Penguins Face Tough Challenge at Bucknell in Final Non-League Road Game

McKenah Peters (Photo by David Dermer)
McKenah Peters (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State faces a tough challenge in its final non-conference road contest at Bucknell on Tuesday morning. Tipoff at Sojka Pavilion is set for 11 a.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio and the Patriot League Network. The Bison are hosting Education Day, and nearly 1,000 Lewisburg-area students will be in attendance.
  • YSU will be going for its second four-game winning streak of the season following a convincing 80-56 win over Saint Francis U on Dec. 8. The Penguins led by double digits for all but 41 seconds of the final 28:30 of the game. It was YSU's 600th victory in program history.
  • The Penguins will be playing for just the second time since Dec. 1. YSU went 5-2 in November and is 2-0 in two contests this month.
  • Dating back to Jan. 20, 2018, YSU has gone 17-6 over its last 23 contest. Before Jan. 20, the Penguins were 7-16 over their previous 23 games.
  • Alison Smolinski has made 15 3-pointers in her last two games with a school-record nine at Canisius on Dec. 1 and six versus Saint Francis U on Dec. 8. Smolinski ranks second in the country with 4.11 3-pointers per game, and her 37 3-pointers rank sixth. She was named the Horizon League Player of the Week on Dec. 10.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League in winning percentage, scoring margin, scoring defense, field-goal percentage defense, free-throw percentage, rebounding margin, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio and 3-pointers per game.
  • YSU has played in the postseason four times in the last six seasons with WNIT berths in 2013 and 2015 and WBI bids in 2016 and 2018.
  • YSU has made at least 200 3-pointers in eight straight seasons, and it has led the Horizon League in 3-pointers per game in four straight campaigns.
  • YSU will dress a maximum of nine players for the foreseeable future, and it dressed just eight players for the final three games of November.

Previewing Bucknell

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 8-2 this season.
  • Be the Penguins' fourth straight victory.
  • Give the Penguins a 9-3 record vs. Bucknell.
  • Be the 601st in school history and the 90th under Head Coach John Barnes.

Scouting Bucknell

  • Bucknell is 8-2 this season and hasn't lost in a month as it has run off six straight victories. The Bison have scored at least 77 points in each of those wins and have outscored their opponents 483-338 for an average margin of victory of 24.2 points per game.
  • The Bison are the favorites to win the Patriot League as they return four starters from last year's squad that went 22-10 overall and qualified for the WNIT. Leading scorer Kaitlyn Slagus as well as Kate Walker were both preseason All-PL selections.

Series History

  • Overall: Youngstown State leads 8-3
  • Barnes: 2-2 // Home: 5-1 // Away: 3-2 // Neutral: 0-0
  • Current Win Streak: 1 by Bucknell

On This Date

  • YSU is 1-5 all-time on Dec. 18, and it will be playing on the date for the first ime since 2011. The Penguins beat Akron 78-72 on the date in 2011 behind six 3-pointers from Kenya Middlebrooks.

Recapping Saint Francis U

  • Alison Smolinski made six 3s in a 23-point effort, and Sarah Cash also had 20 points to lead YSU to an 80-56 win over Saint Francis U on Dec. 8 at Beeghly Center.
  • The victory was the 600th in YSU's history.
  • YSU had a sluggish start with four missed shots and four turnovers before scoring its first basket at 5:41. Saint Francis led 9-2 but didn't score for a five-minute stretch as the Penguins went on a 15-0 run and never looked back.
  • Smolinski sparked the spurt with 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, and her fourth 3 of the first 12 minutes was part of a four-point play that gave the Penguins a 27-14 lead with 8:32 left in the second period. The margin was double digits for all but 41 seconds the rest of the game.
  • Cash scored 10 points in the first seven minutes of the third period, and her basket on a pass from Melinda Trimmer gave the Penguins their first 20-point lead at 56-36 with 3:46 left. The Penguins' lead grew to as much as 28 in the fourth.
  • Cash's 20 points were a season high, and she played just 23 minutes. Fellow post Mary Dunn scored 13 points and had six rebounds in 21 minutes.
  • Trimmer finished with six assists and just one turnover.
  • YSU attempted a season-high 30 free throws but shot an uncharacteristic 56.7 percent from the charity stripe. The Penguins were shooting 80.2 percent from the free-throw line entering the contest.
  • The Penguins flipped the margin from last season with Saint Francis U by 40 points. YSU lost 79-65 to the Red Flash in 2017-18.
  • YSU made at least 10 3-pointers for the fifth time in its last seven games. The Penguins have now gone 33-for-76 (43.4 percent) from beyond the arc in their last three contests after a combined 12-for-68 (17.6 percent) in consecutive losses to Kent State and Yale.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State finishes its non-conference game with the Fifth Annual Chick-Fil-A School Field Trip Game on Thursday against Thiel at 11 a.m. Approximately 1,300 area students are expected to be in attendance.