Women's Basketball Concludes Non-League Play vs. IUPUI on Saturday

Women's Basketball Concludes Non-League Play vs. IUPUI on Saturday
Youngstown State vs. IUPUI
Date & Time Saturday, Jan. 4, at 2:05 p.m.
Location Beeghly Center (Youngstown, Ohio)
Radio 1390 WNIO | iHeartRadio
Video Horizon League Network
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The Youngstown State women's basketball team will play its final non-conference game of the season against IUPUI at Beeghly Center on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio and the Horizon League Network.

The Penguins are coming off a 91-75 loss at Akron on Sunday in which they had plenty of positives on offense but couldn't get enough stops down the stretch. Youngstown State had its highest scoring game of the season against a Division I opponent, and it was able to trim a 15-point halftime deficit down to four, 55-51, with 10 minutes remaining. The Zips scored 36 points over those final 10 minutes and pulled away for the win. Heidi Schlegel scored a game-high 27 points, 19 of which came in the second half, and Horizon League Freshman of the Week Kelsea Newman came off the bench to score 16 points in 20 minutes.

Schlegel's 27-point outing against the Zips tied her career high, and she reached 20 points for the seventh time in 12 games. She ranks fourth in the Horizon League with 19.5 points per game. Newman's 16 points were a career high, and freshman Jenna Hirsch kept up her recent streak of strong performances in the starting lineup with 14 points. Monica Touvelle added 10 points off the bench against Akron, and she is averaging 9.6 points over the last five games.

IUPUI is 9-5 after beating IU-Southeast 92-63 at home on Monday evening. The Jaguars are 4-2 on the road this season and shoot an impressive 45 percent from the floor. Defensively, IUPUI forces 19.9 turnovers per game and has a plus-7.3 rebounding margin.

Youngstown State will open Horizon League play at Valparaiso for the second straight season on Jan. 9 at 8:05 p.m. The Penguins will also play at UIC on the road trip on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Top Story Lines

  • After starting the season 1-6, Youngstown State has won three of its last five games to improve to 4-8.
  • The Penguins have had the Horizon League Freshman of the Week in back-to-back weeks. Jenna Hirsch was the honoree on Dec. 23, and Kelsea Newman was the honoree on Dec. 30.
  • Youngstown State started the season by playing eight of its first nine games at home. The Penguins are now in a stretch of playing five of six on the road.
  • YSU is shooting 40.3 percent over its last seven games after shooting 33 percent in its first five. YSU's 3-point percentage has improved from 22.6 percent to 35.3 percent in that span.
  • In 12 games, Preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League forward Heidi Schlegel has posted the seven highest scoring games of her career, ranging from 27 points to 22.
  • 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.

Scouting IUPUI

  • IUPUI is 9-5 after a 92-63 win against IU-Southeast on Monday. The Jaguars are 4-2 on the road, 5-2 at home and have a neutral-site loss to Cleveland State. IUPUI beat Valparaiso, YSU's opponent to open conference play, 84-51 on Nov. 21.
  • The Jaguars are shooting an impressive 45 percent from the floor, and their defense is producing 19.9 turnovers per game. IUPUI is also out-rebounding opponents by 7.3 per game.
  • Fifth-year senior guard DeAirra Goss leads IUPUI with 11.4 points per game, and three of her teammates are averaging at least 7.9 points.

Last Time vs. IUPUI

  • Youngstown State overcame 37 turnovers by shooting 50 percent and held on to beat IUPUI 58-57 on Dec. 3, 2012, at The Jungle.
  • Brandi Brown scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, and her 11th bucket of the night gave the Penguins their 58-57 lead with 1:27 left. IUPUI's Kerah Nelson missed two free throws with 29 seconds left, and she missed a game-winner at the buzzer.

Series with IUPUI

  • Youngstown State leads the all-time series with IUPUI 6-3. The Penguins won the first five meetings when both teams were members of the Mid-Continent Conference.
  • YSU has not played IUPUI at Beeghly Center since Jan. 27, 2001, which resulted in an overtime loss in a Mid-Con game. The Guins won 58-57 last year.

Recapping Akron

Youngstown State trimmed a 15-point deficit down to four in the second half but couldn't keep up with Akron down the stretch in a 91-75 loss on Sunday.

Akron scored 13 straight points late in the first half and led by 15 at halftime. YSU got back within four behind career-best scoring efforts from Heidi Schlegel and Kelsea Newman, but Akron scored 36 points over the final seven minutes to pull away. The Zips used a 7-0 spurt to spark their late run.

Schlegel scored 19 of her career-high-tying 27 points in the second half, and 13 of her points came from the free-throw line. Newman added a career-high 16 points off the bench, and Jenna Hirsch scored all 14 of her points in the second half after foul trouble limited her to eight minutes in the first half.

Schlegel's Day at the Free-throw Line

  • Junior Heidi Schlegel had one of the best days in school history from the free-throw line against Akron. Schlegel was 13-for-14 from the charity stripe, tying her for the fourth-most free throws made by a game in YSU's history.
  • She had the most free throws by a Penguin since Kristi Echelberry made a school-record 15 against Buffalo on March 6, 1995. Of the four other performances where a Penguin made at least 13 free throws, each one had at least two misses.

Four Score 10+

  • Youngstown State had four players reach double figures – Schlegel (27), Newman (16), Hirsch (14) and Touvelle (10). YSU was 3-0 when having four players reach double figures in scoring before the loss to the Zips. The other eight Penguins who appeared in the game had eight points in a combined 89 minutes.
  • Newman and Touvelle combined for all 26 of YSU's points off the bench. YSU's season high for bench points is 27 against Ohio Valley.

