YSU Hosts Detroit Mercy to Start League Play on Thursday

Indiya Benjamin (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Indiya Benjamin (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State begins its 17th season of Horizon League play on Thursday as it welcomes Detroit Mercy to Beeghly Center. Tipoff against the Titans is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins finished a challenging non-conference schedule on Dec. 20 by beating Penn State Beaver 97-40 in the Fifth Annual Chick-Fil-A School Field Trip Game. YSU had 13 different players score and led by double digits for the final 35 minutes.
  • Youngstown State enters Horizon League play with a 4-7 record. Three of its wins were by at least 24 points, and the other was a two-point victory over Northern Arizona.
  • YSU begins its conference slate with four straight home games as part of an overall six-game homestand. That is the Penguins' longest stretch at home since the 1990-91 season, and YSU will go 33 days between road games. After opening with four straight conference home games, YSU will play eight of its next 10 contests on the road.
  • In 11 games, YSU has led by at least seven at the end of the first period six 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 four times. Youngstown State won each of those games.
  • YSU had five different players — Nikki Arbanas, Indiya Benjamin, Cash, Mary Dunn and Alison Smolinski — score at least 19 points in a game in non-conference play.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League with 102 3-pointers and 9.3 3s per contest. The Penguins rank fourth in the conference with a .336 3-point field-goal percentage. YSU made at least 10 3s in seven non-league games, including a season-high 13 in its last game versus PSU-Beaver.

Tickets & Promotions

  • Advance tickets for Thursday'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 6 p.m. on Thursday.
  • Thursday's game is the third 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.

Previewing Detroit Mercy

A Win Would...

  • Be YSU's fifth of the season.
  • Improve YSU's record to 4-2 at Beeghly Center.
  • Snap a three-game skid against Detroit Mercy.
  • Allow YSU to win its Horizon League opener for the fourth time in Coach John Barnes' five seasons.

On This Date

  • YSU is 7-8 all time in games played on Dec. 28. The Penguins, though, have lost their last four contests on the date and will be looking to win on Dec. 28 for the first time since 1999.
  • Wanda Grant delivered a standout performance with 30 points and 22 rebounds in a 64-58 win over Cleveland State on Dec. 28, 1979.

Scouting Detroit Mercy

  • Detroit Mercy enters Horizon League play with an 0-11 record after enduring a challenging non-conference slate. The Titans played four teams from Power Five conferences and went 0-6 versus MAC foes.
  • Senior post Brianne Cohen leads UDM with 17.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and she is shooting 51.2 percent from the field.
  • The Titans shot 28.7 percent from beyond the arc in non-league play. Anja Marinkovic and Lexey Tobel combined for 38 3s, and Nicole Urbanick has been one of the conference's top shooters throughout her career.
  • Detroit Mercy head coach Bernard Scott was YSU's recruiting coordinator from 2008-10 under head coach Cindy Martin.

Recapping Penn State Beaver

  • YSU had 13 different players score and beat Penn State Beaver 97-40 in its final tune-up for Horizon League play on Dec. 28. The contest was the Fifth Annual Chick-Fil-A School Field Trip Game, and close to 2,500 area students were in attendance.
  • The Penguins scored the first 11 points of the game, and they led by double digits for the final 35 minutes. YSU led 38-6 early in the second period and 55-19 at halftime.
  • All 15 active players appeared in the game, and eight different Penguins scored at least seven points. No Penguin played more than 20 minutes
  • Mary Dunn was the only starter to play more than four minutes, and she scored 13 points in 13 minutes to lead YSU in scoring. McKenah Peters was in double figures for the second straight game with 12 points, and Melinda Trimmer scored a season-high 12 points. Chelsea Olson added 10 as YSU had 79 points from its bench.
  • YSU shot 52.8 percent for the game and converted at least 47 percent of its attempts in each period. The Penguins were 13-of-29 from 3-point range and had 28 assists on 38 field goals. Each of those statistics was a season high.
  • Seven different Penguins set new season highs in scoring.
  • Josie Fisher had seven assists without committing a turnover, and Kelley Wright had five assists with one turnovers. YSU had 12 turnovers against 28 assists as a team.
  • The Penguins had 14 steals, their most in a game since 15 against Ohio Valley on Dec. 19, 2014. YSU has 27 steals in its last two games, an average of 13.5, after having 53 in its first nine contests, an average of 5.9. YSU has double-digit steals in back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 2013.
  • Indiya Benjamin had three steals in just four minutes.
  • Alison Smolinski did not make a 3-pointer in a game for the first time since Dec. 21, 2016. She had made a triple in a school record 27 consecutive games.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State will host Oakland on Saturday at 1 p.m. in another Horizon League matchup. It will be a Veterans Appreciation Game and the final Rulli Brothers "Holiday Hoops" game of the season. Additionally, fans will receive a YSU Koozie, courtesy of Farmers National Bank, McDonald's and TV-21 WFMJ.