Penguins Look to Bounce Back Versus Yale on Friday Night

Chelsea Olson (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Chelsea Olson (Photo by Rob Hayes)

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State hosts Yale on Friday at 7 p.m. at Beeghly Center as it looks to shake off a disappointing performance at Kent State. The contest will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.
  • The Penguins won their first four games of the campaign but suffered their first defeat at its nearest Division I rival on Tuesday. YSU had a nightmarish offensive performance as it shot 17.2 percent from the field in the 62-34 loss at Kent State.
  • YSU dressed just eight players at Kent State on Tuesday, and it will dress a maximum of nine players for the foreseeable future.
  • This is the first meeting between YSU and Yale, the only two Division I teams that start with a "Y". The Penguins are 0-2 all-time against Ivy League teams, losing to Cornell in 2015 and in 2016.
  • Three of the Penguins' four wins to start the season have come against Pittsburgh-area teams. YSU beat preseason NEC favorite Robert Morris 69-59 in overtime to start the season, and it topped Pitt 64-55 on Nov. 13 for its first victory over a Power Five conference team in six years. YSU beat Carlow 90-31 before losing to Kent State.
  • Alison Smolinski has made at least three 3-pointers and scored in double figures in all five games. Through games on Tuesday, the senior led the Horizon League and ranked second in the country with 20 3s.
  • YSU is plus-12.6 in rebounding margin, and it has been at least plus-six in rebounding in each of its four wins. The team's top two rebounders are sophomore guards Chelsea Olson (9.2/game) and McKenah Peters (6.6/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. The Penguins rank second in the conference this season with 8.2 makes per game.
  • Sarah Cash returns for her fifth season to finish what could go down as one of the all-time great careers at YSU. She is on pace to set the school record for career field-goal percentage, and she also ranks in the top 20 in points, field goals, free throws and blocks.
  • Cash was voted Preseason First-Team All-Horizon League, and Olson was voted to the second team.

Tickets & Fan Information

Previewing Yale

A Win Would...

  • Improve YSU's record to 5-1 this season.
  • Be the program's first over a team in the Ivy League.
  • Give the Penguins a 4-0 record at Beeghly Center.
  • Be the 598th in school history and the 87th under Barnes.

Scouting Yale

  • Yale is 2-3 this season, and it is coming off a 66-52 loss at Cincinnati on Wednesday. The Bulldogs beat Colgate 80-61 to start the season, and they also beat Niagara 67-64 on Nov. 16.
  • Yale won the WBI last season, and it played in the Preseason WNIT this year. The Bulldogs have 11 returners from last year's squad that won a school-record 19 games.
  • Junior guard Roxy Baraman averages 25.8 points per game, and she's scored at least 23 points in all five of Yale's games. She attempts 21.4 shots per game, which is nearly a third of Yale's attempts as a team.

Series History

  • Overall: First Meeting

On This Day

  • YSU is 6-3 all time in nine previous games played on Nov. 23. The Penguins beat Tiffin 84-62 at Beeghly Center two years ago on Nov. 23.
  • Two Penguins have scored 30 points previously on Nov. 23. Dorothy Bowers had 33 points in a 79-70 win over Duquesne in 1985, and Liz Hauger scored 30 in an 88-81 win at West Virginia in 1996.

Recapping Kent State

  • Youngstown State struggled offensively all night as it lost for the first time in 2018-19 on Tuesday night at Kent State. The Penguins shot 17.2 percent from the field in their 62-34 loss to the Golden Flashes.
  • The 34 points were the fourth-fewest in program history, and YSU had its worst shooting performance since making 15 percent (6-for-40) against Green Bay on Feb. 28, 2015.
  • The Penguins trailed 9-5 four minutes into the game, and they did not score for the next 11 minutes. By that time, Kent State had scored 15 straight points and built a 24-5 lead.
  • While YSU limited Kent State to 3-for-16 shooting in the third period, the Penguins went 0-for-17 from the field. YSU made five 3-pointers in the fourth period to perhaps build some momentum for Friday's game against Yale.
  • YSU was 7-for-34 from 3-point range, and it was 4-for-30 inside the arc. The Penguins did not make a two-pointer in the second half, and their posts were a combined 1-for-14 from the field.
  • Sophomore McKenah Peters made a season-high three 3-pointers in eight attempts and finished with a team-best 13 points. It was the first time in her career that she was the Penguins' leading scorer in a game.
  • Alison Smolinski made three 3-pointers for her fifth straight game with at least three makes from beyond the arc. She finished with 12 points.
  • Despite shooting 17.2 percent, YSU was only minus-8 in rebounding margin. Chelsea Olson finished with a team-best eight rebounds.
  • YSU dressed just eight players as Amara Chikwe missed the game with an injury.

Up Next

  • Youngstown State remains home for another Northeast Ohio rivalry game on Wednesday against Akron. Tipoff against the Zips is set for 7 p.m. There will be a Teddy Bear Toss to benefit Mercy Health at halftime, and fans who bring a new teddy bear or stuffed animal and throw it onto the court at halftime will receive a voucher for a free ticket to a future home game.