The Youngstown State women's basketball team will make the short trip to Kent for its first road game of the season on Tuesday. Tipoff against the Golden Flashes is set for 5:30 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO and iHeartRadio.
YSU is coming off an 83-61 victory over Niagara in its season opener on Saturday at Beeghly Center. All five starters scored in double figures, and freshman Nikki Arbanas scored 25 points in her Penguins debut. The 83 points were the most in an opener in 14 years, and the 22-point margin of victory was the largest in an opener in 26 years.
The Penguins scored 21 points in the first six minutes against the Purple Eagles to go up 21-10, and they led by at least nine the rest of the game. YSU finished with nine 3-pointers, and Arbanas was 5-for-5 from beyond the arc.
YSU and Kent State are playing for the first time since the 2010-11 season, and this will be the 40th meeting in the all-time series. YSU will be looking to snap a five-game skid against the Golden Flashes and win in Kent for the first time since 1996.
YSU returns three starters but just five letter winners from last year's squad. Heidi Schlegel is a preseason First-Team All-Horizon League pick after averaging 20 points in 2013-14. The Penguins have a Horizon League high seven freshmen on the roster.
A Win Would...
- Give YSU a 2-0 start for the second time in three years
- Snap a five-game losing streak to Kent State
- Be YSU's first victory in Kent since 1996
On This Date
- On Nov. 18, YSU is 1-4 all-time. The Penguins won their last contest played on Nov. 18, a 75-59 triumph over Bryant in the 2012 home opener. That win was part of a 4-0 start to the 2012-13 season.
- Among the losses is a 70-55 setback to Kent State in 2009 at Beeghly Center.
Scouting Kent State
- Kent State lost its season opener at North Dakota State 74-68 on Friday. The Golden Flashes led the Bison by 11 three times and were up seven with eight minutes left. NDSU closed out the game on a 24-9 run.
- CiCi Shannon had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the opener, and Kent State held a rebounding advantage of 43-28. The Golden Flashes committed 27 turnovers, which led to NDSU's 33-9 edge in points off turnovers.
- Shannon is one of four seniors on the squad, which has seven returning letter winnners from last year's team that went 7-23. Kent State was picked to finish sixth in the MAC East.
Series with Kent State
- YSU and Kent State will be playing for the 40th time on Tuesday, and the Golden Flashes have won 27 of the previous 39 meetings.
- The teams played every season from 1975-76 to 2003-04 before taking a four-year break. The teams then resumed the series for three games from 2008-09 to 2010-11, but Tuesday will be the first meeting since Dec. 1, 2010.
Last Time vs. Kent State
- YSU went scoreless for a stretch of more than 11 minutes during a 23-0 Kent State run, and the Penguins lost 77-39 at the M.A.C. Center on Dec. 1, 2010.
- YSU led 9-2 in the first three minutes and was up 13-8 before the scoring drought. Kent State outshot the Penguins 51.8 percent to 23.5 percent while improving to 6-0.
- Brandi Brown had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead YSU. Current Penguin Heidi Schlegel was a true freshman in that game and had one point and two rebounds in 19 minutes.
- Youngstown State exploded for 21 points in the first six minutes and continued the impressive offensive performance for an 83-61 victory over Niagara in the 2014-15 season opener on Saturday.
- The Penguins shot 50.8 percent for the game and made nine 3s while leading by double digits for the final 31 minutes. YSU led 45-27 at halftime, and the lead ballooned to as much as 25 in the second half.
- Freshman guard Nikki Arbanas dazzled in her Penguins debut, making all five of her 3-point attempts and finishing with a game-high 25 points. YSU's other four starters joined her in double figures, and senior Heidi Schlegel had 18 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.
- All 13 players on the Penguins' roster played, and eight made their YSU debuts. Seven of those eight are true freshmen, and redshirt junior Janae Jackson was the other.
- The 83 points were the most in a season opener since 2000-01, and the 22-point margin of victory was the largest in an opener in since 1988-89.
- Arbanas became just the third Penguin to attempt at least five 3-pointers in a game and make all of them.
- Freshman point guard Indiya Benjamin had six assists without committing a turnover.
- YSU had assists on its first 10 field goals and finished with 19 assists on 30 field goals.
- The Penguins had 10 fast-break points after having double-digit fast break points just once last year. Eight of those 10 points were scored by freshmen.
Schlegel Picks Up Where She Left Off
- Senior forward Heidi Schlegel was her steady self against Niagara. She scored 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting while grabbing 14 rebounds. Schlegel averaged 20 points last season with remarkable consistency, scoring between 20 and 28 points 19 times.
- Schlegel was also very solid in other areas. She had three steals while matching her career high with five assists. Three of those assists came on 3-pointers, and the other two came on buckets by fellow post Latisha Walker.
Arbanas Named Horizon Freshman of the Week
- Nikki Arbanas received the Horizon League's first Freshman-of-the-Week award of 2014-15 with her 25-point effort against Niagara.
- Arbanas shot a blistering 88.9 percent from the field against the Purple Eagles. She was a perfect 5-for-5 from 3-point range to become the first Penguin in 18 years to shoot 100 percent on at least five attempts. Arbanas was also 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
- Arbanas' 25 points is tied for the seventh-most by a freshman in YSU's Division I era, and it's the most by any freshman since 1995. She also had the most points by a freshman in a season opener since at least 1978.
Freshman Guards Shine in Season Opener
- Freshman starting guards Nikki Arbanas and Indiya Benjamin stole the spotlight in the season-opening win over Niagara on Saturday.
- Arbanas scored 25 points while making 8-of-9 of her field goal attempts, and Benjamin scored 11 points with six assists without committing a turnover. Arbanas was 5-for-5 from 3-point range, and Benjamin was 3-for-3 inside the arc.
- Benjamin scored six fast-break points on her own and assisted on YSU's other two fast-break buckets – one by Arbanas and one by Kelsea Newman.
Program on the Rise
- YSU has been on a definite upward trend over the last four years. The Penguins have finished in the top three in the Horizon League and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament in back-to-back seasons.
- Last year, YSU finished with its second-best record since joining the Horizon League in 2001-02 at 10-6. The Penguins' 21 league wins over the past two years is almost as much as their combined 22 league wins over the previous six years combined.
- In 2012-13, YSU had its best record to date in the Horizon League by finishing 11-5. The Penguins finished second in the conference and advanced to the tournament semifinals for the first time. YSU also earned the league's automatic bid to the WNIT.