Men's Basketball Visits Akron Thursday Night

Garrett Covington (Photo by David Dermer)
Garrett Covington (Photo by David Dermer)
 
Opening Tip
• The Youngstown State men's basketball team plays the second of three games in five days when it visits in-state rival Akron on Thursday, Nov. 21, at the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio.
• Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on 570 WKBN, ESPN+, and  WatchESPN App.
• This is the third of four games as part of the Global Sports Shootout.
 
The Coaches
• Jerrod Calhoun is in his third year at Youngstown State and his eighth season overall as a head coach. The 13th head coach in program history, Calhoun owns a career mark of 146-84 overall and is 22-46 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.
 
• John Groce is in his third season as head coach at Akron and in his 12th year overall. He owns a career record of 214-166 and a three-year mark of 34-35 with the Zips. Prior to Akron, Groce spent five seasons (2012-17) at Illinois and accumulated 95 wins, and was the head coach at Ohio for four years(2008-12) and led the Bobcats to the 2012 NCAA Sweet 16.
 
Tipoff Tidbits
• This is the 91st meeting between Youngstown State and Akron in a series that dates back to 1937.
• Akron owns a 53-32 advantage in the all-time series and won the last meeting, 98-69, last season in Cleveland, Ohio.
• The Penguins are coming off a 66-60 win over North Carolina Central on Nov. 19.
• Junior Naz Bohannon posted his first double-double of the season and the eighth of his career with a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds.
• Sophomore Darius Quisenberry scored 17 points while sophomore Geoff Hamperian poured in a career-high 14 points.
• YSU returns all five starters and 10 letterwinners from last season.
• The Penguins return 77.9 percent of their scoring, 82 percent of their rebounding, and 83.2 percent of made 3-pointers.
• Youngstown State's eight Horizon League wins tied for the second-most in school history.
• YSU had a six-game league winning streak for the first time in since 1997-98. 
• YSU set the school record for most 3-pointers in a single-season with 303.
• Last year, Darius Quisenberry set YSU freshman records for most 3-pointers made (51), most free throws made (106) and most free throws attempted (133).
• Quisenberry became the first YSU freshman to earn All-Horizon League honors after being named to the all-league second-team.
• Quisenberry's 441 points were the most scored by a freshman since YSU joined the Division I ranks in 1981-82. 
• Junior Naz Bohannon ranked second in the Horizon League with 8.3 rebounds per game.
• Bohannon's career average of 8.2 rebounds per game ranks second in YSU's Division I history and 10th overall.
• Sophomore Jelani Simmons set the YSU freshman record for highest 3-point field-goal percentage at .402 last season.
• Simmons also ranked fifth in the Horizon League with a .402 3-point field-goal percentage.
• Junior Garrett Covington was named to the Horizon League All-Defensive Team.
• Senior Devin Morgan led the team with 60 made 3-pointers.
 
About Akron
Akron owns a 3-1 overall record and has won straight games at home. The Zips' only loss came to West Virginia, 94-84, on Nov. 8. Leading Akron is Xeyrius Williams with 16.3 points per game while Tyler Cheese, Loren Christian Jackson and Channel Banks are all in double figures with 14.3, 14.0 and 10.5 points per game.
 
The Akron Series
This is the 91st meeting between Youngstown State and Akron in a series that dates back to 1937. Akron owns a 58-32 advantage in the all-time series and have won seven of the last nine meetings. Last season, Akron defeated the Penguins, 98-69, in Cleveland, Ohio. The last time Youngstown State beat the Zips was a 90-82 win at the Beeghly Center in 2016. YSU's last victory in Akron was a 65-62 win on Feb. 1, 1986.
 
Last Time Out
The Penguins picked up an important 66-60 win over North Carolina Central on Nov. 19. Junior Naz Bohannon posted a double-double with a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Darius Quisenberry had 17 points and sophomore Geoff Hamperian scored a career-high 14 points.
 
Bohannon on the Boards
Junior Naz Bohannon has picked up right where he left off on the glass. Bohannon is averaging 7.8 rebounds per game after four games. In his career, Bohannon has 532 rebounds for a career average of 8.2 rebounds per game.
 
Almost Heaven, West Virginia
Morgantown, W.Va., native Geoff Hamperian earned the first start of his career against North Carolina Central and he made the most of it. Hamperian scored a  career-high 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, 3-of-4 from 3-point range and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. His previous career high was four points against Westminster on Nov. 21, 2018. Hamperian also played a career-high 25 minutes and grabbed three rebounds.
 
Quisenberry Nabs 500 Career Points
With 17 points against NC Central on Nov. 19, sophomore Darius Quisenberry reached 500 career points and now has 503 through 36 games. The Springfield, Ohio, native carries a 14.0 points per game career average. Last season, Quisenberry scored 441 points as a freshman. The last sophomore to reach 500 points was Cameron Morse in his 35th game. Kendrick Perry reached his 500th career point as a sophomore in his 46th game.
 
Up Next
The Penguins visit USC-Upstate, Saturday, Nov. 23, at the G.B. Hodge Center as part of the Global Sports Shootout. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.
 
A Win Would
• Give YSU its 33rd win over Akron.
• Mark YSU's first win over Akron since 2016.
• Give YSU its first win at Akron since 1986.
• Mark Jerrod Calhoun's 147th career win and his 23rd at YSU.
• Mark the 1,099th victory in program history.
• Give the Penguins a 3-2 overall record 
• Mark YSU's first road win of the season.