YSU Plays Delaware Friday at Lehigh’s ‘Christmas City Classic’

Karen Flagg | Photo by Ron Stevens
Karen Flagg | Photo by Ron Stevens
Youngstown State vs. Malone
Date & Time Friday, Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Location Stabler Arena (Bethlehem, Pa.)
Radio 570 WKBN | iHeartRadio
Video Patriot League Network
Live Tweets @YSUSports | @YSUWomensHoops | @javogel34
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The Youngstown State women's basketball team will play its final two games before Christmas this weekend at the Lehigh "Christmas City Classic" in Bethlehem, Pa. The Penguins will play Delaware in their first game of the tournament on Friday at 7:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and the Patriot League Network. YSU will then play either Lehigh or Vermont on Saturday in the championship or consolation game.

The Penguins are coming off back-to-back victories over Division II teams that concluded a five-game home stand. Youngstown State handled Ohio Valley 84-52 but needed double overtime to beat a talented Malone team on Monday. The Penguins led for all but the final 2.4 seconds of regulation when Malone hit a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime, and YSU scored the first eight points of the second overtime to win 80-73. The win propelled the Penguins to 3-6 overall.

The Penguins have had four players score in double figures in each of the past two games, and junior forward Heidi Schlegel continues to be one of the top scorers in the Horizon League at 20.1 points per game. She and Karen Flagg both had double-doubles against the Pioneers on Monday, and starting guards Liz Hornberger and Jenna Hirsch both had 13 points. Hirsch, a true freshman, has started each of the past two games at point guard while Flagg has provided a big boost off the bench the last two contests.

Delaware is 6-2 after seeing its five-game winning streak stopped with an overtime loss to Princeton on Saturday. The Blue Hens have one returning starter from last year's squad that went 32-4 and advanced to the Sweet 16. Lehigh is also 6-2 and has played just one game since a Nov. 27 loss at Ohio State. Vermont enters the tournament with a 4-5 mark.

After this weekend, the Penguins will have a week-long break for Christmas before playing at Akron on Dec. 29 at 2 p.m.

Top Story Lines

  • Youngstown State started the season by playing eight of its first nine games at home. The Penguins will now play five of their next six on the road.
  • The Penguins had their three best shooting games of the season – 47.8 percent against Ohio Valley, 42 percent against Cincinnati and 41.4 percent against Miami (Ohio) – before slowing down to 38 percent against Malone on Monday.
  • In nine games, Preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League forward Heidi Schlegel has posted the six highest scoring games of her career, ranging from 27 points to 22.
  • Three YSU players who appeared in at least 28 games last season, two of which played in every game, missed the first five games due to various medical reasons. Last year's starting point guard, Shar'Rae Davis, is out for the season.

Scouting Delaware

  • Delaware is 6-2 overall this season, including 4-1 away from home. The Blue Hens went a month without a loss over a five-game winning streak that started with a victory over Wake Forest and ended Sunday with an overtime loss at Princeton.
  • The Blue Hens are holding opponents to 57 points per game and have an average scoring margin of plus-11.8. They are also tough on the glass with a plus-11.1 rebounding margin.
  • Kelsey Buchanan is averaging 16.4 points and 8.5 rebounds, a huge jump from the 2.1 points and rebounds she averaged last year. Delaware lost four starters, including WNBA star Elene Delle Donne, from last year's team Sweet 16 team that went 32-4.

Last Time vs. Delaware

  • Danielle Carson scored 25 points, and Youngstown State shot 49.2 percent in a 68-51 victory over Delaware on Dec. 29, 1984, at the St. Peter's Tournament.
  • Margaret Porter and Dorothy Bowers both scored 10 points off the bench for YSU. The Penguins blocked six shots and had 14 steals in the contest.

Series with Delaware

  • Youngstown State beat Delaware 68-51 in the only meeting between the schools on Dec. 29, 1984 at the St. Peter's Tournament in New Jersey.
  • The Penguins are 1-2 all-time against teams currently in the Colonial Athletic Association. YSU's win came over Delaware, and its losses came to James Madison (2004) and UNC Wilmington (2006).

