Women's Basketball's Senior Day, Big Regular-Season Finale Set for Saturday at Beeghly Center

2017-18 Seniors Indiya Benjamin, Morgan Olson and Kelley Wright
2017-18 Seniors Indiya Benjamin, Morgan Olson and Kelley Wright

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will honor its seniors, celebrate a 20-year anniversary and try to match a school record for Horizon League wins as it hosts Cleveland State on Saturday. Tipoff at Beeghly Center is set for 4:15 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN. YSU's men will play Cleveland State afterward.
  • Saturday's game will be the final regular season home game for seniors Indiya Benjamin, Morgan Olson and Kelley Wright. They have combined to play in 335 games in their careers.
  • In addition to Senior Day, the Penguins will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the 1997-98 team that went 28-3 and beat Memphis in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Penguins had a nice bounce-back 60-59 win at Northern Kentucky on Monday to secure a bye into the quarterfinals of the Little Caesars Horizon League Tournament. YSU made six first period 3-pointers en route to building a 23-9 lead, and it held the Norse off when they got within one late in the fourth period.
  • YSU is guaranteed to be seeded no worse than sixth in the Horizon League standings, and scenarios exist where the Penguins could finish third. A win Saturday would give YSU 11 Horizon League wins for just the second time in program history and seven wins in February for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign.
  • YSU was 6-12 overall and 2-5 in Horizon League play following a 73-50 loss at Wright State on Jan. 15. Since then, the Penguins have won eight of their last 10 games and gone 6-0 in road contests.
  • Benjamin is YSU's holds YSU's career record for assists with 596, and she has tied the record for career starts. She is one shy of tying career records for 3-pointers and games played.

Tickets & Promotions

  • Advance tickets for Saturday's game are available at the YSU Athletic Ticket Office in Stambaugh Stadium. Tickets can be ordered over the phone by calling (330) 941-1YSU.
  • The ticket office is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Beeghly Center Ticket Office will open at noon on Saturday.
  • Fans will receive a YSU Team Photo, courtesy of Medical Mutual, WBCB and TV-21 WFMJ.

Previewing Cleveland State

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 15-14 overall and 11-7 in Horizon League play.
  • Allow YSU to tie the school record for Horizon League wins in a season.
  • Extend YSU's winning streak over Cleveland State to three.
  • Post seven wins in February for the first time since 1998.

On This Date

  • YSU is 9-4 in 13 previous games played on Feb. 24. The last time the Penguins played on the date, they lost 68-57 at Cleveland State in 2007.
  • In a 74-65 win over Murray State in 1986, Dorothy Bowers had 37 points, and Danielle Carson had 14 assists.

Scouting The Vikings

  • Cleveland State has won seven of its last nine contests and sits third in the Horizon League standings with a 19-9 overall mark and an 11-6 record in the conference.
  • The Vikings rank in the top half of the conference in most statistics, including fourth in scoring offense. Individually, Ashanti Abshaw (19.3 ppg) and Khayla Livingston (17.6 ppg) rank second and fourth, respectively, in scoring. Livingston is tops in 3-pointers per game and 3-point field-goal percentage.
  • Abshaw missed the first meeting, and Nikki Arbanas and Alison Smolinski were out for the Penguins. Chelsea Olson scored 20 of her 26 points in the second half to lead YSU to a 66-52 win at CSU on Jan. 20.

Recapping Northern Kentucky

  • Youngstown State made six first-quarter 3-pointers to build a big lead and held on late to earn a 60-59 win on Monday at Northern Kentucky. The victory guaranteed the Penguins a top-six finish in the Horizon League standings and a bye to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
  • YSU won for the sixth straight time on the road and for the eighth time overall in its last 10 games. The Penguins had never won more than four straight Horizon League road games prior to the current stretch.
  • YSU was 6-of-9 from long distance in the first period, and it made its first attempt of the second period to go up 23-9 after 13 minutes. The Norse fought back to get within four at halftime and rallied to get within one with 2:54 left in the fourth.
  • Indiya Benjamin hit a big layup with 1:42 left to push the lead to 57-54, and Nikki Arbanas made 3-of-4 from the free-throw line in the last 12 seconds to help close out the win. Her final two makes put YSU up four, and NKU hit a 3 at the buzzer.
  • Arbanas finished with a team-high 14 points, and she made three of YSU's nine 3-pointers in the contest. She scored her 850th career point in the contest, and she also held NKU leading scorer Molly Glick to five points.
  • Sarah Cash added 12 points, eight of which came in the fourth quarter, and McKenah Peters had 11 points, nine of which came from beyond the 3-point arc.
  • YSU never trailed in the game, leading wire to wire for the first time in league play.
  • YSU finished 9-of-26 from 3-point range, which helped offset NKU making 10 more free throws than the Penguins. NKU was 0-for-4 from the free-throw line in the first meeting this season and was 19-for-23 on Monday.
  • YSU held a 37-28 rebounding edge but was outscored 11-6 in second-chance points.
  • The Penguins won for the first time at BB&T Arena in four tries. Three of the four contests have been extremely close – Monday's one-point win, a two-point loss at the buzzer in 2012 and an overtime loss in 2017.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State will play in the quarterfinals of the Little Caesars Horizon League Tournament on Sunday, March 4. The opponent and game time has not been determined.