The Youngstown State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will celebrate on Saturday the 20th anniversary of the 1997-98 women’s basketball team that captured the Mid-Continent Conference championship and won the program’s first NCAA Tournament game.
The ceremony will take place at halftime of the YSU women’s basketball game against Cleveland State. The Penguins are hosting the Vikings in the final regular season game of the season, and tipoff at Beeghly Center is set for 4:15 p.m. Youngstown State and Cleveland State are two of the hottest teams in the Horizon League as the Penguins have won eight of their last 10 contests and the Vikings have prevailed in seven of their last nine.
The 1997-98 team turned in a school-best 28-3 record, won 16 straight games, and finished with a 15-1 mark in the Mid-Continent Conference in 1997-98. Coming off its fourth straight regular-season conference title, YSU earned the No. 1 seed in the Mid-Con Tournament and ran the table with victories over Chicago State, 76-57, Southern Utah, 83-73, and Valparaiso, 78-69, to collect its second NCAA Tournament automatic berth in three years.
YSU earned the No. 12 seed and drew No. 5 Memphis in the first round. The Penguins pulled off the upset of the tournament, downing the Tigers, 91-80, for the school’s first NCAA Tournament victory. The Penguins saw their magnificent season come to a close with an 88-61 loss to fourth-seeded NC State.