YSU Begins Six-Game Home Stand Saturday vs. Northern Arizona

Mary Dunn (Photo by David Dermer)
Mary Dunn (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • With finals week and a four-game road stretch behind it, Youngstown State begins a six-game home stand that will extend into mid-January on Saturday against Northern Arizona. Tipoff against the Lumberjacks is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • The six-game home stand will be the longest for the Penguins since the 1990-91 season. YSU will go 33 days between road games.
  • Saturday's game is the return part of a home-and-home series with Northern Arizona. YSU will be looking to avenge a 70-49 loss in Flagstaff, Ariz., last November.
  • YSU came up winless on its four-game road swing and has dropped five straight contests dating back to its last home game on Nov. 24. Four of those five games came against teams picked to finish in the top three of their respective conferences.
  • Against Saint Francis U on Saturday, the Red Flash scored the final five points of the second quarter to go up 37-30 at halftime and outscored the Penguins 22-11 in the third en route to a 79-65 victory. Alison Smolinski made five of YSU's 10 3-pointers and tied for game-high honors with 19 points.
  • In nine games, YSU has led by at least seven at the end of the first period five times and been within three points in three others. The second period has been a bugaboo, though, as YSU has held a lead at halftime just twice. Youngstown State won both of those games.
  • YSU has had five different players — Nikki Arbanas, Indiya Benjamin, Sarah Cash, Mary Dunn and Alison Smolinski — score at least 19 points in a game over the last six contests.

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.
  • Saturday's game is the first Rulli Brothers "Holiday Hoops" game of the season. Fans can receive a buy one, get one offer on general admission tickets for home women's basketball games in December. Fans should ask for the "Holiday Hoops" ticket special, courtesy of Rulli Brothers in and Boardman, in person at the Stambaugh Stadium Ticket Office or by calling (330) 941-1YSU.

Weekly Press Conference

Previewing Northern Arizona

A Win Would...

  • Snap a five-game losing streak.
  • Improve YSU's record to 3-7.
  • Even the all-time series with Northern Arizona at 1-1.
  • Be YSU's first over a team from Arizona. The Penguins are 0-2 with losses to NAU and Arizona in their history.

On This Date

  • YSU is 6-5 all time in games played on Dec. 16. The Penguins have a pair of wins over Division II teams under Coach Barnes – 80-73 over Malone in 2013 and 89-61 over Lake Erie in 2015.
  • The Penguins made 15 3s, tied for third-most in program history, in the win over Lake Erie.

Scouting Northern Arizona

  • Northern Arizona is 3-5 through its first eight games and will play Grand Canyon on Thursday before coming to Youngstown. One of NAU's victories was an impressive 84-66 win over Arizona.
  • Fifth-year senior Olivia Lucero leads NAU with 18.1 points and 4.9 assists per game, and two other Lumberjacks average at least 14 points. Kenna McDavis, another fifth-year senior, averages 16.7 points and 10.4 rebounds and has made 22 3-pointers.
  • The Lumberjacks were picked to finish 11th in the Big Sky preseason poll after posting a 9-21 record in 2016-17. NAU is under a first-year head coach in Loree Payne.

Recapping Saint Francis U

  • Saint Francis U outscored Youngstown State by 18 in the middle two quarters and beat the Penguins 79-65 on Saturday at DeGol Arena.
  • The score was tied at 18 at the end of the first period, and YSU trailed 32-30 with just over a minute left in the second. YSU had two turnovers and missed an open 3-pointer in its final three possessions of the half, and Saint Francis scored the final five points to go up 37-30 at halftime.
  • The Red Flash then went on an 11-2 run early in the third period and went on to outscore the Penguins 22-11 in the quarter. YSU fought to get within nine with 2:45 left in the fourth but got no closer.
  • Alison Smolinski led the Penguins with a season-high 19 points, 15 of which came from beyond the 3-point arc. She was 5-for-10 from 3-point range, and Nikki Arbanas was 3-for-5 from long distance to finish with nine points. The other seven Penguins who attempted a 3 were a combined 2-for-15.
  • Neither team had a great shooting performance as SFU shot 38.2 percent to YSU's 33.8 percent. The Red Flash, though, turned their 16 offensive rebounds into 16 points. SFU converted five offensive caroms into 10 points in the third period.
  • Saint Francis made 11 3s on 36 attempts from beyond the arc. It was the fifth straight game that an opponent made at least eight 3-pointers.
  • YSU battled foul trouble in the first half as Sarah Cash, Indiya Benjamin, Arbanas and Cash each had two fouls. Benjamin and Cash were both held scoreless in the half.
  • Chelsea Olson made her first career start. YSU used its fourth different starting lineup this season, and three different players have started at the "4" position.
  • Morgan Olson scored her 200th career point. Melinda Trimmer scored a season-high five points in 22 minutes. Smolinski surpassed 150 career 3-pointers.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State will host Penn State-Beaver on Wednesday at 11 a.m. for the Fifth Annual Field Trip Game.