Odds & Ends

A game after scoring 16 points, Liz Hornberger was held scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting... Hornberger did contribute a game-high seven assists, however... Monica Touvelle made multiple 3-pointers for the fourth time in five games... Hirsch had one rebound and one turnover without taking a shot in the first half before foul trouble forced her out after eight minutes... She played 19 minutes in the second half and scored 14 points on 4-for-5 shooting... Karen Flagg had a game-high nine rebounds... YSU had a plus-13 edge in rebounding... Akron got a career-high 20 points from point guard Kacie Cassell, and Hanna Luburgh scored 19 of her 25 points in the final 10 minutes.

Back-to-Back Freshman-of-the-Week Awards

  • Youngstown State has had the Horizon League Freshman of the Week in each of the last two weeks. Jenna Hirsch earned the honor on Dec. 23, and Kelsea Newman is the reigning honoree. YSU and Green Bay are the only schools to have multiple players be named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week.
  • Hirsch averaged 9.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists in YSU's three games from Dec. 16-22 and made her first three starts at point guard. She had 13 points in 46 minutes in the double-overtime win over Malone, and she set career highs with seven assists and seven rebounds in the other two games during the week.
  • Newman came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points at Akron on Dec. 29. She was 6-for-10 shooting from the field, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range. She added three offensive rebounds, an assist and a steal in 20 minutes.

Schlegel Playing at New Level

  • Through the first 12 games of her redshirt junior season, Heidi Schlegel is playing offensively at a level she hadn't experienced in her first three seasons. Schlegel has 234 points in 12 games this season, which is already more than she scored all of last season and 28 points shy of her highest total for a season (261 as a redshirt freshman).
  • Schlegel is averaging 19.5 points over the first 12 games with seven 20-point efforts. The Wapakoneta, Ohio, native had eclipsed 20 points just once in 56 games coming into this season, and she scored more than 15 points just once last season.

Touvelle Back to Full Strength

  • Senior guard Monica Touvelle is back to full strength and has played at least 28 minutes in each of the last five games. She missed the first five games with a foot injury and played 16 minutes combined over the next two contests as she worked her way back.
  • Over the last five games, Touvelle is averaging 9.6 points per game and has scored in double figures three times. She has made multiple 3-pointers in four of the five games and has shot 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Hirsch Playing Well at Point Guard

  • With preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League selection Shar'Rae Davis out for the season medically, freshman Jenna Hirsch has performed well as the starting point guard the last five games. She is averaging 11.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists as a starter. Her 11.2 points are second-most on the team over the last five games, and she leads the squad in steals and is tied for the lead in assists.
  • Hirsch being in the lineup allows Liz Hornberger to go back to shooting guard, and it increases the overall athleticism in the lineup.
  • The Penguins have had a different starting point guard in each of the last four seasons – Macey Nortey in 2010-11, Kelsea Fickiesen in 2011-12 (supplanted Nortey, then transferred), Shar'Rae Davis and Hirsch.

Scoring Up Under Barnes

  • Despite the loss of Horizon League Player of the Year Brandi Brown (20.1 ppg) and starting point guard Shar'Rae Davis (9.6 ppg) from last year's team, Youngstown State has upped its scoring by 2.3 points per game in 2013-14. YSU's average of 65.6 points per game is its highest since 2001-02.
  • YSU's shooting percentage is slightly down (38.8 percent to 37.3), and the Guins are making 1.7 fewer 3-pointers per game (8.0 to 6.3). They've offset that by averaging 2.9 more points from the free-throw line (12.2 to 15.1).
  • The Penguins are also playing at a faster pace under first-year head coach John Barnes. YSU is averaging 73.6 possessions per game, its most 2002-03. The Penguins averaged just under 68 possessions per contest last season.

Flagg Earns All-Tournament Team Honors

  • Senior Karen Flagg was named to the Lehigh Christmas City Classic All-Tournament Team for her performance in YSU's two games against Delaware and Vermont. Flagg had seven points, five rebounds and four assists against the Blue Hens, and she followed that up with 12 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and three assists against the Catamounts.
  • Flagg has made a habit of filling up her columns in the box score. She has had three double-doubles in the last eight games – 14 points and 13 rebounds versus West Virginia, 16 points and 13 rebounds versus Malone and 12 points and 11 rebounds against Vermont. She is averaging 9.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

"Bigs" Are Playing Big

  • Youngstown State has started three 6-footers (Karen Flagg, Heidi Schlegel and Latisha Walker) at times this season, and those three players have the Penguins ranking second in the Horizon League in blocks and rebounding margin.
  • The Penguins are averaging 2.8 blocks per game, and Flagg ranks third individually with 1.3 per game, while Walker is right behind her with 1.1 per contest.
  • YSU's plus-2.3 rebounding margin ranks second in the conference, and Flagg (7.6 rpg), Walker (7.0 rpg) and Schlegel (6.8 rpg) rank ninth, 12th and 13th, respectively.

Touvelle, Hornberger Among top 3-Point Duos

  • Youngstown State seniors Monica Touvelle and Liz Hornberger form perhaps the top 3-point shooting duo in school history. Their 295 combined 3-pointers are the most by two players in the same class in school history.
  • Touvelle has made 153 3-pointers in 100 career games, and Hornberger has made 142 in 103 contests. Touvelle's total ranks tied-for-fourth in school history, and Hornberger ranks eighth.