Penguins Host Oakland Thursday to Start Second Half of HL Play

Alison Smolinski (Photo by David Dermer)
Alison Smolinski (Photo by David Dermer)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State begins the second half of Horizon League play and continues its five-game homestand on Thursday against Oakland. 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 are 15-5 overall, 7-2 in conference play and 11-1 at home following three straight wins on Rosselli Court. YSU was one of three league teams to go 7-2 in the first half of the conference slate, and it trails Wright State by one game in the standings. Youngstown State was the only team to beat the Raiders.
  • YSU has already matched its regular-season win total from last year with 15 victories, and the Penguins are 7-2 through nine HL games for just the second time. The Penguins are 17-4 in their last 21 Horizon League contests, and they are 25-9 over their last 34 games overall.
  • YSU scored the first 12 points of the game and led by 13 after the first period in a 73-55 win over Cleveland State on Saturday. It was almost a complete flip from last Monday's contest against NKU when the Penguins had to rally from a 14-point deficit with just over 12 minutes left to win.
  • Mary Dunn is the Nike Horizon League Player of the Week for the second time this season. She averaged 22.5 points, nine rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting 72 percent in two games last week. Dunn is one of four Penguins to earn the award this season, and a YSU player has won the award four of the past five weeks.
  • 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.
  • YSU leads the Horizon League in scoring margin, field-goal percentage, 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 and rebounding margin.

Tickets, Promotions and Fan Information

  • Tickets
  • Parking Information
  • Visitors Guide
  • Advance tickets for Thursday'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 Thursday.
  • It will be Throwback Thursday: 90's Night as well as YSU Greek Life Night at Beeghly Center. There will be a t-shirt giveaway and pizza party for the first 200 YSU students. Popcorn will also be $1, courtesy of AVI Concessions.

Previewing Oakland

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 16-5 overall and 8-2 in HL play.
  • Give YSU its best record through 10 Horizon League games in program history.
  • Give YSU a 12-1 record at Beeghly Center this season.
  • Be YSU's third straight over Oakland.
  • Be the 609th in school history and the 98th under Head Coach John Barnes.

Scouting The Golden Grizzlies

  • Oakland went 1-8 during the first half of Horizon League play and comes to Youngstown with a 4-16 overall mark. The Golden Grizzlies lost 69-58 at Wright State and 72-50 at Northern Kentucky last weekend.
  • Oakland ranks third in the conference in blocks, and it is also in the top half in free-throw percentage, assists, steals and turnover margin. The Golden Grizzlies surrender a league-high 72.3 points per game on defense.
  • Senior Taylor Jones was a preseason all-conference pick and leads the Golden Grizzlies with 13.6 points per game, which ranks fifth in the Horizon League. Jones also ranks in the top five in the league in assists and steals.

Series History

  • Overall: Tied 11-11
  • Barnes: 8-5 // Home: 5-5 // Away: 5-6 // Neutral: 1-0
  • Current Win Streak: 2 by Youngstown State

Last Time vs. Oakland: W, 69-55

  • YSU outscored Oakland 30-13 in the fourth period and had a record day at the free-throw line in a 69-55 win at the Athletics Center O'rena on Dec. 30, 2018.
  • Chelsea Olson scored 11 of her 15 points in the fourth period and grabbed 15 rebounds. She went on to be named the HL Player of the Week.
  • YSU set a school record with 44 free-throw attempts despite not attempting any in the first period. The Penguins attempted six free throws in the second period, 11 in the third and 27 in the fourth.
  • Oakland led 45-39 with 9:23 left in the fourth, but YSU scored the next 13 points and never relinquished the lead.

Last Year at Home vs. Oakland: L, 48-58

  • In a game where both teams struggled offensively, Oakland made the most of rebounds and turnovers to beat YSU 58-48 on Dec. 30, 2017 at Beeghly Center.
  • The Penguins and Golden Grizzlies combined to go 5-for-43 from 3-point range. YSU was 2-for-22 overall and 0-for-11 in the second half. The teams finished as the top two in the conference last season in 3s per game.
  • Oakland grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and converted them into a 16-8 edge in second-chance points, and it also scored 17 points off of YSU's 14 turnovers.
  • Indiya Benjamin led the Penguins with 11 points, Sarah Cash scored 10 and Mary Dunn added seven.
  • Oakland shot 35.5 percent from the field, slightly lower than YSU's 36.5 percent.

On This Day

  • YSU has won more games on Jan. 31 than any other date and is 13-3 on the final day of January.
  • Individually, Holly Seimetz was 12-for-13 at Ashland on Jan. 31, 1980, for the third-best shooting day in school history. Wanda Grant had a YSU record nine steals vs. Toledo in 1981.

Recapping Cleveland State

  • YSU scored the first 12 points of the game and led by double digits for the final 33 minutes in a 73-55 win over Cleveland State on Saturday at Beeghly Center.
  • Sarah Cash scored eight points and assisted on another bucket during that opening 12-0 run. She finished 11-of-16 from the field for a game-high 24 points in just 20 minutes.
  • Mary Dunn was 10-of-14 from the field and scored 22 points while adding seven rebounds in just 18 minutes. She scored her 800th career point in the game.
  • The Penguins shot  51.8 percent from the field, which was their second-best effort this season behind only the game at Detroit Mercy. YSU shot at least 50 percent in each of the first three quarters, and the Penguins were 26-for-43 (60.4 percent) inside the 3-point arc. Dunn and Cash combined to go 21-for-30.
  • YSU attempted a season-low 13 3-pointers, and Alison Smolinski had all three of its makes in eight attempts. The last time the Penguins attempted fewer than 13 3-pointers in a game was against Radford on Nov. 20, 2015.
  • YSU held a 41-24 edge in rebounding after the battle of the boards was tied at 16 at halftime. The Penguins outrebounded the Vikings 25-8 in the second half. McKenah Peters grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
  • YSU committed 14 turnovers in the second half, which led to 14 points for the Vikings.
  • Cash extended her streak of consecutive made free throws to 28 before missing at the 3:19 mark of the second period. She had not missed since Dec. 30 at Oakland. Cash's streak of 28 tied for the fourth-longest in program history.
  • Cash notched her 300th career free throw and 100th career steal.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State wraps up its five-game homestand on Saturday against Detroit Mercy at 1 p.m. It will be YSU's "Pink Out" Game as the Penguins will wear pink jerseys and raise awareness and funds for breast cancer. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center locally as well as the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Saturday's contest will also feature the "Better With Burgan Mortgage Mania Challenge", a Sixth Annual Handel's Ice Cream "Scoops and Hoops" Game and a YSU Stadium Cup giveaway, courtesy of Lyden Oil, Handel's, Farmers National Bank and 21 WFMJ.