Penguins Host Duquesne in March Madness at Beeghly Center

Heidi Schlegel (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Heidi Schlegel (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Youngstown State vs. Duquesne
Date & Time Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m.
Location Beeghly Center | Youngstown, Ohio
Tickets YSU Athletic Ticket Office | (330) 941-1YSU
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3 (Live) | MyYTV (Delay) 
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Hash Tags #GoGuins | #HLWBB
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Scouting Report

  • The Youngstown State women's basketball team will begin play in the Women's NIT on Thursday at 7 p.m. when it welcomes Duquesne to Beeghly Center. The game, presented locally by Medical Mutual of Ohio, will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and ESPN 3.
  • The Penguins are playing in the WNIT for the second time in the last three seasons. Prior to the 2012-13 WNIT, YSU had gone a dozen years without a postseason tournament appearance.
  • Youngstown State advanced to the second round of the 2013 WNIT with a home win over Indiana State and a loss at Toledo. YSU has played five postseason games – one in the WNIT and four in the Horizon League Tournament – in its history at Beeghly Center, and it is 5-0 in those contests.
  • YSU earned an at-large bid to the Women's NIT after being the Horizon League's automatic bid in 2013. Wright State earned the league's automatic bid this year, and Cleveland State also received an at-large invite. Prior to this year, the Horizon League had never had more than one team in the WNIT.
  • This season has continued an impressive three-year stretch in Youngstown State's steady movement toward a top-level mid-major program. The Penguins have won at least 21 games in two of the last three years, and they've advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament in three consecutive years.
  • Heidi Schlegel was named First-Team All-Horizon League, and guard Indiya Benjamin was voted to the All-Freshman Team. Schlegel is just the fifth player in YSU history to earn first-team all-conference honors twice and the first in 15 years.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League in free-throw percentage and 3-point percentage, and it ranks second in field-goal percentage. The Penguins also averaged a league-high 7.9 3-pointers per game.
  • Schlegel will finish her career as one of the top players in school history. She ranks fourth in school history in career points, seventh in career rebounds and first in career free throws.
  • The Penguins have three players who have made at least 49 3-pointers for the second time in school history. Nikki Arbanas (54) and Benjamin (49) have the top two totals ever by a YSU freshman.

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU at least 22 victories for the sixth time in school history and for the second time in the last three years.
  • Advance YSU to the second round of the WNIT for the second time in program history.
  • Give YSU its third victory in a postseason tournament. YSU's previous wins are the 1998 NCAA Tournament and the 2013 WNIT.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State has never played on March 19. The Penguins have played just twice in their history past March 17, with both games coming in the 2013 Women's NIT.

Scouting Duquesne

  • Duquesne finished 21-10 overall and 12-4 in Atlantic 10 play, which earned them third place in the league. The Dukes won eight straight conference contests from Jan. 24 through Feb. 22, and the've gone 2-2 in their last four games. Duquesne was eliminated from the A-10 Tournament by Dayton, 74-60, on March 7.
  • The Dukes rank third in the A-10 in scoring offense at 70.6 points per game, and they are eighth in scoring defense. They are plus-6.4 in rebounding margin.
  • Six Duquesne players play at least 23 minutes, and six average at least 7.5 points per game. April Robinson is the leader in points and assists per game with 13.8 and 4.8, respectively, and she leads the A-10 in 3-pointers per game.
  • Duquesne and YSU have played four common opponents this sesason – Green Bay, Kent State, Pittsburgh and Robert Morris. Both teams beat Kent State and Robert Morris, and Duquesne beat Pitt while YSU did not. Both teams lost to Green Bay.

Series with Duquesne

  • YSU leads the all time series with Duquesne 8-5, and the Penguins are 6-0 against the Dukes in Youngstown.
  • Although the teams have played 13 times and the universities are about 68 miles apart, Saturday's meeting will be just the second since 1991. Duquesne won the last game against YSU 96-49 on Nov. 25, 2006, at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Beach Classic in Wilmington, N.C. The last time the teams played at Beeghly Center, Youngstown State won 76-57 on Jan. 5, 1991.

YSU vs. the Atlantic 10

  • YSU is 12-9 all time against teams in the Atlantic 10. The Penguins played VCU in each of the two previous seasons, and each team won on the road.
  • Prior to playing VCU, the most recent contest against an A-10 team was against Duquesne in 2006.
  • YSU has also played Dayton, La Salle and Saint Joseph's.

Recapping Green Bay

Youngstown State nearly overcame a 17-point second-half deficit but came up just short, falling to top-seed Green Bay 63-54 on Friday night in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament.

