YSU Travels to NKU to End Horizon League Road Trip

Morgan Olson (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Morgan Olson (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State concludes its three-game road swing at the beginning of its Horizon League schedule on Saturday night at Northern Kentucky. Tipoff at BB&T Arena is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeart.com, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • Both the Penguins and Norse are looking for their first conference wins early in the league schedule. YSU enters the game 0-2 with a three-point loss at Cleveland State last Saturday and a 71-58 setback at Wright State on Thursday. NKU is 0-3 with a 58-54 loss to the Vikings on Thursday.
  • YSU trailed Wright State just 55-53 with 6:30 left on Thursday night but made just field goal in the final seven minutes. While the Penguins cooled down the stretch, they did make at least 10 3-pointers for the fourth time in the last five games.
  • This is the first time the Penguins have played two games in three days since Nov. 18 and Nov. 20 in Hawaii. Prior to Thursday's game at Wright State, YSU had played just three times in the previous 24 days.
  • Forward Mary Dunn leads all Horizon League freshmen with 13.2 points per game and a .543 field-goal percentage. She was named the conference freshman of the week three times during the non-conference portion of the schedule.
  • Due to injuries, Youngstown State used six different starting lineups in 13 games. Guards Nikki Arbanas and Kelsea Newman are out for the year, and preseason all-conference forward Sarah Cash has not played since Dec. 3.

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU its first Horizon League win of the year.
  • Be YSU's first true road victory of the season.
  • Snap a two-game losing streak to Northern Kentucky.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 7-5 all time in games played on Jan. 7, and the Penguins have won each of their last two contests on the date.
  • Last year on Jan. 7, 2016, Kelsea Newman hit a stepback jumper at the buzzer as YSU beat Milwaukee 69-67 at Beeghly Center.
  • Wanda Grant had a notable 34-point effort at West Virginia on Jan. 7, 1981, in a 78-67 Penguins victory.

Scouting Northern Kentucky

  • NKU is 4-11 overall and 0-3 in Horizon League games under first-year head coach Camryn Whitaker. The Norse beat Arkansas State and Southern Miss to end the non-league schedule.
  • Kasey Uetrecht is the Norse's top scorer at 10.3 points per game, and Rebecca Lyttle averages 8.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. Three other NKU players average at least 6.2 points.
  • As a team, NKU averages a league-low 52.8 points per game on offense and ranks fifth in scoring defense.

Series with NKU

  • Northern Kentucky has a 3-1 lead in a short all-time series with YSU. All four games have occurred since the 2012-13 season.
  • NKU won 66-64 for its win in 2012-13, and the Penguins beat the Norse 67-53 a year later in what was the first career victory for Coach John Barnes. The Norse won both games against YSU last year in their first season in the Horizon League.

Last Year vs. NKU

  • In Youngstown on Jan. 30, 2016, NKU shot 58 percent and had three bench players score in double figures in an 88-77 win. NKU had runs of 15-2 and 8-0 in the first period, and the Norse never allowed the Penguins to catch up in the high-scoring game.
  • At NKU on March 3, 2016, YSU committed 21 turnovers and couldn't counter with enough buckets in a 70-59 loss. The Penguins trailed by four at halftime and by six with 1:13 left in the third before three NKU 3-pointers allowed it to pull away.

Recapping Wright State

  • Youngstown State had a cold spell come at the wrong time and fell 71-58 at Wright State on Thursday evening. YSU dropped to 0-2 in league play with the loss.
  • The Penguins cut a 10-point deficit down to two at 55-53 with just over seven minutes remaining in the game, but they made just one field goal the rest of the contest.
  • Indiya Benjamin finished with a team-high 16 points, but she also committed eight turnovers. Mary Dunn posted 13 points while foul trouble limited her to 19 minutes of action.
  • Morgan Brunner came off the bench to record career highs of 10 points and nine rebounds. She had nine points and five rebounds total in nine games coming into the contest. Brunner played 22 minutes and took a larger role when Alison Smolinski went down with an injury after six minutes of action.
  • Both of Wright State's starting posts had double-doubles as Symone Simmons had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Lexi Smith registered 14 points and 16 rebounds. Wright State had 20 offensive rebounds and converted them into 21 second-chance points.
  • YSU made at least 10 3-pointers for the third straight game and for the fourth time in five games. The Penguins have 49 3-pointers in their last five games, an average of 9.8. They made 47 in their first eight games of the season, an average of 5.9 per game.
  • Kelley Wright went 3-for-7 from 3-point range for her third straight game with at least three triples. She is two points shy of matching her season total from 2015-16.
  • Benjamin made multiple 3-pointers for the seventh time in the last eight games. She also had five-or-more assists for the fifth straight contest.