YSU Looks to Clinch Home Tournament Game Wednesday at Cleveland State

Heidi Schlegel  (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Heidi Schlegel (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Youngstown State at Cleveland State
Date & Time Wednesday, March 4, at 7 p.m.
Location Wolstein Center | Cleveland, Ohio
Tickets CSUVikings.com
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3
Live Stats CSUVikings.com
Live Tweets @YSUsports | @YSUWomensHoops | @javogel34
Hash Tags #GoGuins | #HLWBB
Mobile App YSU Front Row


Scouting Report

The Youngstown State women's basketball team will try to clinch a first-round home tournament game and earn its 20th win of the season when it plays at Cleveland State on Wednesday. Tipoff at the Wolstein Center is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and ESPN3.

The Penguins and Vikings are tied for third place in the Horizon League standings with an 8-6 conference mark. The top four finishers in the regular season earn a first-round home game on March 11. UIC and Detroit are two games back at 6-8.

YSU had a four-game winning streak snapped on Saturday when it lost 73-27 against league champion Green Bay. The Penguins shot 15 percent from the field, making three field goals in each half.

The attendance for Saturday's game was 3,195, which was the highest for a women's home game since Jan. 10, 2004.

The Penguins will finish the regular season at home on Saturday when they host Valparaiso at 2 p.m. YSU beat the Crusaders 87-69 on the road on Feb. 21. Seniors Heidi Schlegel and Latisha Walker will be recognized prior to the game for Senior Day.

The program has grown tremendously since Schlegel became a Penguin. She signed her NLI during the 0-30 season in 2009-10, and YSU is now in its best three-season stretch since the 1997-98 through 1999-2000 seasons. Walker came to the program as a transfer from Xavier prior to the 2012-13 season.

Schlegel will finish her career as one of the top players in school history. She ranks sixth in school history in career points with 1,621, and she's 10 away from moving into fifth. Schlegel is also eighth in career rebounds and already owns the school record for made free throws.

Schlegel is pushing to become one of just five players in the program's storied history to earn first-team all-conference honors twice.

In two seasons, Walker has blocked 75 shots, tied for the seventh most in school history. Her 1.3 blocks per game is the second-best average in school history.

The Penguins are 30-15 overall since the start of Horizon League play in 2013-14, and they are 29-17 in conference games since the start of league play in 2012-13.

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU its 10th 20-win season, including its second in the last three years.
  • Clinch a first round game in the Horizon League Tournament.
  • Be YSU's sixth in the last seven meetings vs. Cleveland State.
  • Be YSU's 32nd in its last 46 games.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 2-4 in its history in games played on March 4. The Penguins beat Valparaiso 72-50 at home in 2013 the last time they played on the date.
  • One of the most dramatic wins in school history came on March 4, 2000, when the Penguins beat Southern Utah 84-78 in overtime in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. Six Penguins scored in double figures, with conference player of the year Brianne Kenneally scoring a game-high 19. That victory gave the Penguins their fifth straight 20-win season and launched them to the tournament title.

Scouting Cleveland State

  • Cleveland State is tied for third place in the Horizon League standings with an 8-6 mark. The Vikings lost at Detroit and Milwaukee in their three-game road trip to close out February. The Vikings are 11-2 at home this season.
  • Cleveland State has been able to win plenty of close games in league play. The Vikings have won twice in overtime, and all eight of their league wins have been by single digits.
  • The Vikings are led by a trio of seniors in Cori Coleman, Imani Gordon and Kiersten Green. Coleman is the school's career leader in 3-pointers, and she ranks fifth in the league in scoring at 16.5 points per game. Gordon is sixth at 15.7 ppg, and Green is 12th with 12.5.

Series with Cleveland State

  • YSU has played Cleveland State more than any other opponent and leads the all-time series 36-27. The Penguins are 10-18 all time against CSU in Cleveland.
  • The Penguins have held the upper hand in the series lately with five wins in the last six meetings and six victories in the last nine.
  • Heidi Schlegel had 25 points and 18 rebounds, and Latisha Walker scored 21 points in YSU's 79-65 win over CSU on Jan. 15.

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 Heidi Schlegel was recruited and signed her National Letter of Intent.

Recapping Green Bay

Horizon League regular-season champion Green Bay showed off its defensive prowess in holding Youngstown State to 15 percent shooting in a 73-27 victory on Saturday afternoon at Beeghly Center.