Recapping Malone

Youngstown State earned the first double-overtime victory in its women's basketball history on Monday against a talented Division II Malone team, 80-73.

The Penguins led for all but 18 seconds of regulation until Malone's Sydnee Penn hit a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to send the game into overtime. YSU never led in the first overtime, and Liz Hornberger's jumper with 13 seconds remaining forced double overtime. The Penguins scored the first eight points and held an 11-4 advantage in the second overtime.

Hornberger was one of four Penguins in double figures with 13 points, and Heidi Schlegel and Karen Flagg both posted double-doubles. Deborah Simmers led Malone with 21 points.

NON-DIVISION I WIN STREAK: With victories over Malone and Ohio Valley, YSU has now won 10 straight games against non-Division I teams. The last Penguins loss against a non-Division I opponent was a one-point loss at Edinboro on Jan. 13, 1990. YSU played just one non-Division I opponent between the 1992-93 and 2011-12 seasons. All-time, the Penguins have a 60-11 record against teams that are currently not Division I.

FIRST DOUBLE-OVERTIME WIN: Youngstown State got its first double-overtime victory against Malone. The Penguins were previously 0-3 in double-overtime games – Feb. 16, 1984, at Austin Peay; Dec. 21, 2003, at Akron; and Feb. 9, 2008, against Milwaukee.

FLAGG, HORNBERGER WERE CLUTCH: Seniors Karen Flagg and Liz Hornberger both had clutch moments in the win. Flagg, a career 55 percent free-throw shooter, made both charity tosses with 15.8 seconds in regulation left to push YSU's lead from 61-60 to 63-60. Malone hit a 3-pointer on its next possession to force overtime. Hornberger then made a game-tying jumper with 13 seconds left to send the game to the second overtime. Hornberger started the second overtime with a lay-up, and YSU did not trail again.

ODDS & ENDS: Karen Flagg grabbed her 200th career rebound... Flagg's four blocks were the most by a Penguin in a game since Nikita LaFleur had four at Milwaukee in the last game of the 2008-09 season... Heidi Schlegel scored her 700th career point and scored at least 20 points for the sixth time in nine games... After she was held to three points in the second half, Schlegel scored eight points in the 10 overtime minutes... Liz Hornberger played 47 minutes, which is tied for the fifth-most for a single game in school history... She played the final 31 minutes of the contest... Youngstown State scored at least 80 points in back-to-back games for the first time since the 1999-2000 season... YSU held scoring edges of 38-30 in the paint, 25-17 off turnovers and 20-10 on second chances... The Penguins made their first three 3-point attempts but made just two of their final 18... YSU registered a season-high 11 steals... About 1,300 area students attended the Kids Day game.

Flagg Fills Stat Sheet

  • Senior Karen Flagg has made a habit of filling up her columns in the box score, and Monday's game against Malone was no different. She had her second double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds, and she added two assists, four blocks and three steals.
  • Against Ohio Valley, Flagg had 11 points, six rebounds and six assists. She also had 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists versus Buffalo.
  • Four times last season she recorded at least eight points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal and a block in the same contest.

A DOUBLE DOUBLE-DOUBLE

  • For the first time in 66 games, Youngstown State had two players register a double-double in the same game against Malone on Monday. Heidi Schlegel had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Karen Flagg posted 16 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Schlegel and Brandi Brown teamed up for YSU's last double double-double game at Loyola Marymount on Nov. 25, 2011.
  • Three different Penguins have earned double-doubles in a game this season. Flagg and Latisha Walker have registered two apiece, and Schlegel has one.

Tournament of Rare Opponents for YSU

  • Of the three opponents YSU can face at the Lehigh "Christmas City Classic", the Penguins have only played Delaware. YSU hasn't played the Blue Hens since 1984, and it has never played Vermont or Lehigh.
  • The Penguins are 1-2 all-time against teams from the Colonial Athletic Association (Delaware), 7-5 against teams from the Patriot League (Lehigh) and 2-1 versus teams from the America East Conference (Vermont).