Penguins Make Short Saturday Trip to Kent State

Mary Dunn (Photo by Courtney Metzger, Hawaii Media Source)
Mary Dunn (Photo by Courtney Metzger, Hawaii Media Source)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will try to earn a split in its week against Northeast Ohio rivals as it travels to play at Kent State on Saturday. Tipoff against the Golden Flashes at the M.A.C. Center is set for 5 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO/iHeart.com and KentStateSports.com.
  • The Penguins lost a tough 76-74 overtime decision to Akron on Tuesday evening at Beeghly Center. YSU led by 11 in the second half, and the Penguins held a 62-59 advantage with 3:47 left on an Indiya Benjamin 3-pointer. Benjamin was whistled for her fifth foul a minute later, and YSU did not score again in regulation.
  • Benjamin finished with 21 points for the second straight game and for the third time in the last five contests. Freshman forward Mary Dunn scored 13 points or her 19 points in the second half and overtime. She is averaging 11.1 points per game and shooting 53.5 percent.
  • Due to early-season injuries, Youngstown State has used five different starting lineups in the first eight games of the season. Three projected starters heading into the season missed the game against Akron due to injuries, and two are out for the year.
  • 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.
  • 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.

A Win Would...

  • Be YSU's first in a true road contest this season.
  • Give the Penguins three straight victories over the Golden Flashes, which would match the longest streak in the series' history.
  • Be YSU's 24th in 33 regular-season non-conference games dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State will be playing on Dec. 10 for the first time since 2005 on Saturday.
  • The Penguins are 1-3 in three previous games played on the date. YSU beat Cleveland State 88-58 in 1988, and it has lost three straight since. YSU lost 85-69 at Kent State in 1994, and it dropped a 69-48 decision at Eastern Michigan in its last game on the date in 2005.

Scouting Kent State

  • Kent State is 5-4 this season and is one win from matching its six-win total from last season. The Golden Flashes are 3-1 at home. Kent State is coming off a 79-69 win at Wright State on Wednesday, and it lost earlier this season at Detroit Mercy, 73-52.
  • Kent State ranks third in the MAC in 3-point field-goal percentage (.351) and free-throw percentage (.704). Individually, Larissa Lurken leads the conference in scoring at 23.6 points per contest.

Series with Kent State

  • YSU and Kent State will be playing for the 42nd time on Saturday, and YSU is 14-27 all-time in the series. The Penguins have won each of the last two contests, beating the Golden Flashes 68-49 in Kent in 2014 and 91-61 last year at Beeghly Center. A win this Saturday would allow YSU to win its third straight against Kent State, which would match its longest streak in the series.
  • The teams played every season from 1975-76 to 2003-04 before taking a four-year break. The teams then resumed the series for three games from 2008-09 to 2010-11. YSU has won both meetings since.
  • Last season, YSU had its highest margin of victory ever over the Golden Flashes in a 91-61 win. YSU scored 18 straights points in the first half as part of a 25-2 spurt. The Penguins led 34-9 just over 13 minutes into the game, and they led by double digits for the final 31 minutes. YSU made 15 3-pointers in the game and had 29 assists on 31 field goals.

Recapping Akron

  • Akron outscored Youngstown State by 15 at the free-throw line and defeated the Penguins 76-74 in overtime on Tuesday evening at Beeghly Center.
  • YSU's Indiya Benjamin scored 21 points for the second straight game, but she battled foul trouble and was whistled for her fifth infraction with 2:45 left in the fourth period. She had just hit a 3-pointer that put the Penguins up 62-59, and YSU did not score again in regulation.
  • Akron outscored the Penguins 27-12 at the free-throw line and attempted 23 more free throws. The Zips were 13-for-18 from the line in the fourth quarter and overtime.
  • Youngstown State led 27-16 just over 14 minutes into the game. The Penguins scored just six points in the next 10 minutes, which allowed Akron to take a 38-33 lead at the 7:16 mark of the third period.
  • Mary Dunn scored a career-high 19 points on 9-for-14 shooting, and 13 of those points came in the second half. The 19 points were the most by a YSU freshman post since Heidi Schlegel scored 21 at Ohio in 2011.
  • The Penguins played without leading scorer Sarah Cash, who missed the game with a knee injury. She was one of three players who were projected preseason starters who did not play in the game.
  • Benjamin and Myers combined to go 7-for-7 and score 17 points in the opening period as YSU led 21-14. Youngstown State also led at the end of the second and third quarters. YSU was 17-1 in the last two years when entering the game when holding a lead heading into the fourth period.
  • Benjamin scored the 700th point of her career. She is YSU's active scoring leader with 715 points.