Women's Basketball Begins Three-Game Home Stand with Kent State on Saturday

Jill Blacksten and YSU will host Kent State for just the second time since 2003 on Saturday.
Jill Blacksten and YSU will host Kent State for just the second time since 2003 on Saturday.
Youngstown State vs. Kent State
Date & Time Saturday, Dec. 12, at Noon
Location Beeghly Center - Youngstown, Ohio
Tickets YSU Athletic Ticket Office | (330) 941-1YSU
Radio iHeartRadio | 1390 WNIO
Video ESPN3 | WatchESPN
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Scouting Report

  • The Youngstown State women's basketball team will try to beat its nearest rival for the second straight season when it hosts Kent State on Saturday. Tipoff at Beeghly Center will be at noon, and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
  • After winning its first six games of the season, YSU couldn't muster enough offense at Penn State on Tuesday in a 68-51 loss to the Nittany Lions. The Penguins shot 37.9 percent overall, but they were 4-for-23 from 3-point range and went just 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. Even with the loss, YSU has won six of its first seven games for the ninth time in its history.
  • Sarah Cash showcased her skills against the Big Ten opponent with 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting while adding 11 rebounds for her first career double-double. Cash, who was a walk- on last season, is averaging 15 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 57 percent.
  • Youngstown State will be looking to beat Kent State in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons. YSU's last victory at Beeghly Center over the Golden Flashes was in 2001. The Penguins beat Kent State 68-49 last year.
  • Defense has been YSU's strength during its 6-1 start. It has held five of its seven opponents under 55 points, and it leads the Horizon League in scoring defense at 56.6 points per game.
  • Youngstown State returns three starters and a total of eight letterwinners from last season's team that won 21 games and earned an at large berth to play in the Women's NIT.

Promotions

  • Fans in attendance will receive Pete the Penguin Nail Clippers, courtesy of The Starting Lineup Barbershop.
  • The game is part of the Rulli Bros. "Holiday Hoops" promotion. Fans can come to the YSU Athletic Ticket Office to receive a "Buy One - Get One FREE" general admission ticket offer to Saturday's game as well as YSU's other three home games in December. For more about Rulli's "Holiday Hoops", call (330) 941-1YSU.

Previewing Kent State

A Win Would...

  • Allow YSU to win seven of its first eight games for the seventh time in its history and for the second straight season.
  • Be YSU's second straight against Kent State.
  • Be YSU's first at Beeghly Center over the Golden Flashes since Nov. 24, 2001.
  • Be YSU's 18th win in its last 21 non-league games.
  • Give Head Coach John Barnes 199 wins in his career.

On This Date

  • YSU is winless in the four previous games it has played on Dec. 12. Two of those losses were at Kent State in 1992 (69-82) and 1998 (53-85). YSU's last game on Dec. 12 was in 2010, and it resulted in a 69-64 loss at Western Michigan. Former YSU assistant coach Brenna Banktson played for WMU in that game.

Scouting Kent State

  • Kent State will come to Youngstown with a 3-5 record, which includes a 73-68 loss to Wright State and a 60-49 setback to Cleveland State. The Golden Flashes lost 68-60 at Bradley on Tuesday in their most recent game.
  • Three Golden Flashes are averaging at least 11.1 points, and sophomore Jordan Korinek leads the team with 17 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Junior Larissa Lurken has made 13 of Kent State's 28 3-pointers and ranks second on the team with 14.9 points per game.
  • Kent State has 10 new players on its roster compared to last year's group that finished with a 5-25 record. Kent State was picked to finish tied-for-fifth (out of five) in the MAC East in the conference preseason poll.

Series with Kent State

  • YSU and Kent State will be playing for the 41st time on Saturday, and YSU is 13-27 all-time in the series.
  • 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, and YSU won 68-49 last year in the first meeting since Dec. 1, 2010.
  • LAST MEETING: YSU outscored Kent State 47-24 over the final 22 minutes to win 68-49 on Nov. 18, 2014. The 19-point margin of victory tied for the highest ever in 40 meetings with the Golden Flashes. YSU trailed 25-21 before going on a 24-7 run, and it led by double digits for the final 11 minutes.
  • Series record: Kent State leads 27-13
  • Winning streak: 1 by Youngstown State
  • Last YSU win at Beeghly Center: Nov. 24, 2001

Recapping Penn State

Youngstown State stayed within striking distance at Penn State until the Nittany Lions went on a 12-0 run in the second half to pull away for a 68-51 win on Tuesday.

YSU didn't have its best shooting night despite having open looks for most of the game, but it trailed Penn State just 48-41 with 2:06 left in the third period. The Nittany Lions' 12-point spurt gave them a 60-41 lead, and YSU got no closer than 13 the rest of the way.

Youngstown State scored the first seven points of the game, and its final lead came at 9-7 with 5:05 left in the first. The Penguins didn't score for the next seven minutes, and the Nittany Lions scored 15 straight to go ahead 22-9.

Quick Notes from Penn State

  • Youngstown State finished the game shooting 37.9 percent, but it went 4-for-23 from 3-point range and missed 15 consecutive attempts from beyond the arc at one point. YSU was also just 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. It was averaging 15.3 points per game on free throws entering the contest.
  • After trailing by 13 after the big Penn State run, YSU hung around and got within eight in the second period. After trailing 43-27 in the third, the Penguins used a 13-4 run to trim the lead to seven on two occasions. Indiya Benjamin's 3-pointer made the score 47-40 at the 2:38 mark, and a free-throw by Smolinski made the score 48-41.
  • YSU held Penn State to 41.2 percent shooting, and PSU held slight edges of 36-30 in the paint and 12-8 in second-chance points despite having a large height advantage.
  • Sarah Cash showcased her skills against YSU's first Big Ten opponent in eight years, posting her first career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The sophomore was 9-for-13 from the field and added three assists in 27 minutes.
  • Nikki Arbanas added 10 points, and Alison Smolinski scored nine for YSU. Arbanas scored in double figures for the third straight game, and Smolinski made two of YSU's four 3-pointers.
  • Indiya Benjamin had seven assists in the contest, upping her average over the last four games to eight.
  • YSU had all 12 of its players appear for just the second time this season and for the first time since the Niagara game on Nov. 17. Janae Jackson returned after missing three straight contests with an injury, and Jenna Hirsch, who missed two games earlier with an injury, scored a season-best four points in 19 minutes. Jackson, Hirch, Kelley Wright and Morgan Olson combined for 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting off the bench.
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