Penguins Hope to Carry Momentum to Detroit on Friday

Tamira Ford (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Tamira Ford (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will take a three-game winning streak on the road this weekend for a pair of games in the Detroit area. The Penguins begin the trip at Detroit Mercy on Friday at 7 p.m. Live coverage will be on 1390 WNIO,, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
  • YSU is coming off a 92-67 win over Cleveland State on Monday in what was its most complete game of the season. The Penguins made a season-high 14 3-pointers, including a school-record-tying eight from Alison Smolinski, in the 25-point victory. It was YSU's third straight win after starting league play 0-3.
  • Of YSU's three league losses, one was by three at Cleveland State and another was in overtime at Northern Kentucky. Four of YSU's last six losses overall have been in overtime or by five points or fewer.
  • YSU has scored at least 20 points in 11 of the last 13 full quarters it has played. The Penguins scored at least 22 points in all four periods against Cleveland State on Monday.
  • With three of its top five scorers coming into the season out for the year with injuries, YSU is averaging 70.9 points per game. That is the program's highest scoring average since 1999-00. YSU is averaging 74.4 points since the third game of the season.
  • Youngstown State has made at least nine 3-pointers in eight of the last nine games after having a high of eight in the first eight contests of the season.
  • A freshman or sophomore has led the Penguins in scoring in eight of the last nine games.

A Win Would...

  • Extend YSU's winning streak to a season-long four games.
  • Improve YSU's Horizon League record to 4-3.
  • Be YSU's first road victory over the season.
  • Be YSU's third straight win at Calihan Hall.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 6-5 overall in games played on Jan. 20, but the Penguins have lost their last three on the date. YSU's last victory on Jan. 20 came in 2001 against Chicago State.
  • Individually, Jen Perugini grabbed 20 rebounds, the second most ever by a Penguin in a Horizon League road game, at Butler in 2005. Danielle Carson had 24 points and 10 assists, one of her six career games with at least 20 and 10, at Austin Peay in 1986.

Scouting Detroit Mercy

  • Detroit Mercy is 8-9 overall and 4-2 in Horizon League play heading into this week. The Titans are 4-2 at Calihan Hall, including 3-0 against league opponents.
  • The Titans rank third in the conference in scoring offense at 72.6 points per game and seventh in scoring defense allowing 70 points per contest. Both rankings are one spot ahead of YSU. Detroit Mercy leads the league with 8.4 3-pointers per game.
  • Senior guard Rosanna Reynolds was the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year, and she leads the conference in assists while also ranking fifth in scoring. Brianne Cohen, a preseason second-team honoree, is 12th in scoring and third in field-goal percentage. Nicole Urbanick leads the conference with 2.7 3-pointers per game.

Series with Detroit

  • Detroit has a slim 21-18 lead in the all-time series with YSU, though the Penguins have won three of the last four meetings.
  • Home court has been a huge factor in the series as Detroit is 14-5 at Calihan Hall, and YSU is 13-7 at Beeghly Center. However, the teams split last season with each team winning a close game on the road.

Last Season vs. Detroit

  • In Detroit, YSU rallied from a 15-point deficit to win 72-70 on Jan. 2. Sarah Cash made two free throws with five seconds left as part of an 18-point second half.
  • In a game very similar to the first matchup, YSU battled back from a 17-point deficit to take a 68-65 lead with a minute left. Detroit scored on its final two possessions to hold off the Penguins for a 69-68 win in Youngstown on Feb. 6.

Recapping Cleveland State

  • Behind a record-setting performance from Alison Smolinski, YSU had its best 40-minute effort of the season in a 92-67 win over Cleveland State on Monday.
  • Smolinski came off the bench to score a career-high 30 points and tie the school record by making eight 3-pointers. She joins Kelsea Newman (at Oakland on Nov. 28, 2015) and Kenya Middlebrooks (vs. Detroit on Jan. 26, 2012).
  • YSU scored at least 22 points in all four quarters and outscored CSU 69-44 in the final three periods. The 25-point margin of victory was the largest of the season.
  • YSU made a season-high 14 3-pointers on 31 attempts including 9-of-15 in the second half. Smolinski was 6-of-7 in the second half.
  • YSU had a 27-3 edge in points off turnovers.
  • Indiya Benjamin added 20 points, 16 of which came in the first half. She and Jenna Hirsch combined for 30 points, 13 assists, six steals and just two turnovers.
  • Smolinski had YSU's first 30-point game since Heidi Schlegel scored 38 at Valparaiso on Feb. 21, 2015. She posted the first 30-point game at Beeghly Center since Brandi Brown scored 31 against Cleveland State on March 13, 2013.
  • Smolinski's eight 3-pointers are also the most by a Horizon League player this season. She is one of 25 players in the country to make at least eight in a game this season.
  • Dunn was held to single digits in scoring for the first time since scoring seven points against Saint Francis U on Dec. 3. She had scored at least 10 points in nine straight games, which was the longest streak by a YSU freshman since at least when the Penguins joined the Horizon League in 2001-02. In fairness, Dunn played just 10 minutes against the Vikings due to foul trouble and game flow.