Women's Basketball Faces Big Challenge at Penn State on Tuesday

Alison Smolinski and the Penguins will play at Penn State for the first time since the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
Alison Smolinski and the Penguins will play at Penn State for the first time since the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
Youngstown State at Penn State
Date & Time Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m.
Location Bryce Jordan Center - State College, Pa.
Tickets GoPSUsports.com
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video BTN2Go
Live Stats GameTracker
Live Tweets @YSUsports | @YSUWomensHoops | @javogel34
Hash Tags #GoGuins | #HLWBB
Text Alerts Sign Up
Mobile App YSU Front Row

 

Scouting Report

  • The Youngstown State women's basketball team will play a Big Ten opponent for the first time since 2007 when it travels to State College, Pa., for a game at Penn State on Tuesday. Tipoff against the Nittany Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and BTN2Go.
  • The Penguins will look to improve to 7-0 for the second straight season and for just the second time since becoming at Division I program in 1981-82. Youngstown State has won its first six games for the fourth time in its 41-year history.
  • This will be the second time in a week that YSU ventures three-plus hours east on Route 80. The Penguins won 55-47 at Bucknell on Wednesday in a game in which they trailed by nine in the second half. YSU outscored the Bison 22-8 in the fourth period after having 30 points in the first 29 minutes of the game.
  • Defense has been YSU's strength so far this season. It has held five of its first six opponents under 55 points. Even though Oakland scored 77 on Nov. 28, that was 15.5 points below its season average.
  • Leading scorer Sarah Cash is averaging 14.3 points per game, and she's scored at least eight points in every contest. Nikki Arbanas has scored between nine and 15 points each 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.

Previewing Penn State

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU a 7-0 start for the second straight year, the second time as Division I program and for the third time in school history.
  • Give YSU a seven-game winning streak for the second straight season.
  • Be YSU's first over a Big Ten team since 1990.
  • Be YSU's first over a Power Five conference team since beating Pitt to open the 2012-13 season.
  • Be YSU's 18th win in its last 20 non-league games.

On This Date

  • YSU is 1-3 in its history in games played on Dec. 8. Interestingly, YSU beat Michigan on Dec. 8, 1990, for its only win over a Big Ten team in school history.
  • YSU's last game played on Dec. 8 was against Cincinnati in 2013.

Scouting Penn State

  • Penn State has lost four straight games after losing 101-79 at No. 23 USF on Sunday afternoon. The Nittany Lions are 3-5 overall and 3-1 at home.
  • Teniya Page leads four Penn State players averaging double figures in points, and the Nittany Lions rank fourth in the conference with 9.8 steals per game.
  • The Nittany Lions return four starters and six letterwinners from last season's team that finished with a 6-24 record.

Series with Penn State

  • YSU has played Penn State twice, and both games took place in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Penguins lost 94-71 to the Nittany Lions in March 15, 1996, and they lost 83-63 on March 17, 2000.
  • Last Meeting: No. 2 seed Penn State went on a 27-4 run in the first half to take a 36-21 halftime lead and beat No. 15 seed YSU 83-63 in the first round NCAA Tournament on March 17, 2000. Leslie Majewski made six of YSU's 12 3s to finish with a game-high 23 points, and Brianne Kenneally had 19 points and 10 rebounds.

YSU vs. Big Ten Teams

  • YSU is 1-9 all time against Big Ten teams with the lone win coming at Michigan on Dec. 8, 1990. That game was 25 years exactly from when YSU will play Penn State on Tuesday.
  • YSU is 0-3 vs. Ohio State, 1-1 against Michigan, 0-2 against both Indiana and Penn State and 0-1 versus Minnesota.

Recapping Bucknell

Youngstown State shrugged off a long shooting lull by outscoring Bucknell 25-8 over the final 10:10 to escape with a 55-47 victory on Wednesday evening at the Sojka Pavilion.

The Penguins went more than eight minutes without a point and more than 14 minutes without a field goal over the second and third periods before rallying. Kelley Wright ended the drought with a 3-pointer in the final 10 seconds of the third period to get YSU within 39-33, and the Penguins outscored Bucknell 22-8 in the fourth.

YSU also had an 18-5 run in the first period after Bucknell scored the first seven points of the game. The Penguins scored 10 straight points at one point in the fourth to go up 49-42 with 2:54 remaining, and they led by at least five the rest of the game.

Quick Notes from Bucknell

  • Indiya Benjamin scored all 11 of her points in the fourth period, and Nikki Arbanas led all scorers with 15 points while contributing a career-best nine rebounds. Sarah Cash added 12 points and eight rebounds for YSU.
  • Youngstown State finished the game shooting just 27.1 percent, but it shot 57.1 percent in the fourth period. The Penguins held Bucknell to 30 percent from the field, and they outscored the Bison 18-7 at the free-throw line. YSU also had a 16-6 edge in rebounding in the fourth period despite being out-sized.
  • YSU was plus-eight in turnover margin, and it outscored Bucknell 18-7 at the free-throw line.
  • After an Arbanas bucket put YSU ahead 26-19 with 4:21 left in the second period, the Penguins missed 21 straight field goal attempts. They missed their final five of the second period and their first 16 of the third until Kelley Wright's 3 in the final 10 seconds.
  • Youngstown State won for the fourth time this season when shooting under 35 percent. The Penguins were 2-7 in those instances last year and 2-4 in 2013-14.
  • Arbanas made at least two 3-pointers for the fourth straight game. She is shooting 40.9 percent from beyond the arc in that stretch after starting the season 2-for-13.
  • YSU posted a season-high five blocks, and Cash was credited with three of them.
  • Wright's 3-pointer at the end of the third period accounted for YSU's only bench points of the game.
  • Bucknell was whistled for nine fouls in the first period but just nine over the next 29 minutes. The Bison fouled YSU four times in the final minute to extend the game.
Get to Know Kelley Wright
November 6, 2015 Get to Know Kelley Wright
Get to Know Melinda Trimmer
November 5, 2015 Get to Know Melinda Trimmer
Get to Know Alison Smolinski
November 4, 2015 Get to Know Alison Smolinski
Get to Know Morgan Olson
November 3, 2015 Get to Know Morgan Olson
Get to Know Kelsea Newman
November 2, 2015 Get to Know Kelsea Newman
Get to Know Janae Jackson
October 30, 2015 Get to Know Janae Jackson
Get to Know Jenna Hirsch
October 29, 2015 Get to Know Jenna Hirsch
Get to Know Sarah Cash
October 28, 2015 Get to Know Sarah Cash
Get to Know Marissa Brown
October 27, 2015 Get to Know Marissa Brown
Get to Know Jill Blacksten
October 26, 2015 Get to Know Jill Blacksten
Get to Know Indiya Benjamin
October 23, 2015 Get to Know Indiya Benjamin
Get to Know Nikki Arbanas
October 22, 2015 Get to Know Nikki Arbanas