YSU Welcomes West Virginia to Beeghly Center

Taylor Hvisdak | Photo by Ron Stevens
Taylor Hvisdak | Photo by Ron Stevens

The Youngstown State women's basketball team will start a five game home stand when it welcomes Big 12 opponent West Virginia to Beeghly Center on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and the Horizon League Network. West Virginia will be the first Big 12 women's basketball team to ever play at Beeghly Center.

Youngstown State enters its post-Thanksgiving home stretch with a 1-3 overall mark and a 1-2 record at Beeghly Center. The Penguins will be looking to rebound after a disappointing 66-41 loss at Bucknell on Tuesday in what was their first road game of the season. Youngstown State shot poorly for most of the contest but was still in striking distance until a 10-0 run by Bucknell early in the second half put the game out of reach. The Bison also scored 20 consecutive points in the first half during an 11-minute YSU scoring drought. The Penguins shot a season-low 23.1 percent and were 3-for-19 from 3-point range.

Heidi Schlegel saw her streak of 20-point games stopped by Bucknell but still finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. She ranks second in the Horizon League in scoring with 21.8 points per game, and her 7.8 rebounds per game rank ninth. Fellow forward Latisha Walker had eight points and eight rebounds, and she is averaging 9.2 points and 8.2 rebounds.

West Virginia is 4-1 and will come to Youngstown on a four-game winning streak. Center Asya Bussie is one of 50 players on the Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List. She's averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 65.8 percent from the field.

Youngstown State will play host to Miami (Ohio) in its second consecutive doubleheader on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m.

Top Story Lines

  • Although this will be eighth time West Virginia will play at Beeghly Center, it will be the first time that the Mountaineers will play in Youngstown as members of the Big 12 Conference. No Big 12 women's basketball team has ever played at Beeghly Center.
  • Preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League selection Heidi Schlegel posted the three highest scoring games of her career to start this season – 27 points versus VCU, 23 against Buffalo and 22 versus Northern Kentucky.
  • Youngstown State was 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from 3-point range in the win over NKU. It is 7-for-55 (12.7 percent) in its other three games.
  • 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.
  • Three YSU players who appeared in at least 28 games last season, two of which played in every game, have missed the first four games due to various medical reasons.
  • The four-member senior class is the largest for YSU since the 2008-09 squad had six.

Scouting West Virginia

  • West Virginia is 4-1 after winning four straight contests. The Mountaineers lost at home to Ohio State in the season opener, then went 3-0 at the Rainbow Wahine Classic. WVU earned a home win over Virginia on Sunday.
  • Center Asya Bussie is one of 50 players on the Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List. She's averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 65.8 percent from the field. Fellow starters Bria Holmes (14.0) and Christal Caldwell (13.2) are also averaging double figures, and Taylor Palmer averages nine points off the bench.
  • WVU was picked to finish third in the Big 12 Preseason Poll.

Last Time vs. West Virginia

  • No. 25/22 West Virginia shot 64 percent and ended with a 21-7 run to beat YSU 90-57 on Dec. 16, 2012, at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers made eight of their first nine attempts to take control early and shot at least 62 percent in both halves. YSU was held to 28 percent but remained competitive until WVU's final run in the final six minutes.
  • Heidi Schlegel led the Penguins with 13 points, and Brandi Brown finished with 12.

Series with WVU

  • West Virginia has beaten Youngstown State in each of the past two seasons and leads the all-time series 10-8.
  • YSU won four straight contests from 1979 to 1981, and West Virginia had a three-game winning streak from 1993-95.
  • Of the 18 games in the series, only five of the final margins have been single digits.

First Big 12 Team at Beeghly Center

Saturday's game against West Virginia will be the first time that a Big 12 team will play in Beeghly Center. The Mountaineers played in Youngstown seven times when they were a member of the Big East Conference. WVU, which joined the Big 12 last season, is the only current Big 12 team that YSU has played in its history. Youngstown State played current SEC member Missouri in 1993 when the Tigers were in the Big 12.

Long Home Stand

Saturday's game is the first of a five-game home stand that extends to Dec. 16 for the Penguins. Youngstown State will also play host to Miami (Ohio) (Dec. 4), Cincinnati (Dec. 8), Ohio Valley (Dec. 13) and Malone (Dec. 16) during this stretch. YSU has not played five-straight home games since December 2006.

Barnes's First Win

John Barnes earned his first victory as YSU's head coach against Northern Kentucky on Nov. 20. The win came in his third game. Each of YSU's two previous coaches – Bob Boldon and Cindy Martin – got their first win in their fourth game.