Penguins Host Milwaukee on Wednesday to Start Motor City Madness

YSU Women's Basketball (Photo by David Dermer)
YSU Women's Basketball (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State will attempt to carry momentum from its record-breaking regular season into a postseason run as it begins the 2019 Little Caesars Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship by hosting Milwaukee on Wednesday. Tipoff at Beeghly Center is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins enter the conference tournament as the third seed by virtue of their 13-5 record against the league. The 13 wins were the most in YSU's 18 years in the conference. The Penguins swept the bottom four teams and split against the other teams in the top six. Milwaukee is the sixth seed after going 10-8 in conference play.
  • YSU is hosting a postseason game at Beeghly Center for the sixth time in the last seven years. The Penguins have hosted Horizon League tournament games in 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2018-19; Women's NIT games in 2012-13 and 2014-15 and WBI contests in 2015-16 and 2017-18.
  • YSU has won at least 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. The Penguins won at least 21 regular-season games for just the fifth time in program history.
  • The Penguins and Panthers are playing in the quarterfinals for the second straight season. Last year, YSU led 48-31 with less than 11 minutes left and held on to win 62-58 after Milwaukee scored 20 straight points.
  • The teams split the regular-season series with each squad winning at home. The Panthers won 71-68 in overtime on Jan. 10 in Milwaukee, and YSU won 67-47 in Youngstown on Feb. 17. Prior to that 20-point YSU victory, the previous six contests were each decided by four points or fewer.
  • YSU is trying to advance to the semifinals for the second straight season and for the fifth time since 2012-13. Prior to 2012-13, YSU was 1-11 all-time in the league tournament and had never advanced beyond the quarterfinals.
  • The Penguins are 15-1 at Beeghly Center this season and set a program record with 15 home wins. YSU was undefeated against Horizon League teams on Rosselli Court, and it has led by at least a dozen in all 16 home games.
  • Alison Smolinski was named the Horizon League Player of the Week for the final week of the season. She scored a game-high 19 points and made five 3s in YSU's 74-61 win at Cleveland on Saturday. She has 96 3-pointers this season, which is just one shy of the Horizon League's single-season record.
  • Four different Penguins were been named the Horizon League Player of the Week this season — Cash, Dunn (twice), Chelsea Olson and Smolinski (twice). YSU players won the award six times, which was three more than any other school.
  • Mary Dunn was named First-Team Google Cloud Academic All-District, and Sarah Cash and Melinda Trimmer were second-team picks. That same trio was also named to the Horizon League All-Academic Team.

Tickets, Promotions and Fan Information

  • Tickets
  • Parking Information
  • Visitors Guide
  • Advance tickets for Wednesday'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 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
  • There will be several promotions available exclusively to YSU students at the game, including tickets to a Lil Baby concert and gift card giveaways. Click here for more information.

Previewing Milwaukee

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 22-8 overall.
  • Up YSU's school record for home victories to 16.
  • Advance YSU to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament for the fifth time in the last seven years.
  • Be YSU's second straight over Milwaukee.
  • Be the 615th in school history and the 104th under Head Coach John Barnes.

Scouting the Panthers

  • Milwaukee is the sixth seed in Motor City Madness after finishing the regular season 15-14 overall and 10-8 in conference play. UWM won five of its last seven games of the regular season with the lone losses coming at YSU on Feb. 17 and at IUPUI this past Saturday.
  • Milwaukee leads the Horizon League with a .340 3-point field-goal percentage, and it ranks second behind YSU with 7.6 3s per game. The Panthers also lead the league with 5.2 blocks per contest, and they rank in the top three in both field-goal percentage offense and defense.
  • Freshman Megan Walstad leads the Panthers in scoring with 10.8 points per game. Senior Ryaen Johnson blocked a school record 72 shots during the regular season, and she's also UWM's top rebounder with 5.7 per game.
  • Prior to YSU's 20-point win over Milwaukee on Feb. 17, the last six meetings were all within four points and were decided by a total of 17 points.

Series History

  • Overall: Milwaukee leads 28-16
  • Barnes: 9-4 // Home: 9-12 // Away: 6-16 // Neutral: 1-0
  • Current Win Streak: 1 by Youngstown State

Last Time vs. Milwaukee: W, 67-47 (Feb. 17, 2019)

  • YSU held Milwaukee to seven points over a 19-minute stretch and beat the Panthers 67-47 on Senior Day at Beeghly Center on Feb. 17. The win came in the Penguins' last home game of the regular season.
  • The score was tied at 18-18 with 9:48 left in the second period, but Milwaukee made just three of its next 27 attempts from the field. YSU scored 32 of the next 39 points during that stretch.
  • Alison Smolinski went 6-for-7 from 3-point range and made her last five 3s of the game. Mary Dunn added 14 points.
  • YSU outrebounded Milwaukee by 17 and held the Panthers to two second-chance points. In the first meeting this season, Milwaukee was plus five on the boards and scored 19 points off 13 offensive rebounds.

Last Year in Motor City Madness vs. Milwaukee

  • YSU survived a major comeback bid by Milwaukee to win 62-58 in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Little Caesars Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship at Little Caesars Arena on March 4, 2018.
  • The Penguins built a 48-31 lead with less than 11 minutes remaining, but Milwaukee stormed back by scoring 20 straight points to take a 51-48 lead. YSU countered with an 8-0 run and held the lead the rest of the game.
  • Sarah Cash scored 24 points, and Indiya Benjamin scored six of her 13 points in the final three minutes.

On This Date

  • YSU is 3-4 all-time in games played on March 6, but it is 3-0 in conference tournament contests on the date. YSU's last win on the date came vs. Western Illinois in the semifinals of the 2000 Mid-Con Tournament.
  • Kristi Echelbery made a school record 15 free throws vs. Buffalo in the Mid-Con Tournament on March 6, 1995. In YSU's game at Milwaukee on March 6, 2010, Brandi Brown had 12 points, 16 rebounds and seven steals.

Recapping Cleveland State

  • Alison Smolinski scored 13 points in the first period, and YSU led for more than 37 minutes in a 74-61 win at Cleveland State on Saturday in the regular season finale.
  • Although the Penguins held the lead for the final 35 minutes, they didn't pull away until a 16-4 run in the fourth period. YSU led 44-43 midway through the third period, and the margin was just 58-55 with less than six minutes left.
  • YSU founds its points in a much different fashion in this meeting than in its 73-55 win over the Vikings in January. The Penguins pounded the ball inside for 50 points in the paint and attempted just 13 3-pointers in the first win, but they went 13-for-28 from long distance at the Wolstein Center.
  • Smolinski was 5-for-10 from 3-point range, McKenah Peters was 4-for-8, Melinda Trimmer was 3-for-6 and Chelsea Olson was 1-for-2. YSU tied its season high with 13 3s, which it made twice against Detroit Mercy.
  • Youngstown State had at least five players score in double figures for the third time this season. It is 3-0 in those contests.
  • Sarah Cash got her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and she surpassed 600 career rebounds. She ranks 14th in program history with 602 career rebounds.
  • Olson was a putback away from YSU's first triple-double in 33 years. She had nine points, nine rebounds and a career-best 12 assists. Olson is the eighth player to have at least a dozen assists in a game. The sophomore also eclipsed 100 career 3s in the contest.
  • Melinda Trimmer grabbed her 200th career rebound and had a career-best nine rebounds. She scored in double figures for the sixth straight game.

Up Next

  • The winner between Youngstown State and Milwaukee will advance to the semifinals of Motor City Madness on Monday at 3:30 p.m. That contest will be against either second-seeded Green Bay or seventh-seeded Cleveland State.