Women's Basketball Hosts UIC Thursday in Horizon League Home Opener

McKenah Peters (Photo by Rob Hayes)
McKenah Peters (Photo by Rob Hayes)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State begins 2019 by hosting UIC in the first Horizon League game at Beeghly Center this season. Tipoff against the Flames is set for 7 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins swept their Motor City road swing last week to begin conference play, beating Detroit Mercy 85-59 on Friday and Oakland 69-55 on Sunday. YSU is 2-0 in league play for the third time in Coach John Barnes' six seasons.
  • YSU led by 20 for the entire second half in the win over Detroit Mercy, and it outscored Oakland 30-13 in the fourth period to rally for the 14-point win. The Penguins attempted a school record 44 free throws and went 19-for-27 from the free-throw line in the fourth period against the Golden Grizzlies.
  • The Penguins finished 2018 with 21 victories, which was the eighth most in a calendar year in program history. YSU is 20-7 since Jan. 20, 2018.
  • The Penguins have four players averaging at least 11.1 points per game and another averaging 9.0 points per contest.
  • Chelsea Olson is the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week. The sophomore guard averaged 16.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, five assists and three steals while shooting 61.5 percent from the field in YSU's two wins last week.
  • Melinda Trimmer ranks second in the country with a 4.13 assist-to-turnover ratio. She had 38 assists and seven turnovers in December. Trimmer and Olson rank first and second in the conference in assists per game.
  • Alison Smolinski needs one 3-pointer to become the third player in program history with 200 career 3s. She ranks seventh in the country with 46 3-pointers in 2018-19.
  • 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.

Tickets, Promotions and Fan Information

  • 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.
  • YSU Athletics is offering $2 general admission tickets to the conference opener.
  • It will be Throwback Thursday: 80's Night
  • Fans can enjoy $1 popcorn at all Thursday contests in Beeghly Center this season, courtesy of AVI Concessions.

Previewing UIC

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 11-3 overall and 3-0 in Horizon League play this season.
  • Allow YSU to start 3-0 in league play for the third time in Coach John Barnes' six seasons.
  • Give the Penguins eight wins in their last nine games.
  • Be the 604th in school history and the 93rd under Head Coach John Barnes.

Scouting The Flames

  • UIC is 2-11 overall and lost its first two Horizon League games last weekend. The Flames lost 67-49 to Northern Kentucky on Friday and 79-46 to Wright State on Sunday. Their last victory came on Dec. 5 at Evansville (62-54).
  • Preseason second-team all-league pick Brittany Byrd averages 17 points, which ranks second in the conference. Taylor Toney, another preseason second teamer, averages 9.2 points. They combine for 26.2 of UIC's 52.2 points. UIC is under first-year head coach Tasha Pointer.

Series History

  • Overall: Tied 19-19
  • Barnes: 8-2 // Home: 9-10 // Away: 10-9 // Neutral: 0-0
  • Current Win Streak: 6 by Youngstown State

On This Day

  • YSU is 4-4 in eight previous games played on Jan. 3. The Penguins last played on the date in 2009.
  • Kristi Echelberry scored her 1,000th career point on Jan. 3, 1995, against Northeastern Illinois, and YSU scored 105 points and had a school record 37 assists on the date in 1998 in a 40-point win over NEIU.

Recapping Oakland

  • Youngstown State outscored Oakland 30-13 in the fourth quarter to rally for a 69-55 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Athletics Center O'rena.
  • Chelsea Olson scored 15 points, 11 of which came in the fourth period, and grabbed a game and career-high 15 rebounds. She hit a big 3-pointer that gave the Penguins a 46-45 lead two minutes into the fourth period as part of a 13-0 run that keyed YSU's comeback.
  • 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. Sixteen of the attempts came in the final 1:34 as Oakland tried to extend the game, and YSU's final 18 points all came from the line. YSU had attempted 27 free throws in a game just once previously this season.
  • Olson was one of three Penguins who scored double figures, joining Sarah Cash (17) and Mary Dunn (12). Olson added a career high 15 rebounds, which was the most by a Penguin since Janae Jackson's 15 in the 2016 conference tournament.
  • The Penguins connected on just 4-of-17 3-point attempts while the Golden Grizzlies went 6-for-17 from beyond the arc. YSU's previous low this season for 3-point attempts was 21.
  • The first two quarters were a physical, defensive battle as the game was tied 24-24 at halftime. YSU led just 9-7 at the end of the first period as the teams combined to go 7-for-31 from the field.
  • Taylor Jones scored 10 of her 17 points in the third quarter for Oakland, but she did not score in the fourth and fouled out with 4:17 left.
  • Oakland's largest lead was 45-39 at the 9:23 mark of the fourth. That's when YSU scored 13 straight points to take a 52-45 lead with 5:18 remaining.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State remains at Beeghly Center to host IUPUI on Saturday at 1 p.m. It will be a Veterans Appreciation Day, and fans in attendance will receive YSU Playing Cards, courtesy of Mercy Health, Allstate/Nolfi Agency and 21 WFMJ. The game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN and ESPN3.