Penguins Goes for Third Straight Road Win at Detroit Mercy on Saturday

Nikki Arbanas (Photo by Jose Juarez)
Nikki Arbanas (Photo by Jose Juarez)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will go for a Motor City sweep on Saturday as the Penguins play at Detroit Mercy at 1 p.m. The game at Calihan Hall will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins are coming off a spirited 86-76 win at Oakland on Thursday in which four players scored in double figures. Mary Dunn, making her first start in a month, highlighted the team effort with a career-high 24 points while Kelley Wright scored a season-best 13 off the bench. Indiya Benjamin added 13 points and 10 assists, and Chelsea Olson had 12.
  • YSU has won three of its last four contests going back to the win at Cleveland State on Jan. 20. The Penguins have been competitive in their recent losses as well as they have held fourth-quarter leads in two of their three losses since Jan. 13.
  • Olson has been named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week for each of the past two weeks. She is averaging 9.9 points and a team-high 4.7 rebounds in conference play.
  • Benjamin is 13 assists and 13 3-pointers away from YSU's current career records. Nikki Arbanas is one 3 behind Benjamin in fourth place on the career list.
  • YSU was without its top two scorers in Thursday's win as Sarah Cash (12.3 ppg) and Alison Smolinski (9.6) sat with foot injuries. Cash missed her first game while Smolinski has been out all of Horizon League play.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League with 183 3-pointers and 8.3 3s per game, and it ranks second in the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage this season. The Penguins have led the Horizon League in 3s per game in each of the last three years.

Previewing Detroit Mercy

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 10-13 overall and 6-6 in Horizon League play.
  • Allow the Penguins to surpass last year's overall and Horizon League win totals.
  • Give the Penguins a season sweep of the Titans.
  • Be YSU's third at Calihan Hall in the last four years.
  • Be YSU's third straight on the road.
  • Give YSU its first sweep of a two-game trip since the 2014-15 season.

On This Date

  • YSU is 7-2 all-time in games played on Feb. 3. The Penguins' last contest on the date resulted in a 66-47 win at Wright State in 2013.
  • Wanda Grant posted a 20-20 performance against Duquesne in 1979 with 26 points and 24 rebounds.

Scouting the Titans

  • Detroit Mercy sits ninth in the Horizon League standings with a 1-9 conference mark and a 1-20 overall record. The Titans are coming off a 90-76 loss to Cleveland State on Thursday in a game in which they made 15 3-pointers.
  • UDM ranks third in the conference in 3-pointers per game (6.8) and is second in blocks (3.9) per contest. The Titans rank last in the league in scoring defense.
  • Individually, Brianne Cohen leads the Titans with 14.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Three UDM players have made at least 30 3-pointers.
  • UDM head coach Bernard Scott was an assistant at YSU for two seasons (2008-10), and Titans assistant Tara Fleming played for the Penguins from 2001-05.

Recapping Oakland

  • Mary Dunn scored a career-high 24 points to lead four Penguins in double figures as YSU had several players step up in an 86-76 win at Oakland on Thursday.
  • Dunn made her first start in a month and finished 10-for-13 from the field and 4-for-6 from the free-throw line to lead all scorers. Kelley Wright contributed a season-best 13 points, Indiya Benjamin had 13 points and 10 assists, and Chelsea Olson scored 12.
  • YSU was without its top two scorers, who both missed the game with foot injuries. Sarah Cash missed her first game of the season, and Alison Smolinski missed her 11th consecutive contest.
  • The Penguins scored most points against a Division I opponent this season. The previous high was 76 against Detroit Mercy and UIC.
  • Benjamin had her first double-digit assist game of the season and the fifth of her career. She jumped up to second in the league rankings with 4.9 assists per game. Benjamin scored eight of her points in the first period, including six during a 12-2 run that turned a 4-0 deficit into a 12-6 lead. YSU did not trail again.
  • The Penguins led 21-11 at the end of the first period, and they led by double digits for 19 straight minutes from the second quarter until an Oakland charge in the fourth.
  • YSU extended its lead to 18 twice in the third period before Oakland got as close as five in the fourth. The Penguins led 74-60 with 5:34 left when Oakland went on a 15-6 burst over the next three minutes to get within 80-75. Olson hit a bucket on Benjamin's 10th assist of the night to push the lead to seven, and that started a six-point Penguins run that put them up 11 with 37 seconds left.
  • Youngstown State shot 51.9 percent for the game and hit at least 50 percent in all four periods. YSU also scored at least 21 points in each period. The Penguins had 24 assists on 28 field goals and were plus-nine in points off turnovers.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State has two more road games on the Horizon next week with contests at IUPUI and UIC. Thursday's game against the Jaguars will tip at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO and ESPN3.