Penguins Set for Battle with League Preseason Favorite Green Bay on Saturday

Nikki Arbanas (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Nikki Arbanas (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Youngstown State at Green Bay
Date & Time Saturday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m. Eastern
Location Kress Events Center
Tickets GreenBayPhoenix.com
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3
Live Stats GreenBayPhoenix.com
Live Tweets @YSUsports | @YSUWomensHoops | @javogel34
Hash Tags #GoGuins | #HLWBB
Mobile App YSU Front Row

 

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will try for an undefeated road trip to start Horizon League play when it takes on preseason conference favorite Green Bay on Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern at the Kress Events Center. The contest will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and ESPN 3.
  • Youngstown State set a school record with 11 non-league victories, and they are 12-2 for the first time since 1997-98.
  • YSU won 22 games during the 2014 calendar year, the most since 1999.
  • The Penguins started league play by defeating UIC 69-66 in Chicago on Thursday. YSU was led in scoring by freshmen Indiya Benjamin (17) and Nikki Arbanas (15).
  • The Penguins have been to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament in back-to-back seasons and are 22-11 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 79.8 percent. It also leads the Horizon League in field goal percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • 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 13-2 overall start for the first time since 1997-98.
  • Allow YSU to start 2-0 in league play for the second straight year.
  • Be YSU's 24th in its last 33 games.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 3-5 all time in games played on Jan. 10. The last time the Penguins played on the date was in 2009, which resulted in a 62-42 loss to Green Bay in Youngstown.

Scouting Green Bay

  • Green Bay is 11-3 overall and 1-0 in Horizon League games following a 68-59 win at Wright State on Wednesday. The Phoenix is the preseason favorite to win the conference, something it has done for 16 straight seasons.
  • Green Bay ranks seventh in the NCAA RPI, and it is receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. The Phoenix is also third in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25. Five of Green Bay's wins have come against major conference opponents.
  • The Phoenix leads the conference in turnover margin and ranks in the top three in scoring defense, field goal percentage and steals.
  • Green Bay has six players who average at least eight points, and Mehryn Kraker is the leader with 12.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

Series with Green Bay

  • Green Bay leads the all-time series with Youngstown State 29-3, and all 32 meetings have been in conference play or a conference tournament.
  • YSU swept the Phoenix last season, winning 66-57 in Youngstown and 72-63 in Green Bay. The Penguins became just the second league team in the last 16 years to beat Green Bay twice in the regular season.
  • Before the win last Jan. 16, Green Bay had beaten YSU 17 straight times.

Other Notables vs. Green Bay

  • YSU head coach John Barnes was the associate head coach at Green Bay in 2012-13 when the Phoenix went 29-3 overall and 16-0 in league play.
  • Barnes and Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth were also on the bench together in 2011-12 at Michigan.
  • Heidi Schlegel scored her 1,000th career point the last time the Penguins played Green Bay in the Kress Events Center.
  • The Phoenix is 61-3 all-time against Horizon League opponents at the Kress Events Center.

Recapping UIC

Youngstown State had four players score in double figures and held off UIC late for a 69-66 victory at the UIC Pavilion on Thursday in the Horizon League opener for both schools.

The Penguins scored the final seven points of the first half to tie the score at halftime, and they went on a big 14-3 run in the second half that allowed them to lead for the final 13:55 of the game.

YSU led by seven nine times before going up by nine for the first time with 3:55 left. UIC scored seven straight points in less than two minutes to get within two, but YSU won the game at the foul line. The Penguins were 16-of-18 from the line in the second half and 25-of-29 for the game.

Freshman Indiya Benjamin had 12 of her career-high 17 points in the second half, and fellow freshman Nikki Arbanas had 13 of her 15 in the final 20 minutes.

Quick Notes

  • YSU's freshman guard duo of Nikki Arbanas and Indiya Benjamin combined for 32 of the team's 69 points. They were a combined 10-for-15 from the field, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range, and 6-for-7 from the free-throw line.
  • YSU had 30 fewer field-goal attempts than UIC, but the Penguins shot an efficient 47.4 percent. That was the best shooting percentage against UIC this season.
  • The Penguins made six more 3s than the Flames, and they held an 11-point advantage at the free-throw line.
  • UIC had 22 offensive rebounds but converted those into just 15 points. YSU was outrebounded for the fourth straight game after winning the battle on the glass nine times in the first 10 games.
  • YSU went without a field goal for more than six minutes in the first half and was shooting 30.7 percent with eight turnovers 12 minutes into the game. The Penguins shot 56 percent and had 11 turnovers over the final 28 minutes.
  • UIC was 8-0 at home coming into the contest.