Women's Basketball Welcomes CSU to Beeghly Center on Thursday

Kelley Wright (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Kelley Wright (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Youngstown State vs. Cleveland State
Date & Time Thursday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m.
Location Beeghly Center
Tickets YSU Athletic Ticket Office | (330) 941-1YSU
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3 | (MyYTV on Delay)
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Live Tweets @YSUsports | @YSUWomensHoops | @javogel34
Hash Tags #GoGuins | #HLWBB
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Scouting Report

  • The Youngstown State women's basketball team will play the first home game of its Horizon League schedule on Thursday against Cleveland State. Tipoff against the in-state rival is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and ESPN3.
  • Thursday's game against the Vikings starts a stretch where the Penguins will play four of their next five and six of their next eight games at Beeghly Center. YSU went 5-0 at home in non-conference play.
  • Fans in attendance will receive a water bottle, courtesy of WKBN 27 First News, Farmers National Bank and McDonald's.
  • YSU went 1-1 this past week on a road trip to start league play. The Penguins beat UIC 69-66 behind 17 points from Indiya Benjamin and 15 from Nikki Arbanas on Thursday. It was YSU's third win in a conference opener in the last four seasons.
  • YSU then shot 22.9 percent, its lowest ever under Coach John Barnes, in a 66-43 loss at Green Bay. The Penguins started 1-for-16 shooting from the field to dig a hole early against the preseason favorites to win the league.
  • Youngstown State set a school record with 11 non-league victories, and it has won 12 of its first 15 games for the first time since 1997-98. YSU won 22 games during the 2014 calendar year, the most since 1999.
  • The Penguins have been to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament in back-to-back seasons and have a 22-12 record in conference games since the start of league play in 2012-13. They were 22-84 over the previous six seasons.
  • Youngstown State leads the country in free-throw shooting at 78.6 percent. It was 25-of-29 from the free-throw line in the three-point win over UIC on Thursday.
  • YSU opens league play with the four teams that were picked to finish in the top four of the league in the preseason poll (YSU and UIC were tied for fourth).

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU a 13-3 overall start for the first time since 1997-98.
  • Allow YSU to win two of its first three league games for the third time in the last four years.
  • Be YSU's 24th in its last 34 games.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 5-7 overall in games played on Jan. 15, but the Penguins will be looking to snap a four-game skid on the date. YSU's last win on Jan. 15 came against Valparaiso in a Mid-Continent Conference game in 2001.
  • YSU and Cleveland State have played twice previously on Jan. 15, and each team won on the opponent's floor.
  • YSU is 5-0 all time on Jan. 15 when scoring at least 71 points.

Scouting Cleveland State

  • Cleveland State is 9-5 overall and 1-0 in Horizon League play following a 69-62 victory over Valparaiso on Thursday. CSU is 7-1 at home but 2-4 on the road.
  • Cleveland State leads the conference in field-goal percentage, assist-to-turnover ratio and 3-pointers per game, and it ranks second in scoring offense.
  • The Vikings are led by three seniors who each rank in the top 11 in the Horizon League in scoring. Cori Coleman is averaging 16.5 points, the fourth-highest mark in the conference. Imani Gordon is sixth (15.4 ppg), and Kiersten Green is 11th (12.3 ppg).

Series with Cleveland State

  • YSU has played Cleveland State more than any other opponent and leads the all-time series 35-27. Youngstown State is 21-8 all-time against the Vikings in Youngstown.
  • The Penguins have held the upper hand in the series lately with four wins in the last five meetings and five victories in the last eight matchups. YSU beat the Vikings three times in 2012-13 and split with them last year.

Coaching Connections

  • YSU assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Andy Crane was an assistant coach on Kate Peterson Abiad's staff at Cleveland State in the 2012-13 season.
  • Cleveland State associate head coach Bernard Scott was YSU's recruiting coordinator under Cindy Martin during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. Scott was on the staff when current Heidi Schlegel was recruited and signed her National Letter of Intent.

Recapping Green Bay

Youngstown State had its worst shooting performance in four seasons in a 66-43 loss at Horizon League preseason favorite Green Bay on Saturday.

The Penguins started by missing 15 of their first 16 field-goal attempts, and they finished the game shooting just 22.9 percent. Despite having just one field goal in the first 11 minutes, YSU found itself down a manageable 18-8 after a Kelsea Newman 3-pointer with 8:49 left before halftime. Green Bay scored seven of the next nine points to go up by 17, and YSU got no closer than 15 the rest of the contest. The Phoenix then scored the first 12 points of the second half to thwart any comeback hopes.

Green Bay limited the Penguins to eight points in the paint, way below YSU's average of nearly 28 points in the paint entering the contest. The Penguins were 5-for-21 from the 3-point range.

Heidi Schlegel was the lone Penguin to score in double figures with 14 points, and Janae Jackson was next in line with seven points in 12 minutes off the bench.

Megan Lukan led the Phoenix with a full stat line of 19 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks.

Quick Notes

  • The last time YSU shot worse than 22.9 percent was when it shot 19.6 percent at West Virginia on Nov. 11, 2011. The Penguins were shooting a Horizon League-leading 42.8 percent heading into the contest.
  • Freshman starting guards Indiya Benjamin and Nikki Arbanas combined for 32 points against UIC last Thursday, but Green Bay held the pair to a combined four points on 1-for-11 shooting. Benjamin was held scoreless for the first time in her career.
  • After Green Bay scored the first 12 points of the second half, YSU held a 27-21 edge over the final 15-plus minutes.
  • Green Bay led by double digits for the final 31 minutes.