Penguins Begin Northeast Ohio Rivalry Week vs. Akron on Tuesday

Jenna Hirsch (Photo by Dustin Livesay)
Jenna Hirsch (Photo by Dustin Livesay)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will try to win for the fourth time in five games as it hosts Akron on Tuesday evening at Beeghly Center. Tipoff against the Zips is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on and ESPN3/WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins are coming off a 69-68 win over Saint Francis U on Saturday in which they held the Red Flash almost 20 points below their season scoring average. Indiya Benjamin scored five of her game-high 21 points in the final minute as YSU rallied from a 64-59 deficit in the final 90 seconds.
  • It was a nice bounceback effort for the Penguins, who were coming off a disappointing 70-49 loss at Northern Arizona last Monday. SFU opened the season with a win at Wisconsin and a competitive loss at Marquette. YSU was plus-17 in rebounding against SFU after losing the rebounding battle by 21 at NAU.
  • YSU is in a stretch of playing 10 out of 11 games in Ohio. It played three of its first six contests more than 1,700 miles from campus. YSU flew more than 13,000 miles and spent nearly 28 hours on airplanes from Nov. 15-29.
  • Due to early-season injuries, Youngstown State has used five different starting lineups in the first seven games of the season.
  • The Penguins have won 21 games and advanced to a postseason tournament in each of the past two seasons. YSU went 21-13 last season and won two games in the WBI.

Tickets and Promotions

  • Advance tickets for Tuesday's game are available at the YSU Athletic Ticket Office in Stambaugh Stadium. Tickets can be ordered over the phone by calling (330) 941-1YSU.
  • The Beeghly Center Ticket Office will open at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
  • Tuesday continues the Rulli Bros. "Holiday Hoops" promotion for December where fans can receive a buy one, get one free offer on general admission tickets by asking for the "Holiday Hoops" special upon ordering their tickets.
  • Additionally, Tuesday's game is December's "Military Appreciation Game". Active and retired military members can receive six complimentary tickets to the game with proper military ID.

A Win Would...

  • Bring YSU's record at Beeghly Center to 3-1.
  • Even Youngstown State's record for the season at 4-4.
  • Allow YSU to win for the fourth time in its last five games.
  • Be the third straight over Akron at Beeghly Center.
  • Be YSU's 24th in 32 regular-season non-conference games dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 4-5 in its history in games played on Dec. 6. YSU has played on Dec. 6 six times since 2000.
  • The Penguins last played on the date two years ago and beat Oberlin 92-43 at Beeghly Center.
  • Individually, Wanda Grant scored 38 points, tied for the eighth-most in program history, in a 100-79 victory over West Virginia in Pittsburgh on Dec. 6, 1980.

Scouting Akron

  • Akron is 3-2 this season following an 80-59 victory at Winthrop on Saturday. The Zips also have victories over Malone (63-52) and Canisius (73-64). Akron's losses have come to Penn State and Bucknell.
  • Akron returns two starters from last year's team that won 19 games and finished second in the MAC East. The Zips were picked to finish third in the division in the conference's preseason poll.
  • Akron ranks third in the MAC in 3-point field-goal percentage (.358), and it leads the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.241).
  • Hannah Plybon leads the Zips in scoring at 19.2 points per game, and Megan Sefcik is next with 11.2 points per contest.

Series with Akron

  • Youngstown State has played Akron more than any other non-Horizon League team, and the Penguins are 38-16 all time against the Zips. The teams have played every season since 1996-97.
  • Each team has won on its home court over the last four seasons. The Penguins beat Akron 78-72 on Dec. 18, 2011, in the last road win in the series.
  • Last year, Akron outscored YSU 46-22 in the paint and was plus-31 in rebounding margin in a 74-49 victory over the Penguins. The Zips led 16-6 after the first quarter and 36-21 at halftime.

Recapping Saint Francis

  • Indiya Benjamin scored five of her game-high 21 points in the final minute as Youngstown State rallied in the final 90 seconds to beat Saint Francis U 69-68 on Saturday at Beeghly Center.
  • YSU trailed 64-59 with 1:35 left before outscoring the Red Flash 9-4 over the final stretch. Mailee Jones started the rally with a layup in transition, and Benjamin scored the next five points on a 3 and her own transition layup that put YSU up 66-64.
  • A lane violation wiped out the tying free throw on SFU's next possession, and YSU made three free throws – the final two by Jenna Hirsch with three seconds left – put the Penguins up 69-65. SFU's Halee Adams banked in a half-court shot at the buzzer for the final score.
  • YSU held Saint Francis U almost 20 points below its scoring average of 87.6 points entering the contest.
  • YSU was a season-best plus-17 in rebounding margin (48-31). It was the program's best rebounding margin against a Division I opponent since outrebounding Oakland 37-20 on Feb. 11, 2015. The Penguins were outrebounded by 21 at Northern Arizona in their previous game.
  • Benjamin added a career-high eight rebounds to go along with her 21 points and seven assists. Jones scored 13 points for her third game in double figures.
  • Saint Francis scored the game's first seven points and led 11-2 at the 6:42 mark of the first period. The Red Flash also scored the first eight points of the second half.
  • Sarah Cash made her first start of the season but was limited to two points in 14 minutes with knee pain.
  • YSU used its fifth starting lineup in seven games.