Penguins Set to Tangle with Defending Champion Green Bay on Saturday

Alison Smolinski and YSU will host Horizon League defending champion Green Bay on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Alison Smolinski and YSU will host Horizon League defending champion Green Bay on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Youngstown State vs. Green Bay
Date & Time Saturday, Jan. 9, at 4:30 p.m.
Location Beeghly Center - Youngstown, Ohio
Tickets YSU Athletic Ticket Office | (330) 941-1YSU
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3 | WatchESPN
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Live Tweets @YSUsports | @YSUWomensHoops | @javogel34
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Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will face its toughest challenge and greatest opportunity so far this season as it hosts Horizon League preseason favorite Green Bay on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The game between the teams who are both 12-2 and unbeaten in conference play will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN 3 and the WatchESPN App.
  • The Penguins have won each of their last two conference games in the last five seconds, and they have five such victories this season. In Thursday's win over Milwaukee, Kelsea Newman hit a step-back jumper from 18 feet at the buzzer as YSU prevailed 69-67. YSU trailed by 15 in the first period, and it has rallied to win from at least a 15-point deficit three times.
  • The Penguins have won at least 12 of their first 14 games for the eighth time in program history and for the second straight year. They've been 13-2 or better four times, with the 1997-98 season being the most recent.
  • Sarah Cash is the current HL Player of the Week, an honor she earned for the second time this season. Cash is averaging 13.9 points and leads the league in field-goal percentage.
  • YSU ranks second in the league with 8.4 3-pointers per game, which is 0.1 behind Green Bay. The Guins have made at least 15 3s in a game three times, and they made 12 vs. Milwaukee.
  • Youngstown State returns three starters and a total of eight letterwinners from last season's team that won 21 games, played in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament and earned an at large berth to play in the Women's NIT.

Promotions

  • Fans in attendance will receive a YSU Can Koozie, courtesy of McDonald's, WKBN 27 First News, Talmer Bank and West Coast Chill.

Previewing Green Bay

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU at least 13 wins in its first 15 games for the fourth time in school history (1997-98 is last time).
  • Allow YSU to start 4-0 in Horizon League play for just the second time (2013-14 is the other).
  • Improve YSU's record to 9-0 at Beeghly Center.
  • Be YSU's third in the last three seasons vs. Green Bay.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 6-3 in nine previous games played on Jan. 9. The Penguins won five of their first six on the date, and they topped Valparaiso 62-49 in 2014. YSU hasn't played a home game on Jan. 9 since 1995.
  • The Penguins have had a player grab 19 rebounds in each of the last two times they played on Jan. 19. Heidi Schlegel did it at Valpo in 2014, and Brandi Brown registered 19 at Loyola Chicago in 2010.
  • YSU tied a school record with 12 blocks against Mount St. Joseph in an 80-39 win in 1982.

Scouting Green Bay

  • Green Bay boasts an impressive resume that has them ranked as ESPN's top mid-major team in the country, and GB is eighth in the NCAA RPI. The Phoenix is 12-2 overall with wins over Power Five conference teams Marquette, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin as well as impressive mid-major victories over Dayton and South Dakota State.
  • The preseason favorites to win the Horizon League for the 18th straight season, Green Bay leads the league in scoring defense, 3-point field goal percentage and 3-pointers per game. Sophomore guard Allie LeClaire is the team's top scorer with 13.9 points per game, and four other players average at least 8.9 points.

Series with Green Bay

  • Green Bay leads the all-time series with Youngstown State 32-3, but two of those YSU victories came in the 2013-14 season. The Penguins were the second league team in the last 17 years to beat Green Bay twice in the regular season.
  • LAST MEETING: Youngstown State cut a 17-point second-half deficit down to three before losing 63-54 at Green Bay in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament last season. The Penguins trailed 51-34 with 11 minutes remaining, but Indiya Benjamin led the attack that made the score 53-50 with 5:21 on the clock. The margin was 55-52 with 3:25 left, but YSU did not score for the next three minutes as Green Bay held on.

Recapping Milwaukee

Kelsea Newman hit a step-back jumper from 18 feet at the buzzer to lift Youngstown State to a 69-67 victory over Milwaukee at Beeghly Center on Thursday evening.

Newman's jumper came after the teams battled through 15 lead changes and 11 ties. The Penguins trailed 20-5 in the final minute of the first period before a 21-5 run gave them a 26-25 lead in the second. Milwaukee led by seven in the third, and YSU answered with a 15-2 spurt that gave it a 54-48 lead. The margin was within four points for the final nine minutes of the game.

While Newman deservedly stole the headline, Nikki Arbanas carried the offense with seven 3-pointers on 10 attempts and added four free throws for a game-high 25 points. Indiya Benjamin was 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and finished with 14. The Penguins were 12-for-28 from 3-point range as a team.

Quick Notes from Milwaukee

  • Newman's jumper was the latest in a season full of heroics by the Penguins as YSU won in the last five seconds for the fourth time this season. Sarah Cash made two free throws in the other three victories.
  • The Penguins trailed for 21:58 in the game, but the deficit was double digits for just 3:23. YSU was 3-for-16 shooting in the first period, and it rebounded to make 8-of-13 in the second period. YSU missed its first seven attempts from 3-point range but made 12 of its final 21 tries. Arbanas sank seven of her final eight attempts.
  • Steph Kostowicz came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points for Milwaukee, and six Panthers scored between seven and nine points. Kostowicz had six of UWM's 19 offensive rebounds, which the Panthers converted into 25 second-chance points.
  • Milwaukee also had scoring edges of 20-11 off turnovers, 32-16 in the paint and 33-8 from its bench.
  • Milwaukee went on an 18-1 run to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 20-5 lead with 11 seconds left in the first period. Arbanas hit her first of seven 3s at the buzzer to make the score 20-8 at the end of the period. Arbanas tied the score at 34 with a 3 on YSU's final possession of the first half, and she made back-to-back triples in the final 80 seconds of the third to give YSU a 54-48 lead.
  • Janae Jackson finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and a game-high three steals. She has scored at least nine points in six of her last seven games dating back to the Kent State game on Dec. 12.
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