Penguins Start Tough Wisconsin Trip at Milwaukee on Thursday

Amara Chikwe (Photo by David Dermer)
Amara Chikwe (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State looks to extend its winning streak on the road this week as its annual Wisconsin swing begins at Milwaukee on Thursday. Tipoff for "School Day" at the Klotsche Center is set for noon Eastern, and the contest will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins have won five straight games and eight of their last nine overall following home wins over UIC and IUPUI last week. YSU had its largest margin of victory ever in a Horizon League game with an 81-29 win over the Flames on Thursday, and it topped IUPUI 70-52 on Saturday. The win over the Jaguars was the 250th in Head Coach John Barnes' career.
  • Thursday's game against Milwaukee is the second in a four-game stretch for YSU against the No. 1, 2, 3 and 5 teams in the Horizon League preseason poll.
  • Alison Smolinski broke YSU's record for career 3-pointers on Saturday. She made five triples on Thursday against UIC and six on Saturday versus IUPUI to increase her career total to 210. Smolinski enters the week ranking second in the country with 57 3-pointers in 2018-19.
  • Mary Dunn is the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week after averaging 21.5 points and 10 rebounds and going 18-for-21 from the field last week. She is the third different Penguin in the last five weeks to win the award.
  • Melinda Trimmer enters the week tied for the nation's lead in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.93. She has 74 assists and 15 turnovers this season. Trimmer and Chelsea Olson rank first and second in the Horizon League in assists per game.
  • In addition to having the top two players in assists, YSU has three players ranking in the top 10 in the league in scoring and three ranking in the top 12 in rebounding.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League in winning percentage, scoring margin, scoring defense, free-throw percentage, field-goal percentage, field-goal percentage defense, rebounding margin, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio and 3-pointers per game.
  • The Penguins finished 2018 with 21 victories, which was the eighth most in a calendar year in program history. YSU is 21-7 since Jan. 20, 2018.
  • 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.
  • Sarah Cash was voted Preseason First-Team All-Horizon League, and Chelsea Olson was voted to the second team.

Previewing Milwaukee

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 13-3 overall and 5-0 in HL play.
  • Allow YSU to start 5-0 in league play for the second time in Coach John Barnes' six seasons.
  • Be YSU's ninth straight Horizon League road victory.
  • Give the Penguins nine wins in their last 10 games.
  • Be the 606th in school history and the 95th under Head Coach John Barnes.

Scouting The Panthers

  • Milwaukee is 5-9 overall and 0-3 in HL play following a pair of close road losses last week. The Panthers lost 55-54 at NKU and 61-57 at Wright State. Four of UWM's losses are to teams in the top 50 of the RPI.
  • Freshman Megan Walstad leads Milwaukee with 10.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Jamie Reit averages 10.1 points and has made 30 3-pointers.
  • YSU's three games with Milwaukee last season were decided by six points total, and the last eight meetings have all been within eight points.

Series History

  • Overall: Milwaukee leads 27-15
  • Barnes: 8-3 // Home: 8-12 // Away: 6-15 // Neutral: 1-0
  • Current Win Streak: 2 by Youngstown State

Last Time vs. Milwaukee: W, 62-58 (3/4/18)

  • YSU survived a major comeback bid by Milwaukee to win 62-58 on March 4, 2018, in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Little Caesars HL Basketball Championship.
  • The Penguins played smothering defense for three quarters to build a 48-31 lead with less than 11 minutes left. Milwaukee stormed back by scoring 20 straight points to take a 51-48 lead, but YSU withstood the charge and countered with an 8-0 run that ended up being the difference.
  • Milwaukee made its first four field-goal attempts of the game, but it made just nine of its next 45 attempts.
  • Natalie Myers came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points, and she hit a huge 3-pointer with 3:30 left in the fourth period for YSU's first points of the quarter. Sarah Cash had 24 points and nine rebounds.

Last Time at Milwaukee: L, 62-61 (1/13/18)

  • Milwaukee's Jamie Reit picked up a loose ball and buried a 15-footer at the buzzer to give the Panthers a 62-61 win over YSU on Jan. 13, 2018, at the Klotsche Center.
  • YSU led 61-60 and broke up Milwaukee's primary option in the final sequence by double-teaming Steph Kostowicz. Reit scooped up the ball after a chaotic few seconds and hit the winning shot.
  • Sarah Cash scored a game and season-high 28 points, which was one shy of her career high and her most ever against a Division I opponent. Her bucket with 3:28 left gave the Penguins a 61-55 lead, but YSU did not score the rest of the game.

Recapping IUPUI

  • Alison Smolinski broke YSU's career 3-pointers record, and the Penguins overcame early adversity to beat IUPUI 70-52 on Saturday afternoon at Beeghly Center.
  • YSU did not score for the first six minutes of the game and had its two starting posts whistled for two fouls in the first four minutes as IUPUI led 7-0. The Penguins scored the final six points of the first period behind Mary Dunn and the first five of the second to take a 16-12 lead, and they did not trail again.
  • The win was the 250th in YSU Head Coach John Barnes' career, and he moved into second place on the Penguins' all-time wins list with 94.
  • Smolinski's record-breaking 3-pointer came with 4:58 left in the fourth on a pass from fellow senior and roommate Melinda Trimmer. The bucket gave YSU its largest lead of the game at 65-45. Smolinski made three 3s in the second period and three in the fourth to finish with six in the game and a game-high 22 points.
  • Dunn finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, and she scored nine of YSU's 11 points in the first period. She was 6-of-7 from the field and went 2-for-3 from the 3-point arc. Her lone miss was a forced shot at the end of the shot clock.
  • Macee Williams and Holly Hoopingarner scored nine points apiece for IUPUI. YSU held Williams, the league's leading scorer, 10 points below her season average.
  • Sarah Cash became the 15th player in program history to score 1,200 career points, and she also made her 450th career field goal in the game.
  • Chelsea Olson reached 400 career points, and Trimmer recorded her 150th career assist and her 150th career rebound.
  • YSU avenged last season's 65-43 loss to IUPUI at Beeghly Center.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State plays at Green Bay on Saturday in the second leg of the Wisconsin trip. Tipoff against the defending Horizon League champions and preseason favorites is set for 2 p.m. Eastern, and the game will be broadcast live on sportsanimal1390.com and ESPN+.