Penguins Head to Oakland Eyeing 2-0 Road Trip

Amara Chikwe (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Amara Chikwe (Photo by Rob Hayes)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State looks to sweep its Motor City swing for the second straight season as it plays at Oakland on Sunday. Tipoff at the Athletics Center O'rena is set for 3 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on sportsanimal1390.com, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins won their Horizon League opener for the fifth time in Head Coach John Barnes' six seasons by beating Detroit Mercy 85-59 on Friday at Calihan Hall. YSU led by at least 20 for the entire second half and made 13 3s against the Titans.
  • With Sunday being YSU's final contest of 2018, the Penguins are looking to finish the calendar year with 21 wins. That would be the eighth most in a calendar year in program history.
  • The Penguins have four players averaging at least 10.8 points per game and another averaging 9.3 points per contest.
  • Dating back to Jan. 20, 2018, Youngstown State has gone 19-7 over its last 26 contests. Before Jan. 20, the Penguins were 8-18 over their previous 26 games.
  • Melinda Trimmer ranks second in the country with a 5.18 assist-to-turnover ratio. She has 33 assists and three turnovers in five games this month. Trimmer and Chelsea Olson rank first and second in the conference in assists per game.
  • Alison Smolinski went 7-for-12 from 3-point range before resting in the fourth period on Friday at Detroit. It was the third time in five games this month that she made at least six 3s in a contest. She ranks ninth in the country with 3.75 3-pointers per game, and she's fifth with 45 3s made.
  • 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.
  • 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 Olson was voted to the second team.

Previewing Oakland

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in Horizon League play this season.
  • Allow YSU to start 2-0 in league play for the third time in Coach John Barnes' six seasons.
  • Give YSU 21 wins in the 2018 calendar year, which would eighth-most in program history.
  • Be YSU's eighth straight conference road win dating back to last season.
  • Be the 603rd in school history and the 92nd under Head Coach John Barnes.

Scouting The Golden Grizzlies

  • Oakland is 3-9 overall following a 64-62 loss to Cleveland State in the final two seconds on Friday evening. Sunday's game against YSU will be Oakland's fifth straight at home.
  • Senior guard and preseason second-team all-league pick Taylor Jones leads the Golden Grizzlies with 14.9 points per game. Alabama transfer LaKyesha Stennis has made 30 3-pointers and averages 9.4 points.

Series History

  • Overall: Oakland leads 11-10
  • Barnes: 7-5 // Home: 5-5 // Away: 4-6 // Neutral: 1-0
  • Current Win Streak: 1 by Youngstown State

On This Day

  • YSU is 5-11 all time in games played on Dec. 30, and it will be looking to avenge a 58-48 home loss to Oakland on Dec. 30, 2017.
  • YSU shot 62.5 percent from the field, the second-best mark in program history, in a 97-83 over Kent State in 1987. Dorothy Bowers keyed the win with 46 points.
  • Recapping Detroit Mercy

Recapping Detroit Mercy

  • Alison Smolinski made six 3-pointers in the first half, and YSU had three players finish with at least 18 points in an 85-59 win at Detroit Mercy on Friday evening.
  • YSU won its fifth Horizon League opener in head coach John Barnes' six seasons.
  • Smolinski helped the Penguins build a 47-23 halftime lead, and the advantage grew to as much as 33 in the fourth period before the Titans scored nine of the final 11 points of the game. YSU led by at least 13 the final 34 minutes and at least 20 for the entire second half.
  • Smolinski finished with 23 points and surpassed 800 career points. She also grabbed her 200th career rebound. Smolinski went 7-for-12 from 3-point range and made at least six 3s for the fourth time this season and the ninth time in her career.
  • Mary Dunn scored 24 points to match her career-high from last season at Oakland. She was 9-for-11 from the field and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line while also grabbing a game-high eight rebounds in 24 minutes.
  • Chelsea Olson scored YSU's first 11 points in the fourth period and finished with 18. She made four 3-pointers for the third straight game and added six rebounds and six assists in 24 minutes.
  • Melinda Trimmer matched her career high with nine assists and committed just one turnover. She has 33 assists and three turnovers in five games this month.
  • YSU made a season-best 13 3-pointers as a team and shot a season-high 52.6 percent from the field. The Penguins also had a season-high 25 assists on 30 field goals.
  • The 85 points were YSU's most against a Division I team this season and the most in the series with Detroit Mercy since 1988.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State will play six times at Beeghly Center in January, starting with Thursday's contest against UIC. Tipoff against the Flames is set for 7 p.m., and it will be 80's Night for a Throwback Thursday promotion.