Penguins Look to Sweep Road Trip at Valparaiso on Saturday

Kelsea Newman and the Penguins will go for their second straight road win at Valparaiso on Saturday.
Kelsea Newman and the Penguins will go for their second straight road win at Valparaiso on Saturday.
Youngstown State at Valparaiso
Date & Time Saturday, Jan. 23, at 2:30 p.m. ET
Location Athletics-Recreation Center - Valparaiso, Ind.
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3 | WatchESPN
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Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State completes its three-game road stretch and looks to stay in the top three in the Horizon League standings as it plays at Valparaiso on Saturday. Tipoff at the Athletics-Recreation Center is set for 2:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
  • Youngstown State is 13-4 overall and 4-2 in the Horizon League after beating UIC 69-64 in Chicago on Thursday night. The Penguins led for more than 36 minutes and held a 15-point lead in the second half before having to hold on late. The win put YSU into a three-way tie for third-place in the conference standings with Detroit and Milwaukee.
  • The Penguins are 13-4 or better through 17 games for the ninth time in school history and for the second straight year. YSU had not been at least 13-4 in back-to-back years since 1996-97 and 1997-98.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League with 8.6 3-pointers per game, and the Guins have averaged 10.7 3s in league play. YSU had 10 3s at UIC on Thursday, its eighth game with 10+ this year.
  • Sarah Cash leads the Horizon League and ranks fourth in the country with a .628 field-goal percentage. Indiya Benjamin is the conference leader in assists with 5.7 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 Valparaiso

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU at least 14 wins in its first 18 games for the eighth time in school history and for the second straight season.
  • Allow YSU to start 5-2 or better in Horizon League play for the third time.
  • Improve YSU's record to 6-3 on the road, including 4-1 in conference games.
  • Be YSU's third straight at the ARC.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is playing for the 10th time on Jan. 23, and the Penguins are 6-3 in nine previous contests on the date. YSU's last game on Jan. 23 was in 2003, which resulted in a 69-58 loss at Detroit.
  • YSU has had two of its best defensive efforts in school history on Jan. 23. YSU held West Liberty to 29 points in 1978, and Kent State-Tuscarawas to 31 points in 1976. Individually, Dorothy Bowers scored 36 points, tied for the 14th-most in program history, on Jan. 23, 1988.

Scouting Valparaiso

  • Valparaiso is 7-11 overall and 3-4 in Horizon League play after beat Cleveland State 66-59 on Thursday. The Crusaders were 4-7 in non-league play, and three of those victories were against non-Division I opponents.
  • Valpo is 0-11 when allowing at least 67 points and 4-0 when allowing 66 or fewer.
  • Jasmyn Walker leads Valpo with 11.9 points and 8.8 rebounds, and Meredith Hamlet and Dani Franklin both average more than 10.5 points. Freshman Hannah Schaub has started every game and leads the team with 59 assists.

Series with Valparaiso

  • Youngstown State is 23-14 all time against Valparaiso in a series that dates back to 1993. Both teams were in the Mid-Continent Conference from 1992-2001, and only one of the 37 games in the series has not been in conference play or in a conference tournament.
  • YSU has beaten Valpo in nine of the last 10 meetings and is 11-5 in Horizon League play against the Crusaders.
  • LAST MEETING: YSU celebrated Senior Day with an 80-57 win over Valparaiso on March 7, 2015. The win, YSU's 20th of the season, allowed the Penguins to secure a first-round home game in the league tournament. Heidi Schlegel scored 26 points, and YSU went on a 14-3 run in the first half and led by at least eight for the final 26 minutes.

Recapping UIC

Sarah Cash scored 23 points, and Youngstown State led for more than 36 minutes in a 69-64 victory at UIC on Thursday evening at the UIC Pavilion. The win snapped a brief two-game losing skid, and the Penguins won for the fourth straight time at the Pavilion.

The only time the Penguins trailed in the game was 2-0, and they scored the next seven points to go up 7-2 four minutes into the game. YSU led by five on five other occasions in the first period, and the Penguins extended their lead to nine with four minutes left before halftime.

YSU led by as many as 15 in the third period, but UIC scored the next 10 points to get within 53-48 with 9:30 left. The closest that the Flames got was 63-59 with 1:40 remaining.

Quick Notes from UIC

  • YSU had 21 assists on 24 field goals, and the Penguins committed just 10 turnovers. That was a substantial and impactful improvement from when they averaged 18.5 turnovers against the Flames in 2014-15.
  • The Penguins made at least 10 3-pointers for the eighth time this season, finishing the night 10-of-29. Nikki Arbanas and Kelsea Newman both made three. UIC was 2-for-17 from long range, and both makes came in a two-minute stretch in the third period.
  • YSU was minus-19 in rebounding, and UIC converted 24 offensive rebounds into a 26-1 edge in second-chance points. The Guins are minus-11.3 in rebounding in league play, which ranks last in the conference and five worse than the ninth-ranked team.
  • YSU countered by being plus-seven in turnover margin and a 17-7 advantage in points off turnovers.
  • Indiya Benjamin scored 11 points, and she had seven of YSU's 21 assists. Benjamin scored the 450th point of her career as well.
  • Kelsea Newman made three 3-pointers for her third straight game with multiple 3-pointers. Like Benjamin, she surpassed 450 career points in the win.
  • Nikki Arbanas scored 10 points, and added five assists without committing a turnover.
  • Alison Smolinski scored nine points for her highest output in a Horizon League game. She made a pair of 3-pointers, including one that stopped UIC's 10-0 run that spanned the end of the third period and beginning of the fourth.
  • Sarah Cash surpassed 20 points in a game for the fourth time this season. She has 89 points in those four games after scoring 98 total all of last year.
  • Janae Jackson grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds.
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Get to Know Nikki Arbanas
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