Penguins Head to Chicago Looking to Sweep Horizon League Road Trip

Penguins Head to Chicago Looking to Sweep Horizon League Road Trip
Youngstown State at Valparaiso
Date & Time Saturday, Jan. 11, at 4 p.m. EST
Location UIC Pavilion (Chicago, Ill.)
Radio 570 WKBN | iHeartRadio
Video Horizon League Network
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The Youngstown State women's basketball team will try to go 2-0 in its first Horizon League road trip of the season as it plays at UIC on Saturday. Tipoff at the UIC Pavilion is set for 4 p.m. Eastern, and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and the HLN.

The Penguins, who are looking to start 2-0 in conference play for the first time in seven years, are coming off a 62-49 win on Thursday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center. YSU and Valparaiso battled through six ties and four lead changes in the first 19 minutes before the Penguins' defense took control of the game. YSU held the Crusaders scoreless from the 1:32 mark of the first half to the 12:38 mark of the second half to turn a tie game into an insurmountable 15-point margin. Heidi Schlegel and Karen Flagg combined to score all 15 points for the Penguins during that run, and Schlegel finished with 19 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. The win came after YSU was disappointed with its 4-9 record in non-conference play.

Schlegel ranks third – just ahead of UIC's Rachel Story – in the Horizon League with 19.6 points per game, and she's tied for 11th after her 19-rebound effort against Valparaiso on Thursday. Flagg finished with 17 points for her eighth double-digit scoring game of the season, and she added seven rebounds. Liz Hornberger scored 11 points for her third double-digit scoring game in the last four.

UIC is 11-3 overall after having an 11-game winning streak stopped at Green Bay on Wednesday in the Horizon League opener for both teams. Story is averaging 18.9 points, and transfer Ruvanna Campbell averages 15.1 points and a league-best 10.6 rebounds.

Youngstown State will return home for a four-game home stand that starts on Thursday against Green Bay. Tipoff in that contest is set for 7:05 p.m. Eastern.

Top Story Lines

  • The Penguins and Flames are the top two rebounding teams in the Horizon League with margins of plus-7.9 and plus-1.9, respectively. Six of the league's teams have a margin of minus-2.6 or worse, and four are minus-6.0 or worse.
  • In 14 games, Preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League forward Heidi Schlegel has posted the eight highest scoring games of her career, ranging from 27 points to 22. She needs one point to reach 800 for her career.
  • The Penguins 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.
  • 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 UIC

  • UIC is 11-3 overall and 0-1 in league play. The Flames won their last 11 non-conference games but dropped their Horizon League opener at Green Bay on Wednesday, 66-50.
  • The Flames lost to NAIA member Saint Xavier and Northwestern to start the season but won the next 11 games once leading scorer Rachel Story entered the lineup. UIC won at Butler and at Wisconsin and beat Miami (Ohio) during that stretch.
  • Story ranks fourth in the Horizon League with 18.9 points per game, and La Salle transfer Ruvanna Campbell averages 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds. UIC leads the conference in rebounding margin while ranking second in scoring defense and fourth in scoring offense.

Last Time vs. UIC

  • Brandi Brown scored 39 points to lead Youngstown State to a 79-66 victory over UIC on Feb. 28, 2013. Brown scored 13 of YSU's first 16 points in the first 5:03 of the game. She was 12-for-19 overall, 4-for-6 from 3-point range and 11-for-12 from the free-throw line.
  • YSU led by as many as 21 in the first half and was up by double digits for the final 10:43 of the contest.

Series with UIC

  • UIC owns a 17-11 edge in the all-time series with YSU that dates back to 1993 when the teams were both members of the Mid-Continent Conference.
  • YSU has won three of the last five meetings, including both last season. The Flames have won four of the last five in Chicago.

Recapping Valparaiso

Youngstown State had its best defensive performance of the season and had three players score in double figures in a 62-49 victory over Valparaiso on Thursday.

The Penguins held Valparaiso scoreless for nearly nine minutes for a stretch from the first half into the second half and turned a tie score into a 15-point lead. YSU led by double digits for the final 18:51 of the game.

Heidi Schlegel scored 19 points to go along with a career-high 19 rebounds, and Karen Flagg had 17 points. They combined to score all 15 points for YSU during its 15-0 run. Liz Hornberger added 11 points.

Schlegel Goes for 19 points, 19 Rebounds

YSU junior Heidi Schlegel became the fifth Penguin to grab at least 19 rebounds in a game since the program joined the Horizon League in 2001-02. Brandi Brown, Tiara Scott, Jessica Schloemp and Jen Perugini are the other four. In the 11 times that a YSU player has grabbed at least 19 rebounds in the last 13 years, that player has also scored at least 19 points six times Schlegel had 11 offensive rebounds against Valparaiso, and YSU converted those into 13 points. That was the final margin of victory.

Flagg Ties Career High in Bounce-Back Game

After a substandard performance against IUPUI, Karen Flagg responded nicely to post arguably her best game of the season against Valparaiso on Thursday. Flagg tied her career high with 17 points and added seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in 34 minutes against the Crusaders. She scored eight straight points in the game at one point during YSU's key 15-0 run. Flagg had two points against IUPUI last Saturday and had just six points the game prior at Akron.

Odds & Ends

YSU won its Horizon League opener for the third time in its 13 season in the conference... The Penguins were previously 0-2 when opening league play at Valparaiso... point guard Jenna Hirsch played just 13 minutes, matching her career low, in her seventh consecutive start... Heidi Schlegel made at least 10 free throws for the third time this season... Liz Hornberger made multiple 3-pointers for the seventh time in nine games... Monica Touvelle moved into fourth place on YSU's all-time list for career 3-pointers (155)... The Penguins attempted 13 more free throws than Valparaiso despite missing the front end of three one-and-one situations... YSU finished with more assists (14) than turnovers (13) for the first time since the double-overtime win over Malone on Jan. 16... The 13 turnovers were a season low... YSU held edges of 17-9 off turnovers and 19-14 on second-chance points... Valpo leading scorer Charae Richardson was limited to two points, 10 below her season average entering the game... Sharon Karungi scored 21 points for Valpo, but 15 of those came in the first half.