YSU Welcomes Horizon League Newcomer Oakland on Saturday

YSU Welcomes Horizon League Newcomer Oakland on Saturday
Youngstown State vs. Oakland
Date & Time Saturday, Jan. 25, at 4:35 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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After a week-long break, the Youngstown State women's basketball team will try to remain on its recent hot streak when it plays host to Oakland on Saturday at Beeghly Center. Tipoff against the Golden Grizzlies is set for 4:35 p.m., and the game will be the first half of a doubleheader with the YSU men's team. Live coverage will be on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and the HLN.

After some early injuries and inconsistent play left YSU with a non-conference record of 4-9, the Penguins are off to their best start ever in Horizon League play. Youngstown State earned road wins at Valparaiso and UIC two weeks ago, then came home to beat Green Bay and Milwaukee last weekend to improve to 4-0. The Penguins used a strong defense to win their first three games, and they won a shootout to beat Milwaukee last Saturday. YSU had its best offensive performance of the season in scoring 87 points and shooting 51.6 percent from the field. Heidi Schlegel reached 20 points for the 10th time this season in the victory as one of four Penguins in double figures. Liz Hornberger made five of YSU's 11 3-pointers in the game and finished with 17 points.

Hornberger is the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week, and Jenna Hirsch is the Horizon League Freshman of the Week for their efforts in the two wins. Both players averaged 14 points in a balanced offense that had four Penguins average between 13.5 and 14.5 points. Hornberger has scored in double figures in five consecutive games, and Hirsch is averaging 8.8 points since entering the starting lineup 10 games ago. Schlegel continues to rank third in the Horizon League in scoring with 19.4 points per game.

Oakland is 8-10 overall and 3-2 in Horizon League play following a win at Cleveland State on Thursday. The Golden Grizzlies, who are in their first season in the Horizon League, started this season with five straight losses but have gone 8-5 since.

Youngstown State will wrap up its four-game home stand on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Detroit.

Top Story Lines

  • Youngstown State is 4-0 in the Horizon League for the first time in its 13 seasons and is 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 1997-98.
  • YSU started the season 1-6 but has gone 7-3 since. The uptick coincides with Jenna Hirsch moving into the starting lineup and Monica Touvelle getting healthy from a foot injury.
  • Liz Hornberger is the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week, and Hirsch is the conference Freshman of the Week for the second time this season.
  • In 17 games, Preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League forward Heidi Schlegel has posted the nine highest scoring games of her career, ranging from 28 points to 22.

Promotions and Activities

  • Youngstown State will host the sixth annual Family Fun Day, presented by Meridian Community Care, from 2-4:30 p.m. inside the Stambaugh Stadium Gymnasium. The event is free and open to children and adults of all ages. Activities include bounce-a-round games, inflatables, basketball and other skill games, clowns, face painting, Pete & Penny and free ticket and promotional giveaways.
  • The first 2,500 fans in attenance will receive a YSU reuler compliments of Walgreens, State Farm and WKBN 27 First News.
  • YSU will host its annual "Rummage Sale" at Beeghly Center prior to and during the basketball doubleheader. Fans can purchase game-worn uniforms, warm-ups and other authentic Penguin gear.

Scouting Oakland

Oakland is 8-10 overall and 3-2 in Horizon League play following its win at Cleveland State. The Golden Grizzlies, who competed in the Summit League last season, started this season with five straight losses but have gone 8-5 since.

Sophomore guard Elena Popkey leads the team with 13.1 points per game, and three of her teammates also average double figures. Sophomore Olivia Nash, who is averaging 11.9 points and 7.6 rebounds, was voted preseason second-team all-league.

Last Time vs. Oakland

Oakland shot 54 percent and won for the eighth straight contest in an 81-57 victory over YSU on Feb. 6, 2007.

Velissa Vaughn scored 17 points, and Heather Karner added 16 points for YSU, which shot 37.5 percent and committed 19 turnovers.

YSU trailed just 36-33 at the 1:47 mark of the first half, but Oakland scored the final four points of the first half and started the second half on a 15-6 run. The Golden Grizzlies out-rebounded YSU 47-18.

Series with Oakland

Oakland leads the all-time series 6-3 against Youngstown State. The Penguins won the first three meetings in 1999 and 2000, but the Golden Grizzlies have won the last six.

The teams were both in the Mid-Continent Conference from 1998-2001, and they played non-conference games in 2005 and 2007.

4-0 in HL for the First Time

Youngstown State is 4-0 in the Horizon League for the first time since joining the conference in 2001-02. In fact, YSU had never won three of its first four Horizon League contests prior to this year. The Penguins have started league play with four straight wins three other times – 1993, 1995 and 1998. The best start to conference play came in 1998 when the Penguins won their first six games.

Penguins Sweep League's Weekly Awards

YSU's Liz Hornberger and Jenna Hirsch swept the Horizon League's weekly awards for their performances last week. Hornberger was named the Player of the Week, and Hirsch was tabbed the Freshman of the Week.

Hornberger averaged 14 points and was 10-for-20 from the field, including 8-for-17 from 3-point range, during the week as YSU beat Green Bay and Milwaukee. Hirsch also averaged 14 points while adding 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game.