The Youngstown State women's basketball team's season will continue into March as it earned a bid to host Binghamton on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the opening round of the Women's Basketball Invitational. The game is presented by Medical Mutual of Ohio, the official healthcare provider of Youngstown State University.
YSU is playing in the WBI for the second time in the last three seasons, and it will look to have an even longer stay in the 16-team tournament than when it advanced to the semifinals in 2016. The Penguins will be playing a postseason game in Beeghly Center for the fifth time since 2013.
"Our team is very excited to be playing in the postseason for the third time in four years," YSU head coach John Barnes said. "We had a great experience in the WBI two years ago, and I'm thrilled that our seniors will have the ability to represent our program and compete for a championship again. This will also be a great opportunity for our younger players to experience the pressure and thrills of the postseason so they can carry our program going forward."
Tickets for Wednesday's game will be $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12-and-under, and YSU students will be admitted for free with a valid student ID. The YSU Athletic Ticket Office in Stambaugh Stadium will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Penguin Club members and season ticket holders will have until 5 p.m. on Wednesday to purchase their tickets. The Beeghly Center Ticket Office and gates to the arena will open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. For more information or to order tickets by phone, call (330) 941-1YSU.
Youngstown State enters the WBI with a 16-15 record and winners of 10 of its last 13 games. The Penguins made a surge over the final six weeks of the regular season after starting 6-12. YSU has jumped 128 spots in the RPI from 267th to 139th since Jan. 19, which is the largest climb of any team in the country.
The Penguins beat Stony Brook and UMBC at Beeghly Center in the first two rounds of the 2016 WBI, and they went on to lose at eventual champion Louisiana. Youngstown State also hosted home games in the Women's NIT in 2013 and 2015.
Binghamton enters the WBI with a 19-11 record, which included a 10-4 mark on the road. The Bearcats were 10-6 in the America East Conference, which was good enough to tie for third. Wednesday will be the first meeting between YSU and Binghamton. The winner of Wednesday's contest between the Penguins and Bearcats will advance to play either Northeastern or Yale.