The Youngstown State women's basketball team has earned the right to play in a postseason tournament for the third time in the last four years. The Penguins will host Stony Brook on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Beeghly Center in the opening round of the Women's Basketball Invitational. The game is presented by Medical Mutual of Ohio, the official healthcare provider of Youngstown State University.
YSU is playing in the WBI, a 16-team tournament played on campus sites, for the first time. It comes after appearances in the Women's NIT in 2013 and 2015, making this the first time in program history that the Penguins will play in the postseason three times in a four-season span. Stony Brook's head coach is Youngstown State Athletics Hall of Fame member Caroline McCombs, who was a starter on YSU's NCAA Tournament teams in 1996 and 1998.
Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12-and-under, and YSU students will be admitted for free with a valid student ID. The YSU Athletic Ticket Office in Stambaugh Stadium will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Penguin Club members and season ticket holders will have until 5 p.m. on Wednesday to purchase their tickets. The Beeghly Center Ticket Office and gates to the arena will open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. For more information or to order tickets by phone, call (330) 941-1YSU.
Youngstown State enters the WBI with a 19-12 record, one victory away from the 11th 20-win season in program history. The Penguins were the No. 6 seed in last week's Horizon League Tournament, and they beat Oakland in the opening round before falling to Wright State in the quarterfinals.
Youngstown State is the No. 2 seed on the right side of the WBI bracket, and defending champion Louisiana is the top seed on the right side. Fellow Horizon League member Northern Kentucky is the top seed on the left side of the bracket.
Stony Brook will come to Youngstown with a 17-14 overall record, which included an 8-8 mark in the America East Conference. The Seawolves are playing in the WBI for the second straight season, both of which have come with McCombs as their head coach.
Youngstown State and Stony Brook have played twice previously in a home-and-home series in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. Stony Brook beat YSU 54-47 in New York on Dec. 27, 2011, and Youngstown State evened the series with a 76-43 win in Youngstown on Nov. 30, 2012. The winner of Wednesday's matchup will advance to play either UMBC or Fairfield.
The Horizon League has had success in the first years of the WBI. UIC won the tournament as a No. 4 seed in 2014, and Detroit was the champion as a No. 1 seed in 2013.