YSU Begins #HLWBB Tournament Play vs. Oakland on Thursday

Senior Janae Jackson leads the Penguins into the 2016 Horizon League Women's Basketball Tournament
Senior Janae Jackson leads the Penguins into the 2016 Horizon League Women's Basketball Tournament
Youngstown State vs. Oakland
Date & Time Thursday, March 10, 2016
Location Kress Center - Green Bay, Wis.
Tickets HorizonLeague.com
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3 | WatchESPN
Live Stats StatBroadcast.com
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Scouting Report

  • Sixth-seeded Youngstown State will begin what it hopes will be an extended stay in the Horizon League Women's Basketball Tournament on Thursday when it plays seventh-seeded Oakland. Tipoff at Green Bay's Kress Events Center is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET, and live coverage will be available on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
  • YSU finished the regular season 18-11 overall and 9-9 in conference play. The Penguins tied with Northern Kentucky for fifth place but lost the tiebreaker to the Norse. YSU won at least nine conference games for the fourth straight season. It peaked at eight wins in each of its first 11 seasons in the Horizon League.
  • Youngstown State has won a tournament game and advanced to the semifinals in each of the past three seasons. YSU eliminated Oakland in the quarterfinals in 2013-14, and it swept the Golden Grizzlies in the regular season, winning 96-77 on the road and 67-63 at home.
  • YSU went 4-2 against the No. 2-4 seeds during the regular season but just 3-3 against the bottom three. Against the four teams on its side of the bracket, Youngstown State went 7-1.
  • Youngstown State has started four underclassmen in 18 straight games and 25 times overall. YSU's top three scorers – Sarah Cash, Nikki Arbanas and Indiya Benjamin – are sophomores.
  • Sarah Cash ranks among the top five players in the nation with a .616 shooting percentage. A Second-Team All-Horizon League honoree, she ranks in the top 10 in the Horizon League in scoring, rebounding and blocks.
  • YSU is averaging 9.0 3-pointers per game overall, which ranks 11th in the country. It averaged 9.9 in Horizon League play.
  • Nikki Arbanas has made 75 3-pointers this season, which is the fifth-most in program history and 21 more than any other sophomore has made. She led the league with 53 3-pointers in conference play.
  • Indiya Benjamin leads the Horizon League in 3-point field-goal percentage at .412, and she's one assist behind the conference leader.

Previewing Oakland

A Win Would...

  • Give the Penguins at least 19 wins in a season for the 12th time in program history, including three times in the last four seasons.
  • Allow YSU to win a game in the Horizon League Tournament for the fourth straight year.
  • Be YSU's third against Oakland this season.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State has only played once previously in its history on March 10, and the Penguins beat Detroit in the opening round of the Horizon League Tournament 65-54 in 2008. That was YSU's final victory under head coach Tisha Hill. Heather Karner made five 3s and scored 18 points, and the Penguins went 22-of-28 at the free-throw line.

Scouting Oakland

  • Oakland finished the regular season with a 15-14 overall record and a 7-11 record in conference play. The Golden Grizzlies snapped a four-game losing streak with a 77-69 win over Green Bay in their regular-season finale. Oakland gave the Phoenix both of its league losses during the season.
  • Oakland ranks second in the conference in scoring offense at 75.8 points per game while leading the league in field-goal percentage.
  • Second-Team All-Horizon League pick Olivia Nash ranks fifth in the league with 16 points per game, and all-freshman team pick Taylor Jones is second on the team with 13.8 points per contest.

Series with Oakland

  • YSU is 8-8 all time against Oakland in a series that dates back to the 1998-99 season when both teams were in the Mid-Continent Conference. YSU is 5-2 in the series since Oakland joined the Horizon League with a win in the Horizon League Tournament in 2014 and a regular-season sweep in 2015-16. The teams have never played on a neutral floor
  • This Season at Oakland: YSU tied a school record with 16 3-pointers, and Kelsea Newman made eight herself in a 96-77 win on Nov. 28. After six lead changes in the second period alone, the Penguins led by at least a dozen for the final 11:53 of the game.
  • This Season at YSU: Sarah Cash scored 18 second-half points, and Nikki Arbanas made six 3s to help YSU rally for a 67-63 victory over Oakland on Feb. 4. Oakland led 44-30 as YSU missed 19 consecutive shots during a field-goal drought of 12:27. YSU closed the game by outscoring Oakland 37-19 over the final 12:30.

Recapping Wright State

YSU's Indiya Benjamin tied her career high with 22 points, but Wright State led for 38 minutes to defeat the Penguins 77-66 on Sunday in the regular-season finale.

Wright State scored the first six points of the game and never trailed, and five Raiders scored in double figures. The Raiders controlled the inside with a 44-22 scoring edge in the paint, and Wright State turned 12 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points.

Wright State led 16-9 at the end of the first period and built a 26-13 advantage midway through the second. YSU got within three twice — on a Nikki Arbanas 3 with 2:23 left in the first half and on a Sarah Cash three-point play on the first possession of the second half. Wright State answered Cash's three-point play with a 10-0 spurt and led by at least eight the rest of the game.

Benjamin's 22 points led all players, and Arbanas finished with 15 points behind four 3-pointers. Janae Jackson added 12 points and a team-best seven rebounds.

Quick Notes From Wright State

  • YSU did not lead in a game at any point for the first time this season.
  • Wright State shot 51.7 percent from the field, which the best mark by an opponent in the last nine games.
  • Arbanas surpassed 600 career points and increased her season 3-point total to 75. That is the fifth-highest mark in school history.
  • Benjamin set a new school record for assists by a sophomore with 146. That's the 11th-highest mark in program history for any player. Benjamin was 9-for-14 from the field in the game.
  • Arbanas and Benjamin both scored in double figures for the 30th time in their respective careers.
  • Cash drained the 200th field goal of her career. She finished the game with nine points and five rebounds.
  • Jackson scored her 200th point of the season and made her 100th career field goal.
  • Kelsea Newman moved into a tie for 10th on YSU's career 3-pointers list. She has 133 3-pointers in her career, which is tied with Barb Fabianova.
  • Melinda Trimmer made her first two-point basket of the season.
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Get to Know Indiya Benjamin
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Get to Know Nikki Arbanas
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