Women's Basketball Looks to Snap Short Skid at UIC on Thursday

Janae Jackson and the Penguins will play at UIC on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern
Janae Jackson and the Penguins will play at UIC on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern
Youngstown State at UIC
Date & Time Thursday, Jan. 21, at 8 p.m. ET
Location UIC Pavilion - Chicago, Ill.
Tickets uicflames.com
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
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Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State continues its longest road stretch of Horizon League play as it travels to UIC on Thursday. The Penguins will try to snap its first two-game losing skid of the season against the Flames at 8 p.m. Eastern at the UIC Pavilion, and the contest will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
  • Youngstown State is 12-4 overall and 3-2 in the Horizon League following a 75-68 setback at Cleveland State on Saturday. The Penguins held a 64-59 lead with just over 4:30 left but were outscored 16-4 the rest of the game. The loss dropped YSU into a tie for fourth place in the conference standings.
  • The Penguins are 12-4 or better through 16 games for the ninth time in school history and for the second straight year. YSU had not been at least 12-4 in back-to-back years since 1996-97 and 1997-98.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League with 8.5 3-pointers per game and has made at least 15 3s in a game three times.
  • Sarah Cash leads the Horizon League and ranks third in the country with a .645 field-goal percentage. Indiya Benjamin is the conference leader in assists with 5.6 per contest.
  • Youngstown State returns three starters and a total of eight letterwinners from last season's team that won 21 games, played in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament and earned an at large berth to play in the Women's NIT.

Previewing UIC

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU at least 13 wins in its first 17 games for the eighth time in school history and for the second straight season.
  • Allow YSU to start 4-2 in Horizon League play for the fourth time.
  • Improve YSU's record to 5-4 on the road.
  • Be YSU's fourth straight at the UIC Pavilion.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 2-9 in 11 previous games played on Jan. 21. YSU's last win on the date came at Beeghly Center against Western Illinois in 1999, and the Penguins have lost four straight on Jan. 21 since.
  • There are two particularly noteworthy individual performances by Penguins on Jan. 21. Dorothy Bowers scored 36 points, which is tied for the 14th-most by a player in school history, against Gannon in 1981. Tara Fleming blocked seven shots, which is tied for the second-most in YSU history, versus Butler in 2004.

Scouting UIC

  • UIC went 9-2 with some impressive wins in non-conference play, but the Flames have lost all six of their Horizon League contests. Three of those losses have come by one possession, and UIC lost 64-22 at Green Bay on Saturday. The Flames were picked to finish third in the league's preseason poll.
  • Senior post Ruvanna Campbell is one of the top players in the conference with 17.2 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, which ranks sixth in the country. Kendyl Nunn is second in scoring at 13.1 points. Point guard Terri Bender, a preseason second-team all-league pick has played just two games because of injury.

Series with UIC

  • Youngstown State is 13-19 all time versus UIC, and the Penguins have won four of the last six contests. YSU actually has a better record on the road than at home against the Flames, going 7-9 in Chicago and 6-10 in Youngstown. YSU has won three straight at the UIC Pavilion, but the Penguins are 1-2 at Beeghly Center over the same span.
  • LAST MEETING: UIC overcame a 12-point halftime deficit and beat Youngstown State 66-63 in overtime on Feb. 7, 2015, at Beeghly Center. All five Penguins starters scored in double figures, and Heidi Schlegel had 15 points and 17 rebounds. Ruvanna Campbell scored 18 of her 23 points in the second half to lead UIC's comeback.

Recapping Cleveland State

Cleveland State outscored Youngstown State 16-4 over the final four-and-a-half minutes to beat the Penguins 75-68 on Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.

YSU led by as many as eight in the third period and held a 64-59 advantage after back-to-back 3-pointers by Kelsea Newman with 4:52 remaining in the game. Cleveland State scored the next six points to go up 65-64, and Sarah Cash's basket with 2:22 left gave YSU its final lead at 66-65. That was the last of 13 lead changes in the game and seven in the fourth period.

Cash finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, both of which were team highs, and she was 7-of-8 from the field. Indiya Benjamin scored 16 points and added four assists, and Kelley Wrightcame off the bench to score 11, her most ever in a Horizon League game, for the Penguins.

Quick Notes from Cleveland State

  • YSU was outscoring teams by an average of 4.6 points per game in the fourth period, but the Vikings held a nine-point edge in the final 10 minutes.
  • Nikki Arbanas surpassed 450 career points. She's YSU's active scoring leader with 453 career points. Arbanas, however, did go 0-for-7 from 3-point range, which was the worst shooting day of her career.
  • Indiya Benjamin scored in double figures for the fifth straight game, which is the longest streak of her career. She's averaging 14.2 points after Christmas and a team-high 16.2 points in Horizon League play.
  • Sarah Cash was 7-of-8 from the field for a team-best 19 points, and she added team highs with eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
  • The Penguins achieved statistical edges in categories that normally result in victory for them. YSU was previously 8-0 this year and 39-4 under Coach John Barnes when shooting better than the opponent. The Penguins were also 5-0 this year and 26-2 under Barnes when outscoring their opponent in paint.
  • YSU attempted 22 free throws in the game, but it did not attempt any in the first or fourth periods. The Penguins were 5-for-8 in the second and 10-for-14 in the third.
  • Ashanti Abshaw's 23 points were the most by an individual against YSU this year.
  • YSU lost for the 10th time in the last 11 contests at the Wolstein Center.
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