Penguins Head to Cleveland State Looking to Clinch Third Seed

Deleah Gibson
Deleah Gibson

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will try to end the 2018-19 regular season on a high note as it makes the short trip to Cleveland State on Saturday. Tipoff at the Wolstein Center is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.
  • A win on Saturday against the Vikings would give the Penguins the third seed in Motor City madness. YSU is currently tied with IUPUI with a 12-5 conference mark, but the Penguins own the tiebreaker with the Jaguars. YSU will host either Milwaukee or Northern Kentucky on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
  • The Penguins fell out of the race for the Horizon League regular-season title following a pair of close road losses last week. YSU lost 65-62 at the buzzer at Northern Kentucky last Friday, and it lost 70-65 at Wright State on Sunday.
  • Against Wright State on Sunday, Alison Smolinski became the 21st player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. She broke YSU's record for most 3-pointers in a season on Friday at NKU, and she is six away from the Horizon League season record.
  • YSU has set school records with 12 Horizon League wins and 15 home victories. The Penguins went 9-0 in league play at Beeghly Center, but they are 3-5 on the road against conference opponents.
  • YSU has won 20 games for the fourth time in the last seven years, and it is likely headed to a postseason tournament for the fifth time in the last seven campaigns.
  • Mary Dunn was named First-Team Google Cloud Academic All-District, and Sarah Cash and Melinda Trimmer were second-team picks. YSU had six Academic All-District selections total in the last 21 years, and the last was Brandi Brown in 2012-13. That same trio was also named to the Horizon League All-Academic Team.
  • Four different Penguins have been named the Horizon League Player of the Week this season — Cash, Dunn (twice), Chelsea Olson and Smolinski. All four of those players average double figures in scoring.

Previewing Cleveland State

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 21-8 overall and 13-5 in HL play.
  • Up YSU's school record for Horizon League victories to 13.
  • Give YSU at least 21 regular-season wins for the fifth time in program history.
  • Be YSU's fifth straight over Cleveland State.
  • Be the 613th in school history and the 102nd under Head Coach John Barnes.

Scouting The Vikings

  • Cleveland State enters the final game of the regular season with a 10-18 overall record, a 7-10 mark against Horizon League opponents and a 7-6 ledger at home. The Vikings have lost their last five contests, and they will be the seventh seed in the Horizon League Tournament.
  • The Vikings are tied for the conference lead with 9.4 steals per game, and they sit fourth in scoring offense at 65.7 points per contest. Since the start of league play, the Vikings have the conference's third-best turnover margin.
  • Mariah Miller ranks second in the Horizon League with 15.7 points per game, and she is averaging a conference-best 15.3 points versus league opponents. She also ranks fifth in the league with 8.0 rebounds per contest. Mariah White is eighth in the league with 12.5 points per game, and Savanna Crockett nearly averages a double-double with 11.4 points and 8.6 rebounds.

Series History

  • Overall: Youngstown State leads 40-31
  • Barnes: 6-5 // Home: 25-9 // Away: 11-21 // Neutral: 4-1
  • Current Win Streak: 4 by Youngstown State

Last Time vs. CSU: W, 73-55 (Jan. 26, 2019)

  • YSU scored the first 12 point of the game and led by double digits for the final 33 minutes in its 73-55 win over Cleveland State at Beeghly Center on Jan. 26.
  • The Penguins pounded the ball inside successfully. YSU shot 26-for-43 (60.5 percent) inside the arc, and it attempted a season-low 13 3-pointers.
  • Posts Sarah Cash and Mary Dunn combined to go 21-for-30 from the field and score 46 points for the Penguins. The Penguins scored 50 points in the paint.
  • YSU shot 51.8 percent from the field, which was its third-highest mark of the season. The Penguins grabbed nine offensive rebounds and converted them into 11 second-chance points. YSU held a 25-8 rebounding edge in the second half.
  • Cleveland State scored 18 points in transition in the game, and the Vikings forced 14 turnovers in the second half.

Last Year at CSU: W, 66-52 (Jan. 20, 2018)

  • 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.
  • The win was YSU's first at the Wolstein Center in four years, and the Penguins went on to win their final six road games of the regular season.

On This Date

  • Youngstown State is 4-4 in eight previous contests played on March 2. Five of those games have been in conference tournaments, and YSU is 3-0 in the regular season on the date.
  • One of the best impressive individual performances in YSU history came on March 2, 2013, when Brandi Brown had 42 points and 21 rebounds in a 64-54 win over Wright State in 2013.

Recapping Wright State

  • Youngstown State pushed Wright State until the final minute but fall 70-65 to the Raiders last Sunday at the Nutter Center.
  • The loss eliminated YSU from the Horizon League regular-season race and it allowed Wright State to keep control of its own destiny.
  • Alison Smolinski scored her 1,000th point in the game, becoming the 21st player in program history to reach the feat. Her milestone points came on a back-door layup with 8:17 left in the fourth period. She converted an ensuing free throw to get to 1,001 points, and that charity toss made the score 53-50.
  • YSU got as close at 57-55 when Melinda Trimmer hit a 3-pointer with 6:03 remaining. The Penguins didn't score for almost three minutes and could never catch the Raiders. Mackenzie Taylor banked in a driving jumper with 14.4 seconds left to push the Raiders' lead to 68-63, and she made two free throws to counter a Dunn basket for the final tally.
  • Mary Dunn scored 12 of her team-high 18 points in the second half. Sarah Cash and McKenah Peters both had 10 points in the game, and Trimmer finished with 10. YSU was 9-0 coming into the game when at least four Penguins scored in double figures.
  • The Penguins had another off day from 3-point range as they went 6-for-26. YSU was 18-for-31 (58.1 percent) inside the arc.
  • Symone Simmons had 11 offensive rebounds, and the Raiders scored 18 points from them. All 10 of Simmons' points came following her offensive rebounds. Wright State had 25 second-chance points on 20 offensive rebounds as a team.
  • YSU lost for the sixth straight time at the Nutter Center.

Up Next

Youngstown State will host a Quarterfinals game in the 2019 Little Caesars Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Beeghly Center. The Penguins will play either Milwaukee or Northern Kentucky, and the game will be broadcast on iHeartRadio and ESPN+.