Women's Basketball Heads to Wright State for Regular-Season Finale

Jill Blacksten and the Penguins will go for their 19th win of the season on Sunday at Wright State
Jill Blacksten and the Penguins will go for their 19th win of the season on Sunday at Wright State
Youngstown State at Wright State
Date & Time Sunday, March 6, at 1 p.m.
Location Nutter Center - Dayton, Ohio
Tickets WSURaiders.com
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3 | WatchESPN
Live Stats NKUnorse.com
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Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State and Wright State will play the final regular season game in the Horizon League on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Nutter Center. The game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
  • YSU is coming off a 70-59 loss at Northern Kentucky on Thursday in a decision that hurt the Penguins in the league standings. YSU can still finish as high as fourth, but it will need to beat the Raiders and have losses by both Detroit and NKU. The Penguins would currently be the sixth seed in next week's Horizon League Tournament, and, with four league games being played on Saturday, their seed could be finalized before tip on Sunday.
  • The Penguins committed 21 turnovers, their second-most in a game this season and a high during league play, in the loss to NKU. The Norse led for 33:14 but didn't start to pull away until a 9-0 run over the final minute of the third period and the first minute of the fourth.
  • YSU has won at least nine conference games for the fourth straight season. It peaked at eight wins in each of its first 11 seasons in the Horizon League.
  • The Penguins held all seven of their opponents in February under 70 points, and teams averaged 60.4 points collectively while shooting 36.6 percent. NKU scored 70 points on Thursday, which was an 18-point decrease from the first meeting with YSU.
  • Youngstown State has started four underclassmen in 17 straight games and 24 times overall. YSU's top three scorers – Sarah Cash, Nikki Arbanas and Indiya Benjamin – are sophomores.
  • YSU is averaging 9.11717 3-pointers per game overall, which ranks 11th in the country, and 10.1 in Horizon League play.
  • Cash ranks fourth in the country with a .625 shooting percentage. She is one of only two players in the Horizon League to rank in the top 10 in four of the five categories of points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals per game.
  • Arbanas has made 71 3-pointers this season, which is the fifth-most in program history and 17 more than any other sophomore has made. She is averaging a league-high 2.9 3s per game in conference play.
  • Benjamin leads the Horizon League with 5.1 assists per game, and she's second in 3-point field-goal percentage at .405.

Previewing Wright State

A Win Would...

  • Give the Penguins at least 19 wins in a season for the 12th time in program history, including three times in the last four seasons.
  • Allow YSU to sweep the season series with Wright State for the first time since 2012-13, which is also the last time the Penguins won at the Nutter Center.
  • Give YSU at least 10 Horizon League wins for the third time in the last four years.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State has a 3-3 record in six previous games played on March 6. All three victories came in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. The Penguins beat Buffalo in the semifinals in 1995, Western Illinois in the quarterfinals in 1997 and WIU in the semifinals in 2000.
  • For having just six games on the date, there are a high number of notable individual performances by Penguins on March 6. Wanda Grant attempted a school record 34 field goals against Kent State in 1981. Kristi Echelberry tied a school record by making 15 free throws in the semis against Buffalo in 1995. In YSU's last game on March 6 in 2010, Brandi Brown was near a triple double with 12 points, 16 rebounds — including a school record 11 offensive boards — and seven steals at Milwaukee.

Scouting Wright State

  • Wright State enters Sunday's regular-season finale with a 21-9 overall record and an 11-6 mark in Horizon League play. The Raiders have won at least 20 games for the third straight season and for the fifth time in six seasons under coach Mike Bradbury.
  • The Raiders lead the league in scoring offense (77.1 ppg), rebounding margin (plus-6.9) and blocks (4.1 bpg). Kim Demmings is the Horizon League's all-time scoring leader, and she leads the conference with 20.4 points per game this season.

Series with Wright State

  • YSU is 25-28 all-time against Wright State, and the Penguins have won three of the last four years at Beeghly Center. The teams have played in every season since 1987-88, and the Penguins won 18 of the first 22 meetings.
  • Last Meeting: YSU led for 32 minutes and made four big 3s in the fourth quarter to beat Wright State 72-69 on Jan. 28 in Youngstown. A Nikki Arbanas 3 broke a 65-65 tie with less than four minutes left, and Kelley Wright drew a big charge on Kim Demmings with 8.5 seconds left with the Raiders down one.

Recapping NKU

Youngstown State committed 21 turnovers and couldn't make enough shots to counter in a 70-59 loss at Northern Kentucky on Thursday evening.

The Penguins led just twice in the contest, and both times came in the first half. A Jenna Hirsch 3-pointer, one of 11 triples by the Penguins in the game, put YSU up 11-8 with 3:28 left in the first period. The Norse ended the quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 17-13 lead, and YSU's final lead came at 18-17 in the opening two minutes of the second period.

YSU trailed just 32-28 at halftime, and the deficit was just six with 1:13 left in the third. NKU made 3s on its final two possessions of the third period and made another triple in the opening minute of the fourth, and the Penguins got no closer than eight.

Indiya Benjamin scored a team-high 13 points and made three 3s, and Nikki Arbanas was the only other Penguin in double figures with 10.

Quick Notes from NKU

  • Youngstown State improved defensively from its first meeting with NKU, but the Penguins shot 36.8 percent and were hurt by the 21 turnovers. Those 21 turnovers came on just five NKU steals.
  • Although YSU committed eight more turnovers than NKU, it outscored the Norse 16-14 off turnovers.
  • YSU was plus-nine in rebounding margin, edging NKU 38-29. It was the second time in the last three games that YSU won the rebounding battle. The Penguins had not outrebounded a league opponent prior to the Feb. 26 game vs. Valparaiso. YSU lost for the first time this season when outrebounding the opponent.
  • Benjamin played a season-high 38 minutes and finished with 13 points. She was 3-for-8 from 3-point range but just 1-for-5 inside the arc.
  • Alison Smolinski set a new career high with six rebounds, and she was third on the team in scoring with nine points. Smolinski made a pair of 3s to up her season total 42, which is the third-most by a freshman in program history.
  • Janae Jackson tied her season high with three assists. She led the Penguins in assists for the first time in her career. Jackson scored 18 points in the first contest against Northern Kentucky but was limited to 18 minutes because of foul trouble.
  • NKU made 15 of its 16 free-throw attempts and outscored the Penguins by nine at the line. The Norse went a combined 36-for-41 from the free-throw line against YSU this season.
Get to Know Kelley Wright
November 6, 2015 Get to Know Kelley Wright
Get to Know Melinda Trimmer
November 5, 2015 Get to Know Melinda Trimmer
Get to Know Alison Smolinski
November 4, 2015 Get to Know Alison Smolinski
Get to Know Morgan Olson
November 3, 2015 Get to Know Morgan Olson
Get to Know Kelsea Newman
November 2, 2015 Get to Know Kelsea Newman
Get to Know Janae Jackson
October 30, 2015 Get to Know Janae Jackson
Get to Know Jenna Hirsch
October 29, 2015 Get to Know Jenna Hirsch
Get to Know Sarah Cash
October 28, 2015 Get to Know Sarah Cash
Get to Know Marissa Brown
October 27, 2015 Get to Know Marissa Brown
Get to Know Jill Blacksten
October 26, 2015 Get to Know Jill Blacksten
Get to Know Indiya Benjamin
October 23, 2015 Get to Know Indiya Benjamin
Get to Know Nikki Arbanas
October 22, 2015 Get to Know Nikki Arbanas