Women's Basketball Hosts Tennessee State Wednesday in Final Non-League Game

Kelley Wright and the YSU women's basketball team play their final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday against Tennessee State.
Kelley Wright and the YSU women's basketball team play their final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday against Tennessee State.
Youngstown State vs. Tennessee State
Date & Time Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m.
Location Beeghly Center - Youngstown, Ohio
Tickets YSU Athletic Ticket Office | (330) 941-1YSU
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
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Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will finish its non-conference schedule on Wednesday as it hosts Tennessee State at Beeghly Center. Tipoff against the Tigers is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
  • The Penguins will be trying to win 10 games before New Year's Day for the third time in school history and for the second straight year.
  • YSU has won 19 of its 23 non-conference games over the last two seasons. A win over Tennessee State would give YSU nine non-conference wins for the sixth time in program history, and a 9-2 non-conference mark would be the third-best in school history.
  • The Penguins have won at least nine of their first 11 games for the second straight season and for the 10th time in program history.
  • YSU has had to wait nine days for a chance to remove the bad taste from a 74-49 loss at Akron on Dec. 21. The Penguins trailed by 15 at halftime and shot below 30 percent in the loss to the Zips. Previously, YSU had won its last three games by an average of 32.7 points.
  • Youngstown State has made at least 15 3-pointers in three different games this season. It ranks second in the Horizon League with 8.5 3-pointers 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

  • Wednesday's game will be the final contest in 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 Wednesday's game. For more about Rulli's "Holiday Hoops", call (330) 941-1YSU.
  • Wednesday will also be a Veterans Appreciation Game as YSU celebrates current and retired military members. Veterans can obtain discounted general admission tickets for all YSU men's and women's basketball regular season home games with a valid appropriate Military ID. The tickets must be purchased in advance of game day at the Stambaugh Stadium Ticket Office. Call (330) 941-1YSU for more information.

Previewing Tennessee State

A Win Would...

  • Allow YSU to win at least 10 games by New Year's Day for the third time in program history.
  • Be YSU's 20th win in its last 24 non-league games.
  • Give YSU at least 10 wins in its first 12 games for the ninth time in school history.
  • Be YSU's first home victory over a team from Tennessee since Feb. 1, 1988.

On This Date

  • YSU is 4-10 in its history in games played on Dec. 30. The Penguins have dropped four straight on the date, and the last win was at Wright State, 79-73, in 1999.
  • Dorothy Bowers set Beeghly Center records with 46 points and 19 field goals in a 97-83 win over Kent State on Dec. 30, 1987. YSU shot 62.5 percent, the second-best mark in school history, in that win over KSU.

Scouting Tennessee State

  • Tennessee State is 5-7 this season following an 81-39 loss at No. 7 Kentucky on Monday. The Tigers have lost three straight games and four of their last five.
  • Tennessee State was picked to finish fifth in the OVC this season despite winning the league tournament and earning the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament last season. TSU has six returning letter winners and two returning starters from that team.
  • I'mani Davis and Jayda Johnson average 13.2 and 13.1 points, respectively, as the top scorers for TSU. The Tigers rank second in the OVC in blocks and steals.

Series with Tennessee State

  • YSU is 3-0 all-time against Tennessee State. The teams played twice in 1987-88 when both teams were in the Ohio Valley Conference, and the Penguins beat the Tigers 73-66 last season in Nashville.
  • LAST MEETING: Four Penguins post players scored in double figures as YSU beat Tennessee State 73-66 on Nov. 30, 2014. Heidi Schlegel had 21 points, followed by Sarah Cash (13), Morgan Olson (10) and Latisha Walker (10). YSU led 26-11 in the first half and was up by at least seven for the entire second half.

YSU and the OVC

  • YSU was a member of the Ohio Valley Conference from 1983-84 to 1987-88 and went 31-39 in 70 OVC games.
  • The Penguins have an all-time record of 34-37 against teams currently in the conference. They hadn't played an OVC team since 1996 before beating Tennessee State last year.

Recapping Akron

Akron controlled the paint and held Youngstown State under 30 percent shooting in a 74-49 victory over the Penguins on Dec. 21 at the James A. Rhodes Arena.

The Zips held a 46-22 scoring edge in the paint, and they outrebounded the Penguins 58-27. Akron scored its first 22 points of the game in the paint and led 36-21 at halftime as YSU's Sarah Cash sat out the final 12 minutes of the half in foul trouble. Akron went on a 16-2 run to close the first period as YSU missed 11 straight shots during a nine-minute field-goal drought.

Cash finished with a team-leading 15 points, and Alison Smolinski scored eight of her 10 points in the second period.

Quick Notes from Akron

  • After a three-game stretch where YSU made an average of 13.3 3-pointers, the Penguins were 5-for-23 at Akron. Smolinski was the only Penguin to make more than one.
  • YSU scored the first four points of the third period to get the deficit down to 11 at 36-25 but got no closer. Akron's DiAndra Gibson banked in a 3 from the wing to start a 17-4 run that put the Zips up 53-29.
  • YSU scored 12 of the first 16 points of the fourth period to get within 14 with 3:42 remaining. Akron scored the final 11 points of the game.
  • Jenna Hirsch made her first start of the season in place of Indiya Benjamin at point guard. Benjamin had started the first 42 games of her career.
  • YSU was minus-31 in rebounding margin. The last time the Penguins were outrebounded by at least 30 was Dec. 2, 2009, against Pittsburgh.
  • Despite allowing 23 offensive rebounds, YSU surrendered just 10 second-chance points to the Zips. Oddly, Akron also scored 10 points off just seven YSU turnovers.
  • The Penguins matched their season low with seven turnovers. They had committed at least 19 in three straight games coming into the contest.
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