won six games in a row was in 1997-98 when it won seven straight. That year, the Penguins had a seven-game winning streak from Jan. 14 to Feb. 7, and an earlier six-game streak from Dec. 6 to Dec. 26. The Penguins finished with a record of 20-9, their last 20-win season.
 
Up Next
• Youngstown State goes on the road for to visit Horizon League leader Northern Kentucky, Thursday, Feb. 21.
• Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on 570 WKBN and ESPN+.
 
About UIC
• UIC enters the game as one of the hottest teams in the Horizon League winning four straight and owning an overall record of 14-12 and an 8-5 league mark.
• Marcus Ottey leads the Flames with 15.8 points per game while Tarkus Ferguson is averaging 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.
• Godwin Boahen is also averaging in double figures with 14.3 points per game.
• Ferguson (83) and Boahen (74) have combined for 157 made 3-pointers.
• The Flames have also won five of their last six league contests.
 
Last Time Against UIC
• In the first meeting this season, the Penguins dropped a 78-63 decision to the Flames in Chicago, Ill.
• Freshman Jelani Simmons scored a career-high 18 points and was the only Penguin to reach double figures.
• The Penguins shot just 30.8 percent from the field while the Flames made 14 3-pointers.
 
The UIC Series
• This is the 43rd meeting between Youngstown State and UIC in a series that dates back to 1993. 
• The Flames own a 30-12 advantage in the all-time series. UIC has won the last five games and six of the last eight. 
• The last time Youngstown State won was 92-91 double-overtime victory on Feb. 16, 2016, at the Beeghly Center.
 
Last time Out
• Junior Donel Cathcart III hit a 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left to lift the Penguins to a 75-73 win over IUPUI on Feb. 14.
• The win marked the fifth-straight victory for the Penguins, a feat not accomplished since 1998-99.
• Freshmen Darius Quisenberry and Jelani Simmons each had 17 points to lead the Penguins and sophomore Michael Akuchie had 14 points.
 
A Win Would
• Give Youngstown State its 13th win over UIC.
• Mark YSU's first six-game winning streak since 1997-98. 
• Snap a five-game losing streak to UIC.
• Mark Jerrod Calhoun's 144th career win and his 20th at Youngstown State.
• Mark the 1,096th victory in program history.
• Give the Penguins an 12-16 overall record and a 8-7 mark in Horizon League play.
• Mark YSU's second-most Horizon League wins in a season with eight.
• Mark YSU's sixth home win of the season.
 
Akuchie In Doubles = Success
• Sophomore Michael Akuchie scored a season-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting against IUPUI on Feb. 14. 
• It marked the fourth time this season, Akuchie has reached double figures.
• The Penguins own a record of 3-1 this season when he scores at least 10 points.