Women's Basketball to Host Bucknell on Friday Afternoon

Natalie Myers (Photo by David Dermer)
Natalie Myers (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will battle the defending Patriot League champions and full bellies from Thanksgiving as it hosts Bucknell on Friday at Beeghly Center. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins will be going for their third straight victory. YSU began the season with losses to Pitt and Kent State, and it has beaten Loyola Chicago and Ohio Valley to even its record at 1-1. YSU did not have a winning percentage above .500 at any point last year. The Penguins will also be going for their third straight triumph in the series wiht Bucknell.
  • YSU's offense has been significantly better the last two games. The Penguins averaged 79.5 points, made 22 3-pointers and shot 48 percent from the field in their two wins. YSU averaged 51 points, made 11 3-pointers and shot 33.9 percent in their two losses.
  • The Penguins have built double digit leads in the first 12 minutes in all four of their games. YSU is outscoring opponents 78-26 in the first period through four games.
  • 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 – 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. This is the first time in program history that the Penguins enter a season with five players who have averaged double figures previously.
  • Indiya Benjamin scored the 1,000th point of her career in the final minute of Tuesday's game against Kent State. She is one of two Penguins ever to have 1,000 career points, 450 career assists and 150 career 3-pointers.

Scouting Bucknell

  • Bucknell is the defending Patriot League regular season and tournament champion, and the Bison were picked as the league favorite in the preseason. Bucknell returns two starters from last year's squad that went 26-7 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
  • Bucknell is 2-3 this season with wins over Rider and Akron and losses to Saint Joseph's, Drexel and St. Bonaventure. The Bison will be looking to snap a three-game skid.
  • Turnovers have hurt the Bison during their 2-3 start. Bucknell is averaging 22.8 turnovers per game and is minus-9.6 in turnover margin.
  • Kaitlyn Slagus, a preseason All-Patriot League selection, averages a double-double with 12.4 points and 10.2 rebounds. Kyi English averages a team-high 14.6 points.

A Win Would...

  • Be YSU's third straight over Bucknell.
  • Improve YSU's record at Beeghly Center against the Bison to 6-0.
  • Give YSU a winning record for the first time since the end of the 2015-16 season.
  • Give YSU a winning streak of at least three for the sixth straight year.

On This Date

  • YSU is 6-3 in nine previous games played on Nov. 24 and has won three straight on the date.
  • On Nov. 24, 2010, at Beeghly Center, the Penguins beat Bucknell 71-57 to end a 34-game losing streak that encompassed the entire 2009-10 season.

Recapping Ohio Valley

  • Youngstown State scored the first 13 points of the game and had 13 different players score in an 86-59 win over Division II opponent Ohio Valley on Monday.
  • In addition to having 13 different players score, YSU had 12 different players play at least 11 minutes.
  • YSU scored on its first five possessions of the game, and two free throws by Mary Dunn at the 6:05 mark gave the Penguins a 13-0 lead. YSU later went on an 11-0 run to go up 26-7, and the margin was at least 15 for all but a minute the rest of the game.
  • Youngstown State had 22 assists on 31 field goals and used its size advantage to outrebound the Fighting Scots 43-29. It was YSU's first 20-assist game since it had 28 against Point Park last December. Four different Penguins had three assists.
  • YSU set season highs with 14 free throws made and 17 attempts. The Penguins are shooting 80 percent from the free throw line since going 8-for-14 in the opener.
  • YSU won against a non-Division I opponent for the 18th straight contest.
  • Dunn notched her first career double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds, and she added a career-best three assists in just 17 minutes. The defending Horizon League Freshman of the Year came into the game with 10 points, eight rebounds and one assist in her first three games. She had never had multiple assists in a game.
  • Alison Smolinski scored a season-best 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field. She has now made multiple 3-pointers in three of YSU's first four games and has gone 6-for-10 from beyond the arc in the last two games. She has made at least one 3-pointer in 21 consecutive games.
  • Freshman Chelsea Olson was in double figures for the second straight game with 13 points. She did not score in the first two games of the season but has 27 points in the last two, spanning 46 minutes.
  • Alexus Burkhart scored her first points as a Penguin with a 3-pointer in the second period. Morgan Olson and Melinda Trimmer scored their first points of the season.