The Penguins trailed 51-34 with 10:58 left, but they scored the next eight points as part of a 16-2 run that cut the deficit to 53-50 with 5:21 left. A Heidi Schlegel bucket made the score 55-52 with 3:25 left, but YSU scored just two points the rest of the contest. Green Bay went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final minute to extend the lead.

Green Bay scored the first eight points of the game and held YSU without a field goal for nearly the first six minutes. YSU trailed just 16-12 at the 10:31 mark, but Green Bay scored nine straight points off turnovers later in the half to lead by as many as 18.

Schlegel posted 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Benjamin scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half. Kaili Lukan scored a game-high 27 points for Green Bay.

Quick Notes

  • Benjamin scored 11 points for YSU during the 16-2 run that trimmed the 17-point deficit down to three.
  • YSU had its best offensive game in three tries this season against Green Bay. The Penguins shot a modest 34.5 percent, but they shot 22.9 percent and 15 percent against the Phoenix during the regular season.
  • YSU had 12 turnovers in the first half but just two in the second half. Green Bay scored 22 points off YSU's 14 turnovers.
  • Latisha Walker had her third straight game of scoring at least eight points and grabbing at least 11 rebounds.
  • The Penguins scored 10 of their 12 second-chance points in the second half.
  • Schlegel moved into fourth place on YSU's career scoring list with 1,706 points. She surpassed Danielle Carson, who had 1,697.

Program on the Rise

  • Youngstown State has been on a definite upward trend over the last three years as the Penguins have posted a pair of 20-win seasons – 2014-15 is the 10th 20-win season in program history – and earned Women's NIT berths in two of the last three seasons. YSU is showing signs of its glory years when it went to the NCAA Tournament three times and had six 20-win seasons during the 1990s.
  • In the 95 games since the start of the 2012-13 season, YSU has a 60-35 record. The Guins had 60 wins combined from the 2004-05 through the 2011-12 seasons, which spanned 235 games. Since the start of Horizon League play last year, YSU is 32-17 over its last 49 games, which equates to a .653 winning percentage.
  • The Penguins advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament for the third straight season. They are 30-18 (.625 winning percentage) in conference games over the last three years. They were 26-96 (.213) over the previous seven league seasons.
  • Youngstown State won at least nine Horizon League games for the third straight season. The Penguins were 11-5 in 2012-13, 10-6 last season and 9-7 this season. They won a maximum of eight in their first 11 years in the league. YSU also finished in the top four of the standings for the third straight season after peaking at fifth in the previous 11 years.
  • 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). Six of its non-league wins came against teams that finished fourth or better in their conferences.
  • 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.

Penguins are Back in the Postseason

  • Youngstown State is playing in the Women's NIT for the second time in the last three years. Prior to its berth in the 13 tournament, the Penguins went 13 years between the 2000 NCAA Tournament and their next postseason berth. This is the fifth time that YSU has played in the postseason.
  • YSU has two victories in six postseason tournament games. The first postseason win came over Memphis on March 14, 1998, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The Penguins beat Indiana State in the first round of the WNIT on March 21, 2013.

YSU's Postseason Games at Division I

  • March 15, 1996 – L, 94-71 at Penn State in the NCAA Tournament
  • March 14, 1998 – W, 91-80 vs. Memphis in the NCAA Tournament
  • March 15, 1998 – L, 88-61 at N.C. State in the NCAA Tournament
  • March 17, 2000 – L, 83-63 at Penn State in the NCAA Tournament
  • March 21, 2013 – W, 63-51 vs. Indiana State in the Women's NIT
  • March 23, 2013 – L, 43-61 at Toledo in the Women's NIT

Four Horizon League Teams in Postseason Play

  • The Horizon League has a chance to show its quality as four of its nine teams are playing in the postseason. Green Bay is a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will play undefeated Princeton on Saturday, and three league teams are in the Women's NIT for the first time.
  • Wright State earned the league's automatic bid to the WNIT, and YSU and Cleveland State earned the first at large berths since 2007. The Horizon League has never had more than one team in the WNIT, and the conference has a collective record of 3-11 in the tournament. YSU has one of those victories, and former member Butler has the other two.

Horizon League Tournament Recap

  • Youngstown State had a solid showing in the Horizon League Tournament, advancing to the semifinals for the third straight year and being within one possession of champion Green Bay with just over a minute remaining.
  • The Penguins opened tournament play by beating Detroit 73-55 on March 11. The Penguins had their highest scoring game ever in the tournament and their largest margin of victory at 18 points. Individually, Nikki Arbanas made five 3-pointers to tie for the most by a Penguin in a Horizon League Tournament game and set a new record for points by a freshman. Latisha Walker tied for the most rebounds by a Penguin.