YSU Hopes Full 40 Minutes Leads to One More Home Game for Seniors

YSU Hopes Full 40 Minutes Leads to One More Home Game for Seniors
Youngstown State vs. Cleveland State
Date & Time Saturday, March 8, at 2:05 p.m.
Location Beeghly Center (Youngstown, Ohio)
Tickets (330) 941-1YSU | Purchase Online
Radio 570 WKBN | iHeartRadio
Video Horizon League Network
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The Youngstown State women's basketball team will try to reward its four seniors with one more home game as it battles Cleveland State on Saturday for the third seed in next week's Horizon League Tournament. Tipoff at Beeghly Center is set for 2:05 p.m., and the live coverage will be available on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and the Horizon League Network.

The Penguins and Vikings are currently tied for fourth place in the Horizon League standings with a 9-6 mark in conference play. Saturday's winner of the regular-season finale will be the third seed in the conference tournament and host Oakland on Wednesday, and the loser will drop to fifth and play at UIC. YSU's Karen Flagg, Liz Hornberger, Melissa Thompson and Monica Touvelle will be honored prior to Saturday's game as part of the annual Senior Day festivities, and their hope is that their 40-minute effort against the Vikings will result in 40 more minutes for their Beeghly Center careers.

The Penguins led the Vikings after 39 minutes when the teams met in Cleveland on Feb. 1, but CSU rallied in the final 40 seconds to win 84-80. That loss stopped YSU's six-game winning streak to start conference play, and a win against the Vikings on Saturday would stop YSU's three-game losing streak.

The Penguins are coming off an 85-70 setback to Wright State on Wednesday in which a solid second half was outweighed by too many turnovers and poor shooting in the first half. YSU is hoping it rediscovered its shooting prowess in the second half when it made six 3s and shot 48.6 percent from the field. It had shot below 35 percent in each of the three previous halves. Heidi Schlegel notched her 17th 20-point game and ninth double-double with 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Kelsea Newman had 17 points off the bench against the Raiders.

Schlegel ranks second in the Horizon League in scoring with 20.1 points per game while also ranking fifth in rebounding. Hornberger and Flagg both average more than nine points, and Hornberger ranks second in the conference with 2.5 3-pointers per game.

Cleveland State snapped a three-game losing streak by beating UIC last Saturday. The Vikings have three of the top 11 scorers in the conference, with leader Imani Gordon averaging 16.7 points and 9.6 rebounds. The Vikings lead the league in 3-pointers per game.

Top Story Lines

  • The Penguins have already earned back-to-back winning records in the Horizon League for the first time since joining the conference in 2001-02.
  • The Penguins have their best scoring offense in 14 years, and they are shooting a conference-best 37.9 percent from 3-point range during league play.
  • In YSU's nine Horizon League wins, opponents have averaged 62 points, and Liz Hornberger has averaged 14.8 points. In the five league losses, opponents have averaged 82.8 points, and Hornberger has averaged 6.3 points.

Scouting Cleveland State

Cleveland State is 14-14 overall and 9-6 in Horizon League play. The Vikings have the eighth (Imani Gordon), ninth (Cori Coleman) and 11th (Kiersten Green) ranked scorers in the conference, and all three shoot better than 43 percent from the field.

CSU is the top 3-point shooting team in the league and ranks second in scoring offense. The Vikings are last in the league in field goal percentage defense, and they are seventh in rebounding margin.

Last Time vs. Cleveland State

Youngstown State led by as many as 11 in the second half, but Cleveland State rallied and scored seven of the final eight points to hand YSU its first conference loss 84-80 on Feb. 1.

The game was within five points for the final eight minutes. Cleveland State tied it on two free throws with 40 seconds left after an offensive rebound, and YSU turned the ball over twice and missed an open layup on its final three possessions of the game.

Heidi Schlegel posted game highs of 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Melissa Thompson scored all 13 of her points in the first half.

Series with Cleveland State

YSU has played Cleveland State more than any other opponent and leads the all-time series 34-28. The Vikings won nine straight meetings from 2007-2011, but YSU has won four of the last seven. The Guins were 3-0 against the Vikings last season and lost 84-80 against them on Feb. 1

Recapping Wright State

Youngstown State committed 13 first-half turnovers and found its shooting touch too late in an 85-70 loss to Wright State on Wednesday evening at Beeghly Center.

The Penguins turned the ball over seven times in the first eight minutes, including four times in a five-possession span, as the Raiders led 19-9. They committed three more turnovers during a 7-0 WSU run that increased the lead to 30-13, and the margin was double digits for the final 28:30.

YSU outscored Wright State 45-41 in the second half but trailed 44-25 at halftime. The Penguins outshot the Raiders 48.6 percent to 41.9 percent in the second half and went 6-for-14 from beyond the arc.

Heidi Schlegel led all players with 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Kelsea Newman scored a career-high 17 points off the bench.

Newman is Second Freshman with 30 Treys

Redshirt freshman Kelsea Newman was 5-for-12 from 3-point range against Wright State, bringing her season total to 32. True freshman Jenna Hirsch also has 32 makes from long distance this year, marking the first time in school history that two Penguins have made at least 30 3s in the same season. Newman and Hirsch are tied for fourth on the freshman 3s list. Camisha Alexander owns the freshman record with 41 makes in 2008-09. Dianne Rappach is second with 37, and Barb Fabianova is third with 34.

Schlegel Records 17th 20-Point Game

Heidi Schlegel notched her 17th 20-point game of the season against Wright State with 24 points. The last time a Penguin had more 20-point games than Schlegel was when Dorothy Bowers recorded 24 of them in 1986-87, 26 years ago. Brandi Brown also had 17 her sophomore year in 2010-11. Schlegel is second in the Horizon League in 20-point games, trailing only Wright State's Kim Demmings, who has 20.

Odds & Ends

YSU scored a season-high 27 second-chance points, including 19 in the second half... Schlegel had nine offensive rebounds, and the Penguins converted those into 14 points... Newman scored a career-high 17 points... She's made five 3-pointers twice this season with both times coming against Wright State... After Schlegel (24) and Newman (17), no other Penguin reached double figures... The Raiders had four players score in double figures... Schlegel tied her career high with five assists and earned her ninth double-double... Wright State was 16-for-17 from the free-throw line after going 11-for-11 in the first meeting with YSU... The Raiders were an NCAA-best plus-9.6 in turnover margin entering the game, and they were plus 11 against the Penguins (19-8).