Women's Basketball Faces First Road Test at Niagara

Jenna Hirsch and YSU play at Niagara on Tuesday
Jenna Hirsch and YSU play at Niagara on Tuesday
Youngstown State at Niagara
Date & Time Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m.
Location Gallagher Center
Tickets PurpleEagles.com
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video Niagara Sports Network
Live Tweets @YSUsports | @YSUWomensHoops | @javogel34
Hash Tags #GoGuins | #HLWBB
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Scouting Report

  • Fresh off a major comeback victory in its season opener, the Youngstown State women's basketball team will make its first road trip of the season to Niagara on Tuesday. Tipoff against the Purple Eagles at the Gallagher Center is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and the Niagara Sports Network.
  • Youngstown State rallied for a 53-51 win over Canisius in its first game of the 2015-16 season on Friday. The Penguins trailed 18-4 after the first period, 36-16 at halftime and by as many as 22 early in the third period. YSU outscored the Golden Griffins 21-7 in the final period, and Sarah Cash made two free throws with 0.6 seconds left to give YSU the win.
  • In her first career start, Cash set new career highs with 19 points and eight rebounds. Fifth-year senior Janae Jackson also started for the first time against Canisius. No post on the team had started a game in their careers entering the season opener. The three true posts on the roster had a combined 519 minutes at the Division I level heading into the year.
  • 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.
  • YSU is hoping to continue on its impressive three-year stretch that has it steadily moving toward becoming a top-level mid-major program. The Penguins have won at least 21 games in two of the last three years, and they've advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament in three consecutive years.

On This Date

Youngstown State is winless in three previous games played on Nov. 17, and all three losses were by at least 10 points. In its most recent game played on Nov. 17 in 2010, Youngstown State lost 86-40 at Bowling Green.

Scouting Niagara

Niagara lost its season opener 79-45 at Texas Tech on Friday. The Purple Eagles trailed 41-12 at halftime, and they were outscored 38-33 in the final 20 minutes.

Niagara has eight returning players from last year's team that won 14 games and advanced to the quarterfinals of the MAAC tournament. Junior forward Victoria Rampado, the top scorer (12.6 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 rpg) in 2014-15, was Named Preseason first-team All-MAAC.

Jada Pierce is in her first season as Niagara's head coach. She was previously an assistant coach at Saint Joseph's, and her last head-coaching stint was at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (Division II) from 2004-06.

Niagara was picked to finish 10th in the MAAC preseason poll.

Series with Niagara

Youngstown State leads the all-time series with Niagara that dates back to Jan. 23, 1989, 7-4.

The teams played six times in a three-season span from 1988-89 through 1990-91, and YSU won all six of those meetings. Niagara then won the next four contests in the series in 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2008. The Penguins snapped the four-game losing streak with an 83-61 victory in last season's opener.

LAST MEETING: YSU beat Niagara 83-61 to open the 2014-15 season at Beeghly Center. The Penguins scored 21 points in the first six minutes and led by double digits for the final 31 minutes of the game. Nikki Arbanas scored 25 points in the game, going 5-for-5 from 3-point range and 8-for-9 from the field overall.

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU a 2-0 start for the third time in the last four seasons and for the second straight year.
  • Be YSU's first victory at Niagara since Feb. 19, 1991. YSU lost there in 2007 and 2003.
  • Be YSU's third straight win in the greater Buffalo area. YSU won at Buffalo in 2012 and at Canisius last year.

Recapping Canisius

Sarah Cash made two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining to cap a memorable 53-51 comeback victory for Youngstown State over Canisius on Friday at the Beeghly Center in the season opener for both teams.

Youngstown State trailed by 20 at halftime and by as much as 38-16 in the third period before outscoring Canisius 37-13 over the final 18:37 of the game. YSU led for the first time at 49-48 with 1:47 left, and Cash countered a Canisius 3-pointer with a field goal to tie the score at 51 with 23 seconds remaining. YSU forced a stop, and Cash was fouled on a shot on an inbounds play from near YSU's bench to set up her game-winning free throws.

Cash finished with 19 points, six more than her previous career high, while going 7-for-10 from the field. She scored 11 of those points in the fourth period as YSU outscored the Golden Griffins 21-7 over the final 10 minutes.

Quick Notes

  • The comeback was undoubtedly one of the biggest in school history for Youngstown State. YSU overcame a 15-point deficit in an overtime victory at Robert Morris last season. A little further back, YSU trailed Bucknell by 17 with 16:28 left in the second half before winning 57-56 on Nov. 16, 2011.
  • Youngstown State led for just 23 seconds in the game and trailed for 35:37. The deficit was double digits for 22:43.
  • The ends of quarters were crucial in the contest. Canisius scored the last nine points of the first period to go up 18-4, and it scored the final 13 points in the second period to extend its lead to 36-16. YSU scored 11 straight points at one point in the fourth period, and YSU outscored the Golden Griffins 15-3 over the final 5:11 of the game.
  • The Penguins had a nightmarish start offensively, making just one field goal in the first 10 minutes of the contest.
  • YSU outscored Canisius 21-0 off turnovers in the final two periods and outscored the Golden Griffins 25-10 in the category for the game. The Penguins had 13 steals in the game and were plus-13 in turnover margin.
  • YSU also had a big advantage on the offensive glass with 15 offensive rebounds leading to a 14-2 edge in second chance points. YSU had a 12-2 advantage in second-chance points in the final 20 minutes.
  • Fifth-year senior Janae Jackson made her first career start and finished with seven points and a career-high six steals. Those six steals were the most by a Penguin since Heidi Schlegel had six at Cleveland State on March 3, 2012.
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