Women's Basketball Hosts Cleveland State on Saturday to Conclude First Tour of HL Play

Deleah Gibson (Photo by David Dermer)
Deleah Gibson (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will conclude the first half of Horizon League play and go for its third straight win on Saturday as it host Cleveland State. Tipoff at Beeghly Center is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins are 14-5 overall, 6-2 in conference play and 10-1 at home following a 77-66 win over Northern Kentucky on Monday. YSU trailed the Norse by 14 with just over 12 minutes left, but the Penguins scored the final six points of the third period and held a 31-12 edge in the fourth.
  • A win would give the Penguins seven wins at the halfway point of the league schedule. They've been 7-2 in Horizon League play just once previously (2012-13). YSU is one of four teams in the HL that is at least 6-2.
  • Mary Dunn had another banner game with 23 points and 11 rebounds while blocking five shots, the most by a Penguin since March 2015. YSU had 10 blocks collectively, which was its most in a game since March 2009.
  • The Penguins are 16-4 in their last 20 Horizon League contests, and they are 24-9 over their last 33 games overall.
  • YSU is in a five-game homestand in which it will go 26 days between road games. The five-game homestand is the longest for YSU since 2013, and it is the longest Horizon League homestand in program history.
  • Four different YSU players — Alison Smolinski, Chelsea Olson, Mary Dunn and Sarah Cash — have been named the Horizon League Player of the Week in the past seven weeks. It's the first time in program history that four Penguins have earned the award. Cash is the current honoree.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League in scoring margin, field-goal percentage defense, free-throw percentage, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio and 3-pointers per game. It ranks second in scoring offense, scoring defense, field-goal percentage and rebounding margin.

Tickets, Promotions and Fan Information

  • Tickets
  • Parking Information
  • Visitors Guide
  • Advance tickets for Saturday's game are available at the YSU Athletic Ticket Office in Stambaugh Stadium. Tickets can be ordered in person or 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 will be the first Better With Burgan Mortgage Mania Challenge game of the season. More information: https://www.ysusports.com/x/tg6jp
  • Fans will receive a YSU ruler, courtesy of Compco Industries, HBK and 21 WFMJ.

Previewing Cleveland State

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 15-5 overall and 7-2 in HL play.
  • Allow YSU to tie its best record through nine Horizon League games with the 2012-13 squad.
  • Give YSU an 11-1 record at Beeghly Center this season.
  • Be YSU's fourth straight over Cleveland State.
  • Be the 608th in school history and the 97th under Head Coach John Barnes.

Scouting the Vikings

  • Cleveland State is 7-12 overall and 4-4 in conference play under first-year head coach Chris Kielsmeier. The Vikings won three of their first league games but have dropped three of their last four to move to .500. Overall, seven of CSU's 12 losses have been by six points or fewer, including a 70-65 decision to Wright State on Sunday.
  • The Vikings are tied for the HL lead with 9.4 steals per game, and they rank in the top four in the conference in scoring offense and field-goal percentage.
  • Cleveland State has four players averaging at least 11.3 points per game. Mariah Miller ranks second in the conference with 16.1 points per game, and Savanna Crockett averages a league-best 9.2 rebounds per contest.

Series History

  • Overall: Youngstown State leads 39-31
  • Barnes: 5-5 // Home: 24-9 // Away: 11-21 // Neutral: 4-1
  • Current Win Streak: 3 by Youngstown State

Last Time vs. Cleveland State: W, 76-69 (2/24/18)

  • Nikki Arbanas and Indiya Benjamin took turns breaking YSU's career 3-pointers record as the Penguins celebrated their 2018 Senior Day with a 76-69 win over Cleveland State on Feb. 24, 2018.
  • Arbanas scored 24 points and made six 3-pointers, and Benjamin had 14 points and 12 assists while making three 3s. That duo combined for 34 of YSU's 61 field-goal attempts overall and 24 of the team's 37 attempts from 3-point range.
  • YSU led for the final 35 minutes of the game and held a 20-point advantage with 2:30 left in the game.
  • The Penguins were plus-20 in rebounding margin.

Last Time at Cleveland State: W, 66-52 (1/20/18)

  • Chelsea Olson had her breakout game, and the Penguins outscored Cleveland State 44-29 in the second half to win 66-52 at the Wolstein Center on Jan. 20, 2018.
  • In the second half, Olson was 5-for-5 from the field, 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 7-for-9 from the free throw line, and she finished with 26 points. That was the highest scoring total by a YSU freshman in 23 years.
  • The score was within five points for the first 25 minutes of the game. YSU went on a 14-3 run, during which Olson scored the final seven points, in the second half to pull away.

On This Day

  • YSU is 5-7 all-time in games played on Jan. 26. The Penguins lost 84-51 to Green Bay in Youngstown in 2017 the last time it was in action on the date.
  • Wanda Grant scored 38 points at Bowling Green on Jan. 26, 1980, and Kenya Middlebrooks had 30 points and made eight of YSU's 15 3s versus Detroit Mercy on the date in 2012.

Recapping Northern Kentucky

  • Youngstown State outscored Northern Kentucky 31-12 in the fourth period to rally for a 77-66 victory over the Norse on Monday afternoon at Beeghly Center.
  • NKU blistered the nets for the first 28 minutes of the game and led 54-40 with 2:26 left in the third period. The Norse missed their last two field-goal attempts of the third period and their first 11 of the fourth, and that allowed the Penguins score 37 of the game's final 49 points.
  • The 14-point rally was the biggest deficit YSU has overcome in a victory this season. The previous was seven twice (Saint Francis U and IUPUI).
  • The Penguins trailed by 14 but led by as much as 13 as the score swung by 27 points in less than 12 minutes. YSU has led by at least 12 in every game at Beeghly Center this season.
  • YSU led for just 10:41 in the game and trailed for 27:22. The Penguins had led for at least 26 minutes in each of their first 13 victories.
  • The Penguins finished with 10 blocks, six of which came in the final 11 minutes. They had not blocked 10 shots in a game since March 9, 2009, at Milwaukee. Mary Dunn's five blocks were the most by an individual since Latisha Walker had five against Valpo on March 7, 2015. YSU's season high was six coming into the game.
  • In addition to her five blocks, Dunn notched her third double-double of the season with 23 points and 11 rebounds. She was 8-of-11 from the field and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.
  • McKenah Peters set a new career high with 18 points. She was 9-for-10 from the free-throw line, and YSU was 21-of-23 as a team.
  • The game was originally scheduled to be played on Sunday but a leak in the Beeghly Center roof postponed the contest for 24 hours.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State will conclude its January slate and begin the second half of Horizon League play on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. against Oakland. It will be 90s Night at Beeghly Center for Throwback Thursday as well as $1 popcorn night, courtesy of AVI Concessions. It will also be Greek Night, and there will be a t-shirt giveaway and pizza party for YSU students.