Women Host Milwaukee in Basketball Doubleheader on Thursday

Nikki Arbanas and Youngstown State host Milwaukee on Thursday in its first Horizon League home game of the season.
Nikki Arbanas and Youngstown State host Milwaukee on Thursday in its first Horizon League home game of the season.
Youngstown State vs. Milwaukee
Date & Time Thursday, Jan. 7, at 5:15 p.m.
Location Beeghly Center - Youngstown, Ohio
Tickets YSU Athletic Ticket Office | (330) 941-1YSU
Radio iHeartRadio | 1390 WNIO
Video ESPN3 | WatchESPN
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Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will try to remain unbeaten in Horizon League play as it welcomes Milwaukee to Beeghly Center in its first conference home game of the season. Tipoff against the Panthers is set for 5:15 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio and ESPN 3. YSU's men's basketball team will play UWM at 7:45 p.m.
  • The Penguins are 11-2 overall and 2-0 in league play after rallying for a 72-70 win at Detroit on Saturday. YSU trailed by as much as 15 early in the third period before catching the Titans with 4:39 left. Sarah Cash made two free throws with five seconds left to break a 70-70 tie.
  • The Penguins have won at least 11 of their first 13 games for the ninth time in program history. Their 9-2 mark in non-conference games was the third-best in school history, and they had 10 wins before New Year's Day for the third time in program history.
  • Cash is the current Horizon League Player of the Week, an honor she earned for the second time this season. Cash averaged 23 points while shooting 73.1 percent from the field. The sophomore ranks third in the country in field-goal percentage at .638.
  • YSU outscored Tennessee State and Detroit by a combined 33 points in the second half in wins last week. The Penguins trailed the Tigers by eight at halftime and the Titans by 12.
  • 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 Milwaukee

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU at least 12 wins in its first 14 games for the eighth time in school history and for the second straight season.
  • Allow YSU to start 3-0 in Horizon League play for just the second time (2013-14 is the other).
  • Improve YSU's record to 8-0 at Beeghly Center.
  • Be YSU's seventh straight over Milwaukee.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State has a 6-5 record in 11 previous games played on Jan. 7. The Penguins won 55-48 at Valparaiso in 2012 for their first victory on the date since 1995. YSU hosted Milwaukee on Jan. 7, 1991, and defeated the Panthers 84-54.
  • Wanda Grant had a notable 34-point effort at West Virginia on Jan. 7, 1981, in a 78-67 Penguins victory.

Scouting Milwaukee

  • Milwaukee enters this week at 6-6 overall and 0-1 in Horizon League play. The Panthers lost 63-42 to Green Bay in their conference opener on Jan. 1, and they won 55-48 at Chicago State on Jan. 3.
  • Four Panthers players average double figures, with JUCO transfer Sierra Ford-Washington leading the way at 12.3 points per game. Steph Kostowicz averages 10.3 points and 8.9 rebounds, and UWM is plus-6.6 in rebounding margin.
  • UWM was picked to finish ninth in the league's preseason poll. The Panthers rank second in the conference in free-throw percentage and rebounding margin, but they are last in scoring offense.

Series with Milwaukee

  • Milwaukee leads the all-time series with YSU 24-11, but the Penguins have swept the Panthers in each of the last three seasons. UWM had won 15 consecutive games versus Youngstown State before the Penguins won 67-50 at Beeghly Center on Jan. 17, 2013 to start its current six-game winning streak.
  • LAST MEETING: Heidi Schlegel scored 38 points, and Nikki Arbanas hit a clutch 3-pointer late to lift YSU to a 79-73 victory at Milwaukee on Feb. 19, 2015. UWM led 73-68 with 3:04 left before Schlegel scored six straight points to put YSU up 74-73. Arbanas hit a 3 at the end of the shot clock to give the Penguins a 77-73 cushion, and YSU finished the game on an 11-0 run.

Recapping Detroit

Sarah Cash made two go-ahead free throws with five seconds remaining, and Youngstown State rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Detroit 72-70 on Saturday at Calihan Hall.

Cash scored 18 of her game and career-high 24 points in the second half as YSU outscored the Titans 21-18 in the third period and 24-13 in the fourth. Youngstown State trailed 39-27 at halftime and 44-29 a minute into the third period. YSU closed the third period on a 7-2 spurt, and it started the fourth on a 12-2 run.

Indiya Benjamin scored 17 points and made five of YSU's eight 3-pointers. Her fifth came with 19.2 seconds left after Detroit went ahead 68-67. Brittany Jackson tied the score at 70 on a runner with 8.4 seconds remaining, and Cash's free throws followed.

Quick Notes from Detroit

  • YSU trailed for more than 29 minutes, and the Titans were up by double digits for 13 minutes. The Penguins led 13-12 with three minutes left in the first period, and they didn't lead again until a Cash basket put them up 60-59 with 4:39 left in the fourth.
  • YSU won in the final five seconds for the third time this season, and advancing the ball on a timeout has been crucial each time.
  • Detroit scored the final five points of the first period, and the Titans scored eight straight points during a five-minute YSU scoring drought to stretch their lead to 32-20 with 3:59 left before halftime.
  • Benjamin sat most of the final 7:30 of the half with two fouls, and Alison Smolinski joined her for the final 6:40 with the same situation.
  • Benjamin's 3-pointer with 19.2 seconds left allowed her to surpass 400 points in her career. She made five 3-pointers for the first time in her career.
  • Detroit native Janae Jackson scored a career-best 14 points with seven rebounds in 22 minutes. She was 6-for-10 from the field.
  • Cash finished the game 11-of-17 from the field, and she made nine of her final 10 attempts. She scored in the final seconds of the first half, and she made 8-of-9 in the second half. She helped the Penguins shoot 69 percent in the fourth period and 46.8 percent for the game.
  • Nikki Arbanas went 1-for-7 from 3, but her lone make was significant. It came near the end of the shot clock with 3:45 left, and it put YSU up 63-59.
  • Jill Blacksten had two big minutes off the bench at the end of the third period when she grabbed two rebounds, had a steal and scored a point.
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