The Penguins missed 22 of their final 23 shots in the first half as Green bay built a 40-11 advantage at halftime. YSU finished making just 6-of-40 from the field, including 2-of-25 from 3-point range. Youngstown State came into the contest shooting 43.1 percent overall and 36 percent from 3-point range.

Latisha Walker finished with 11 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes to lead the Penguins, and Heidi Schlegel was next with six points. Kaili Lukan had 14 points to lead four Phoenix players in double figures.

YSU made two of its first three field goals to take a 4-3 lead less than a minute into the game. The Penguins' only other field goal of the half came on a Heidi Schlegel 3-pointer with 12:12 remaining. By that time, Green Bay had built a 17-4 lead.

Quick Notes

  • The attendance of 3,195 was the most for a women's game at Beeghly Center since Jan. 10, 2004
  • Walker was 2-for-3 from the field and 7-for-9 from the free-throw line for her 11 points.
  • YSU's starting three guards combined for one point on 0-for-20 shooting from the field.
  • YSU had its lowest scoring game ever at Beeghly Center.

Program on the Rise

  • Youngstown State has been on a definite upward trend over the last three years and is showing signs of its glory years. YSU went to the NCAA Tournament three times and had six 20-win seasons during the 1990s, and the Penguins ended a 12-year 20-win drought by posting 23 victories in 2012-13. YSU is one win from securing the 10th 20-win season in program history.
  • In the 91 games since the start of the 2012-13 season, YSU has a 57-34 record. The Guins had 57 wins over their previous 229 games dating back to the 2004-05 season. Since the start of Horizon League play last year, YSU is 30-15 over its last 45 games.
  • The Penguins have been to the semifinals of the HL Tournament in back-to-back seasons and are 29-17 (.630 winning percentage) in conference games since the start of 2012-13. They were 26-96 (.213) over the previous seven league seasons. YSU also went to the WNIT in 2012-13, which was its first postseason berth since 1999-2000.
  • With at least three games remaining, Youngstown State has already surpassed last season's win total by four. The Penguins have won 19 games for the 11th time in their history.
  • With another Horizon League victory, the Penguins would win at least nine league games for the third straight year. They won a maximum of eight in their first 11 years in the league.
  • YSU set a new school record with 11 non-conference victories in 2014-15, surpassing the 10 that the 2012-13 squad posted. The Penguins were 4-9 in non-league play last year.
  • The Penguins were 10-0 for the first time at the Division I level and for just the second time (1978-79) before losing at Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.
  • YSU has beaten plenty of quality opponents this season as well. YSU is 3-1 against teams that went to the NCAA Tournament last year (Robert Morris, Akron and Wright State) and 2-1 against teams that played in the WBI (Championship winner UIC and Bucknell).
  • Youngstown State has posted winning streaks of at least six games in three straight seasons after not having any from 2000-01 through 2011-12. YSU opened this season with its first 10-game winning streak since the 1997-98 season.

Win = Third Place and First-Round Home Game

  • YSU's outlook for finishing in the top four of the Horizon League standings and earning a first-round home tournament game has improved significantly over the last five games.
  • The Penguins entered the game against Oakland on Feb. 11 as one of four teams with a 4-5 league record. YSU has won four of its last five games and is now tied for third place with Cleveland State with an 8-6 record. The teams tied for fifth – UIC and Detroit – are two games back (6-8) with two games left. A Penguins victory or losses by UIC and Detroit will give YSU a first-round home game on March 11.
  • If YSU beats Cleveland State, it will clinch the third seed (at worst) in the Horizon League Tournament, giving it a top three finish for three straight years. In the last decade, only Green Bay and Butler have finished in the top three in three consecutive years. Before 2012-13, the Penguins' highest finish was fifth in 2001-02.

Schlegel Making Strong All-League Case

  • YSU senior Heidi Schlegel has a very solid resume in her quest to be named First-Team All-Horizon League for the second straight season.
  • Schlegel ranks second in the Horizon League in double-doubles (11), and she's third scoring (17.6 ppg) and rebounding (9.9 rpg). In conference play, Schlegel ranks second in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage.
  • If she's named First-Team All-Horizon League this season, she'd become the first Penguin since Brianne Kenneally in 1998-99 and 1999-2000 to be named first-team all-conference in back-to-back seasons. Kenneally, Liz Hauger, Dorothy Bowers and Danielle Carson are the only two-time first-team all-conference players in school history.