Penguins Travel to Bucknell for First Road Game of 2013-14

Jenna Hirsch | Photo by Ron Stevens
Jenna Hirsch | Photo by Ron Stevens

The Youngstown State women's basketball team will play its first road contest of the season on Tuesday as it travels to Bucknell. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion, and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and the Patriot League Network.

The Penguins started their first season under head coach John Barnes with three home games and went 1-2. After losses to VCU and Buffalo to start the season, Youngstown State beat Northern Kentucky 67-53 on Wednesday for its first victory in the Barnes era. The Penguins made nine first-half 3-pointers, and they led by double digits for the final 34 minutes of the game. YSU made eight of its first 10 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc, and seven of the nine Penguins who played made a triple.

Junior forward Heidi Schlegel scored a game-high 22 points for YSU for her third consecutive 20-point game to start the season. She is averaging 24 points through three games as a primary scoring option, 14.2 points more than last season. Karen Flagg and Liz Hornberger were both solid with 11 points apiece, and Flagg added seven rebounds.

Bucknell is 2-3 this season following a 72-59 win at Cornell on Saturday. That was actually the closest final margin the Bison has seen all season. They lost by 15 at Pittsburgh in the season opener, and their next four games were all decided by at least 38 points. Audrey Dotson averages team highs of 17.2 points and 9.0 rebounds.

Youngstown State will return home to face West Virginia on Saturday at 4:35 p.m.

Top Story Lines

  • @CoachJohnBarnes earned his first victory as a Division I head coach against Northern Kentucky on Wednesday. He is the seventh head coach in school history, and he's the fourth hired during the school's Division I era. All four (Tisha Hill, Cindy Martin, Bob Boldon, Barnes) have been D-I coaches for the first time.
  • Preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League selection Heidi Schlegel has posted the three highest scoring games of her career to start this season – 27 points versus VCU, 23 against Buffalo and 22 versus Northern Kentucky.
  • Youngstown State was 11-for-19 from 3-point range in the win over NKU. It was just 4-for-36 (11.1 percent) combined from the 3-point arc in the first two games of the season.
  • Youngstown State went 23-10 last season, its best record since 1997-98. The Penguins finished second in the Horizon League, played in the conference tournament semifinals and won a game in the WNIT.
  • Three YSU players who appeared in at least 28 games last season, two of which played in every game, have missed the first three games due to various medical reasons.
  • The four-member senior class is the largest for YSU since the 2008-09 squad had six.

Previewing Bucknell

Scouting Bucknell

  • Bucknell is 2-3 this season with all five games being decided by at least 13 points. The Bison beat Cornell 72-59 on Saturday, and their other win was a 41-point victory over Binghamton on Nov. 14 in their only home game this season. The Bison's losses have been to Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Penn State.
  • Despite playing three BCS opponents, Bucknell has outshot its opponents 39.4 percent to 38.8 percent and have a plus-one rebounding margin.
  • Junior forward Audrey Dotson is averaging team highs of 17.2 points and 9.0 rebounds, and four-year starting guard Shelby Romine is averaging 12.6 points and 4.6 assists.

Last Time vs. Bucknell

  • YSU led for all but 22 seconds and shot 47.3 percent in a 69-51 win over Bucknell at Beeghly Center on Dec. 29, 2012. Brandi Brown led YSU with 20 points.
  • The Penguins made their first five field-goal attempts and led 14-3 just over three minutes into the game. After Bucknell rallied to take a 20-19 lead, YSU's Heidi Schlegel converted a three-point play with seven minutes left in the first half to put the Penguins up for good.

Series with Bucknell

  • YSU has won six straight against Bucknell in a series that dates back to 1989.
  • The Bison beat YSU 72-62 in 1989, and the Guins won three times in the next three seasons.
  • The teams did not play again until Nov. 24, 2010, which is when YSU prevailed 71-57 to stop a 34-game losing streak.

Recapping Northern Kentucky

  • HOT FROM 3: After going 4-for-36 combined from 3-point range in the first two games, Youngstown State was 11-for-19 from distance against the Norse. YSU made its first four attempts from the arc, then proceeded to extend its hot start to eight of the first 10. The Penguins were 9-for-13 in the first half and 2-for-6 in the second half.
  • INDIVIDUAL 3s: Liz Hornberger and Heidi Schlegel both made three 3-pointers apiece for YSU. Hornberger was 3-for-13 from beyond the arc entering the contest while Schlegel was 0-for-7. Hornberger made 65 3-pointers a year ago.
  • NKU COLD FROM 3: In contrast to YSU, Northern Kentucky struggled from the 3-point line. The Norse were just 2-for-24 from distance, going 2-for-16 in the first half and 0-for-8 in the second half.
  • OFF TO ANOTHER FAST START: Following its pattern from the first two games, YSU jumped out to a large advantage in the first nine minutes. The Penguins led 27-9 after nine minutes and extended their lead to as many as 19 in the first half. YSU led VCU 14-7 and Buffalo 21-12 after nine minutes in eventual losses.
  • TRIMMING TURNOVERS: YSU turned the ball over a season-low 14 times against Northern Kentucky. The Penguins had 27 turnovers against VCU and 23 versus Buffalo. That resulted in a combined disadvantage of 58-31 in points off turnovers in the first two games. YSU held a slim 14-11 advantage in points off turnovers against VCU.
  • REBOUNDING EDGE CONTINUES: YSU outrebounded its third straight opponent to start the season. The Penguins held the rebounding advantage just 13 times in 33 games last season and just nine times in 2010-11 and 2011-12 combined.
  • SCHLEGEL IN SCORING ROLE: Heidi Schlegel surpassed 20 points for the third straight game to start the season, surpassing her single-game high entering this season each time. She had 22 points against NKU, 23 against Buffalo and 27 versus VCU. She averaged 9.4 points and 4.4 rebounds over the first 56 games of her career.
  • LIMITING DOSS: YSU held Northern Kentucky's top scorer, Melody Doss, to 15 points and nine rebounds in 37 minutes. She was averaging 25.7 points entering the contest. Northern Kentucky played without its second-leading scorer Kayla Thacker.
  • POINT GUARD PLAY: Both of Youngstown State's point guards had four assists in the game. Liz Hornberger had a season-high four assists and two turnovers, and Jenna Hirsch matched her season high with four assists. She had just one turnover.
  • WALKER BLOCKER: Latisha Walker blocked three shots, the most by a Penguin in a game this season. She blocked two shots on one possession at one point. She's blocked seven shots in three games this season. Melody Doss blocked five shots for NKU.