Penguins Travel to Play Top-Seeded Green Bay on Friday in Semifinals

YSU Women's Basketball Huddle
YSU Women's Basketball Huddle
Youngstown State at Green Bay
Date & Time Friday, March 13, at 8:30 p.m. ET
Location Kress Events Center | Green Bay, Wis.
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3 (Live)
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Hash Tags #GoGuins | #HLWBB
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Scouting Report

  • The fourth-seeded Youngstown State women's basketball team is hoping the third time is the charm on two major fronts when it plays top-seeded Green Bay on Friday in the semifinals of the Horizon League Championship on Friday. Tipoff against the Phoenix at the Kress Events Center is set for 8:30 p.m. Eastern, and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and ESPN3.
  • The Penguins will be looking to beat Green Bay for the first time in three meetings this season, and they'll also try to advance to the championship game for the first time after falling in the semifinals in each of the last two years.
  • Youngstown State defeated fifth-seeded Detroit in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament on Wednesday at Beeghly Center. The Penguins led for almost 35 minutes and held a double digit lead for nearly 14 minutes in the second half. Heidi Schlegel and Nikki Arbanas each scored a game-high 22 points, and Latisha Walker added 10 points and 14 rebounds. Arbanas made five of YSU's eight 3-pointers.
  • The Penguins won at home in the quarterfinals for the third straight year. YSU had one victory in the Horizon League Tournament in their first 11 years in the conference.
  • YSU is 21-9 overall and finished with a 9-7 mark in Horizon League play. The Penguins have won at least 21 games for the second time in the last three years and won at least nine league games for the third straight season. YSU had not won more than eight league games or placed higher than fifth from 2001-02 through 2011-12.
  • 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 field-goal percentage, and it ranked second in field-goal percentage. The Penguins also averaged a league-high eight 3-pointers per game.
  • Schlegel will finish her career as one of the top players in school history. She ranks fifth in school history in career points (just 10 points behind fourth), seventh in career rebounds and first in career free throws.
  • The Penguins have three players who have made at least 46 3-pointers for the second time in school history. Nikki Arbanas (52) and Benjamin (46) 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 the Penguins to the Championship Game of the Horizon League Tournament for first time.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 1-1 all time in games played on March 13. The Penguins beat Cleveland State 69-62 two years ago in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament, and they lost 73-63 at Green Bay semifinals of the Mid-Con Tournament.

Scouting Green Bay

  • Green Bay won its 17th straight regular season title with a 15-1 record in the league, and it is 26-4 overall. The Phoenix beat eighth-seeded Milwaukee on Wednesday 74-62.
  • Green Bay ranks in the top 20 in the country in scoring defense at 54.6 points per game, and it set a Horizon League record for field-goal percentage defense during the regular season at 31.7 percent.
  • Three Phoenix players – Mehryn Kraker, Tesha Buck and Megan Lukan – were named Second-Team All-Horizon League, and Lukan is a member of the All-Defensive Team. Kraker averages team highs of 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Series with Green Bay

  • Green Bay leads the all-time series with Youngstown State 31-3, and the Phoenix is 2-0 against the Penguins in conference tournaments. Green Bay beat YSU 73-63 in the semifinals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament in 1993 and 63-53 in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament in 2006.
  • The teams have swept each other in each of the past two seasons. Green Bay has beaten YSU 66-43 at home and 73-27 on the road this season, while YSU won 66-57 in Youngstown and 72-63 in Green Bay last season. 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.

This Season vs. Green Bay

  • YSU has struggled mightily on the offensive end against Green Bay this season. The Penguins shot 22.9 percent at the Kress Center on Jan. 10, and they shot 15 percent at the Beeghly Center on Feb. 28.
  • YSU shot a combined 17-for-88 (19.3 percent) from the field and 7-for-46 (15.2 percent) from 3-point range against Green Bay. Against the rest of the Horizon League, the Penguins shot 44.6 percent overall and 36.4 percent from 3-point range.

Recapping Detroit

Nikki Arbanas and Heidi Schlegel each scored 22 points, and Youngstown State led for nearly 35 minutes in a 73-55 victory over Detroit in the Horizon League Tournament Quarterfinals on Wednesday night at the Beeghly Center.

Arbanas went 7-of-12 from the floor, including five 3-pointers, and she scored six big points in the second half as Detroit tried to rally. Schlegel went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line, and YSU finished 23-of-26 from the charity stripe as a team.

YSU led by 13 with 14:47 left, but Detroit trimmed the margin to 47-41 with just over eight minutes remaining. Arbanas made a 3 on YSU's next possession to push the lead to nine, and she converted a lay-up and free throw to put YSU up 55-45 at the 5:47 mark. The Penguins led by double digits the rest of the game.

The Penguins made 10 of their final 12 free throws over the last 1:32 to seal the win, and they were 19-for-22 in the second half.

Quick Notes

  • Arbanas' five 3s tied for the most by a Penguin in a Horizon League Tournament game. Heather Karner also had five against Detroit in 2008.
  • Latisha Walker set a new career high with 14 rebounds, and she added 10 points to post her eighth double-double of the season. The 14 rebounds tied for the most by a Penguin in a Horizon League Tournament game.
  • YSU had its highest scoring game ever in the Horizon League Tournament.
  • The Penguins were plus-14 in rebounding margin. They were outrebounded in four of their previous five games.
  • Jenna Hirsch started her second straight game and had a team-high six assists while matching a season high with three steals.
  • YSU tied a season high against a Division I opponent with 10 fast-break points.