Penguins Head to Canisius to Start December

Alison Smolinski (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Alison Smolinski (Photo by Rob Hayes)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will try to ride the high from its win over Akron as it begins December with a game at Canisius. Tipoff against the Golden Griffins is set for 2 p.m. at the Koessler Athletic Center, and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins had a solid bounce-back win over previously unbeaten Akron on Wednesday, topping the Zips 72-61. YSU scored the final 18 points of the third period and led by 19 with less than 90 seconds left. The victory came after YSU squandered a 17-point second-half lead in a 58-56 loss to Yale on Nov. 23 and struggled mightily on offense in 62-34 setback at Kent State on Nov. 20.
  • YSU's five wins have been over Preseason NEC favorite Robert Morris, an improved Loyola Chicago team, ACC member Pitt, NAIA Carlow and Akron. The victory over Pitt was YSU's first over a Power Five conference member since 2012.
  • YSU dressed just eight players in each of the last three games, and it will dress a maximum of nine players for the foreseeable future.
  • Three of YSU's top four scorers – Alison Smolinski, Chelsea Olson and McKenah Peters – as well as their top two rebounders – Olson and Peters – are guards.
  • Smolinski has made at least one 3-pointer in each game, and she leads the Horizon League with 22 3-pointers. She ranks sixth in program history with 175 career 3s.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League in free-throw percentage, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio and field-goal percentage defense, and it ranks second in scoring margin, scoring defense, rebounding margin and 3s 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.

Previewing Canisius

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 6-2 this season.
  • Give YSU three straight victories over Canisius.
  • Be the 599th in school history and the 88th under Barnes.

Scouting Canisius

  • Canisius picked up its first win of the season on Wednesday by beating Albany 48-42. The Golden Griffins are 1-5 under first-year head coach Scott Hemer.
  • Sara Hinriksdottir leads five Golden Griffins averaging double figures with 13.8 points. Danielle Sanderlin averages 10 points and 14.5 rebounds but hasn't played the last four games. Canisius was picked to finish eighth in the MAAC preseason poll, and Hinriksdottir was a preseason second-team all-conference pick.
  • The last time the teams played, YSU overcame a 22-point second-half deficit to win 53-51 in the 2015-16 season opener. Sarah Cash scored 19 points and made two free throws with 0.6 seconds left for the winning points.

Series History

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

On This Day

  • YSU is 4-6 all-time on Dec. 1, and the Penguins are playing on the date for the first time since 2010. The Penguins' last win on Dec. 1 was a 58-57 victory at Saint Francis U in 2007.
  • Rachel Cowley scored at West Virginia on Dec. 1, 1992, in a 92-72 victory over the Mountaineers.

Recapping Akron

  • Youngstown State scored the final 18 points of the third period and had four players score in double figures in a 72-61 win over Akron on Wednesday.
  • The Penguins led 40-35 at halftime and outscored the Zips 22-7 in the third to push the lead to 20 heading into the final period. The margin was 19 before Akron scored eight points over the final 80 seconds for the final margin.
  • Chelsea Olson scored 18 of her game-high 22 points in the first half in a bounce-back game for the sophomore guard. She made her first five shots from the field after going 3-for-17 and scoring eight points total over the previous two contests.
  • Melinda Trimmer matched her career high with 14 points behind a career-best four 3-pointers. She added four assist and had her first career block in 33 minutes.
  • Mary Dunn was a rebound shy of collecting her first double-double of the season with 15 points and nine rebounds. She and Sarah Cash combined to go 11-for-15 from the field and score 26 points.
  • Cash matched her career high with four assists and had her first four-assist contest since Jan. 30, 2016. She was 5-of-6 from the floor and hit her first 3 of the season.
  • McKenah Peters shadowed Akron leading scorer Megan Sefcik all night and held her to seven points on 2-for-8 shooting and five turnovers. Sefcik came into the contest averaging 21 points and had made 15 3-pointers in first three games.
  • Akron made seven of its first eight shots and each of its first four attempts from 3-point range as it led by five three times in the first period. The Zips' final lead was 27-26 midway through the second quarter.
  • After starting 7-of-8 from the field, the Zips made just eight of their next 39 attempts.
  • The Penguins were 10-for-24 from 3-point range after going 12-for-66 over the previous two contest.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State will be idle for six days as the university's academic calendar gears up for finals. The Penguins will host Saint Francis U on Saturday at 4:45 p.m. as part of the only Beeghly Center doubleheader of the season.