YSU Hosts Valparaiso on Senior Day with Plenty on the Line

Heidi Schlegel and Latisha Walker (Photos by Ron Stevens)
Heidi Schlegel and Latisha Walker (Photos by Ron Stevens)
Youngstown State vs. Valparaiso
Date & Time Saturday, March 7, at 2 p.m.
Location Beeghly Center | Youngstown, Ohio
Tickets YSU Athletic Ticket Office | (330) 941-1YSU
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3 (Live) | MyYTV (Delay)
Live Stats YSUsports.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 give Heidi Schlegel and Latisha Walker plenty of smiles on Senior Day as it hosts Valparaiso on Saturday. Tipoff against the Crusaders is set for 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and ESPN3.
  • With a win Saturday, the Penguins would clinch a home Horizon League Tournament game and its second 20-win season in the last three campaigns. This is this second straight season that YSU has played for a home tournament game on the last day of the regular season. The Penguins prevailed 94-81 against Cleveland State last year in the scenario.
  • Youngstown State would finish fourth in the final regular-season standings and earn a home tournament game with either a victory or with a Detroit loss at Green Bay. YSU could finish at least fourth for the third straight year. The Penguins did not finish higher than fifth in their first 11 years in the Horizon League.
  • The Penguins are coming off back-to-back defeats against Green Bay and Cleveland State. YSU led the Vikings 52-44 with 14:13 remaining in Cleveland on Wednesday before falling 73-62. Youngstown State made 10 3-pointers in the first half but went 1-for-14 from distance in the second half.
  • Saturday's game will be the final regular-season home game for Schlegel and Walker. The pair has seen tremendous fan support in their careers, especially as seniors. YSU averages 1,559 fans, which is more than any other university within 130 miles. The attendance for last Saturday's game against Green Bay was 3,195, which was the highest for a women's home game since Jan. 10, 2004.
  • 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 fifth in school history in career points, seventh in career rebounds and first in career free throws. She 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.

Promotions

  • The first 300 fans in attendance will receive a t-shirt replica of Heidi Schlegel's jersey.
  • There will also be a team photo giveaway, courtesy of 21 WFMJ and Valley Care Health System.

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.
  • Allow YSU to beat Valparaiso for the fifth straight time and the ninth time in the last 10 meetings.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 6-3 all time in games played on March 7. The Penguins are 2-0 against Valparaiso on the date. The Penguins beat the Crusaders 73-57 in the Mid-Con Tournament Championship game in 2000 and 54-38 on Senior Day in 2009.
  • Caroline McCombs delivered one of the top individual scoring performances in school history on March 7, 1996. The sophomore scored 33 points against Western Illinois in a 69-59 win in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Con Tournament. She missed just one shot the entire game, going 9-for-10 from the field, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range, and 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.

Scouting Valparaiso

  • Valparaiso dropped to 6-22 overall and 2-13 in Horizon League play following a 70-55 loss at Oakland on Thursday.
  • The Crusaders, who lost 87-69 to Youngstown State two Saturdays ago, are last in the Horizon League in scoring defense and rank eighth in scoring offense.
  • Valpo has a pair of talented freshmen leading them in scoring and rebounding. Dani Franklin ranks 11th in the conference with 12.9 points per game, and she leads the league in 3-point field-goal percentage at 44.6 percent. She missed the game two weeks ago with a concussion. Jasmyn Walker averages 9.9 points and 8.2 rebounds, and she's posted eight double-doubles in league play.

Series with Valparaiso

  • Youngstown State is 22-14 all time against Valparaiso in a series that dates back to 1993. Both teams were in the Mid-Continent Conference from 1992-2001, and only one of the 36 games in the series was not in conference play or in a conference tournament.
  • YSU has beaten Valpo in eight of the last nine meetings and is 10-5 in Horizon League play against the Crusaders. YSU is 12-4 against Valparaiso at Beeghly Center.
  • The Penguins beat Valparaiso twice in the championship game of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament – in 1998 and 2000 – to go to the NCAA Tournament.
  • YSU topped Valparaiso 87-69 two weeks ago behind 38 points from Heidi Schlegel. The fifth-year senior went 16-for-24 from the field, made three 3-pointers and converted three free throws in the win. The Penguins went on a 14-2 run midway through the second half to pull away in a game that was within single digits for most of the first 30 minutes.

Recapping Cleveland State

Cleveland State had an 11-0 run in the second half and closed the game on an 18-5 spurt to rally for a 73-62 victory over Youngstown State on Wednesday evening at the Wolstein Center.

YSU made 10 3-pointers in the first half to build a 40-34 lead at halftime, and the Penguins led 52-44 with 14:13 left. Cleveland State turned up the defensive pressure and scored the next 11 points to go up 55-52, and it outscored YSU 18-5 over the final seven minutes.

YSU trailed by as many as seven in the first half before starting its barrage of 3-pointers over the final nine minutes. The Penguins made nine of their final 11 attempts from beyond the arc in the period.

Heidi Schlegel led the Penguins with 18 points and eight rebounds, and she scored 14 of those points in the second half as Cleveland State tightened its perimeter defense. Kelsea Newman scored all 12 of her points in the first half, and Jenna Hirsch tied her season high with 12 points off the bench. Imani Gordon scored 14 of her game-high 25 points in the second half to lead Cleveland State's rally.

Quick Notes from CSU

  • YSU made nine of its final 11 attempts from 3-point range over the final nine minutes of the first half. The Penguins were 2-for-20 from distance over the other 21 minutes.
  • The Penguins had 21 assists on 22 field goals. Nikki Arbanas had a career-high seven assists, and Indiya Benjamin had six.
  • YSU committed 15 turnovers, just one more than their average, but CSU converted those into 26 points. YSU has committed at least 15 turnovers 14 previous times this season, and the 26 points off turnovers were the second-most by an opponent.
  • Cleveland State also turned 16 offensive rebounds into 17 points.
  • Schlegel and Latisha Walker combined 46 points as YSU held a 40-26 edge in points in the paint in the first meeting. The pair had 25 points in this contest as YSU was outscored 40-22 in the paint.
  • YSU was plus-18 in rebounding margin against Cleveland State on Jan. 15 but was outrebounded by 16 on Wednesday.