Women's Basketball Heads to Detroit to Start Conference Play

Chelsea Olson (Photo by David Dermer)
Chelsea Olson (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State begins the second chapter of the 2018-19 season as it begins Horizon League play on Friday at Detroit Mercy. Tipoff at Calihan Hall is set for 5 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins went 8-3 in non-conference play, which was the best mark among all Horizon League teams. YSU won at least eight non-league games for the third time in the last five seasons.
  • YSU is opening conference play on the road for the sixth time in the last seven years. The Penguins are 4-1 in previous league openers under Head Coach John Barnes.
  • The Penguins have five players averaging between 13.5 and 9.7 points per game.
  • Dating back to Jan. 20, 2018, Youngstown State has gone 18-7 over its last 25 contests. Before Jan. 20, the Penguins were 7-18 over their previous 25 games.
  • Melinda Trimmer ranks second in the country with a 4.8 assist-to-turnover ratio. She has 24 assists and two turnovers in four games this month. Trimmer and Chelsea Olson rank first and second in the conference in assists per game.
  • Olson was named the HL Player of the Week by College Sports Madness on Dec. 23.
  • Alison Smolinski made 15 3-pointers over the first two games of December with a school-record nine at Canisius on Dec. 1 and six versus Saint Francis U on Dec. 8. Smolinski leads the HL and ranks 12th in the country with 3.45 3-pointers per game.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League in winning percentage, scoring margin, 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.

Previewing Detroit Mercy

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 9-3 this season.
  • Allow YSU to win its Horizon League opener for the fifth time in Coach John Barnes' six seasons.
  • Be YSU's seventh straight conference road win dating back to last season.
  • Be the 602nd in school history and the 91st under Head Coach John Barnes.

Scouting Detroit Mercy

  • Detroit Mercy enters Horizon League play with a 2-9 overall mark and looking to snap a five-game losing skid. The Titans won their season opener against UM-Dearborn and won at Manhattan on Nov. 24.
  • Lexey Tobel paces the Titans with 12.4 points per game and 17 3-pointers.
  • UDM head coach Bernard Scott was YSU's recruiting coordinator during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.

Series History

  • Overall: Detroit Mercy leads 23-20
  • Barnes: 6-5 // Home: 14-8 // Away: 6-15 // Neutral: 0-0
  • Current Win Streak: 2 by Youngstown State

On This Day

  • YSU is 8-8 all time in games played on Dec. 28, and it will look to beat Detroit Mercy for the second straight year on the date.
  • Wanda Grant delivered a standout performance with 30 points and 22 rebounds in a 64-58 win over Cleveland State on Dec. 28, 1979.

Recapping Thiel

  • Mary Dunn had a double-double, and Chelsea Olson flirted with a triple-double as YSU beat Thiel 76-53 to conclude non-conference play on Dec. 20.
  • Sarah Cash scored 13 points in five minutes as she helped the Penguins build a 13-2 lead at the 5:47 mark of the first period. Thiel scored the next five points to make the score 13-7, and YSU scored the next 15 points to go up 28-7 with 7:09 left in the second quarter. The margin was at least 19 the rest of the game, and YSU led by 31 with five minutes left.
  • Dunn finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds for her second career double-double. She's averaging 14.3 points and 8.0 rebounds over her last six contests.
  • Olson made four 3-pointers for 12 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists in 23 minutes. She did not play in the fourth period. It was Olson's second straight game with four 3-pointers, which is a career high.
  • Melinda Trimmer was the only Penguin who did not score, but she finished with six assists without committing a turnover. She has 15 assists and no turnovers in her last two contests.
  • YSU missed its first nine attempts from beyond the arc but made seven of its last 13 to finish 7-for-24 for the game. Thiel made 11 3-pointers, which was the most by an opponent this season.
  • Dunn grabbed the 300th rebound of her career, and Olson eclipsed 100 career assists.
  • YSU won its 21st consecutive game against a non-Division I opponent dating back to 1990.
  • Approximately 1,400 area students attended the game as part of the Sixth Annual Chick-fil-A School Field Trip Game.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State remains in the Detroit area to play at Oakland on Sunday at 3 p.m. The game against the Golden Grizzlies will be broadcast live on sportsanimal1390.com and ESPN+.