Women's Basketball Heads to Nation's Capital for Game vs. American

Sarah Cash (Photo by Trevor Parks)
Sarah Cash (Photo by Trevor Parks)

Scouting Report

  • YSU's challenging non-conference schedule continues on Saturday as the Penguins to play at American. Tipoff at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C., is set for 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio and the Patriot League Network.
  • The Penguins will be looking for a bounce-back performance against the Eagles after suffering their worst loss of the young season at Robert Morris on Wednesday. The Colonials shot 58 percent and grabbed 11 offensive rebounds in the 84-52 decision. RMU outscored YSU 19-0 over the final 6:30 to turn a 13-point margin into the final difference.
  • Robert Morris was the latest opponent in a tough non-conference schedule for YSU. The Colonials were picked second in the NEC Preseason Poll, and American was picked to finish third in the Patriot League. Five of YSU's nine Division I non-conference opponents were picked to finish in the top three of their conferences.
  • YSU has made at least 10 3s in four straight games after making 11 total in their first two. The Penguins are 43-for-110 (39.1 percent) from beyond the arc in the last four games. YSU leads the Horizon League and ranks 23rd in Division I with nine 3-pointers per game.
  • The Penguins are hungry to get back to their winning ways after enduring an injury-plagued 2016-17 season that ended with a 9-21 record and a first-round loss in the Horizon League Tournament. In each of the previous two seasons, YSU won 21 games and advanced to play in a postseason tournament — the WNIT in 2014-15 and the WBI in 2015-16.
  • YSU returns three players – Indiya Benjamin, Mary Dunn and Alison Smolinski – who averaged more than 11 points last season, and it also welcomes back two players – Nikki Arbanas and Sarah Cash – who averaged more than 11 points in 2015-16.

Previewing American

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 3-4 this season.
  • Give the Penguins their second road win. They had one last season.
  • Be YSU's first at American and its first victory over the Eagles since 1989.

On This Date

  • YSU is 6-3 in nine previous games played on Dec. 2. The Penguins won four of their first five games on the date and have split their last four.
  • YSU's last action on Dec. 2 resulted in a 55-47 win at Bucknell in 2015.
  • Danielle Carson had 26 points and 14 assists in an 97-73 win at Cleveland State on Dec. 2, 1985.

Scouting American

  • American is 4-3 this season and is coming off a 61-48 win at UMBC on Wednesday. The Eagles have won two of their last three games, and two of their last three contests were decided by five points or less.
  • The Eagles were picked to finish third and received five first-place votes in the preseason Patriot League poll. American has four starters back from last year's squad that went 15-16 and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
  • American has 10 upperclassmen on its roster, including 2016-17 all-league performers Emily Kinneston and Cecily Carl. Kinneston leads the Eagles with 12.6 points per game, and Carl averages 9.9 points and 9.4 rebounds.

Recapping Robert Morris

  • Robert Morris shot 57.9 percent from the field and dominated in the paint to beat Youngstown State 84-52 on Wednesday evening at the North Athletic Complex.
  • The Penguins kept the game close by making 11 3-pointers, and they trailed 59-49 with eight minutes left in the fourth. Robert Morris outscored YSU 25-3 from that point to the end of the game.
  • RMU was 33-for-57 from the field, and it got offensive rebounds on 11 of those 24 misses. That led to a 15-4 edge in second-chance points as well as a 40-12 scoring advantage in the paint.
  • YSU's final lead came at 19-18 when Morgan Brunner hit a 3 with 1:46 left in the First period, but the Penguins didn't score again until a Smolinski triple almost three minutes into the second. By that time, Robert Morris had built a 26-19 lead.
  • YSU did not make a field goal for the final 6:23 of the first half or the final 6:47 of the second half. The Penguins missed their final eight attempts in the first half and the final seven of the second half. Eliminating those two stretches, YSU was 18-for-34 shooting with 52 points in 27:50.
  • Alison Smolinski tied for game-high honors with 15 points on five 3-pointers to lead the Penguins, and Indiya Benjamin scored 10 points. The five 3-pointers were the most by a Penguin this season. Both Benjamin and Smolinski have made at least two 3s in five different games.
  • All nine Colonials who played scored at least six points, and none of them shot worse than 42 percent from the field.
  • RMU's .579 shooting percentage was the best by a YSU opponent since Northern Kentucky's .580 on Jan. 30, 2016. The Colonials shot at least 46 percent in all four periods and ended the game by shooting 78.6 percent in the fourth period.
  • Youngstown State made at least two 3-pointers in each period and started the game by making four in the first period.
  • Nikki Arbanas became the eighth player in program history to make 150 career 3-pointers. Sarah Cash scored her 700th career point, and Smolinski scored her 600th career point.