Penguin News


Women's Basketball Takes Winning Streak to Milwaukee
by YSU
Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 3:39 pm

The Youngstown State women's basketball team will begin the second half of Horizon League play on Thursday with a game at Milwaukee's Klotsche Center. Tipoff against the Panthers is set for 8 p.m. Eastern, and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN and the Horizon League Network.

The Penguins are on their first five-game winning streak since 2000 and are coming off a 58-53 win over Detroit last Thursday. YSU got a career-high 17 points and six assists from Horizon League Newcomer of the Week Karen Flagg in the victory over the Titans, who scored 19 points under their season average against the Penguins. The win gave YSU sole possession of second place in the conference standings with a 6-2 record against league foes. YSU has already matched its win total from the previous three seasons combined, and it has its most wins as a program since 1999-2000. The Penguins are also 6-2 in league play for the first time since joining the conference in 2001-02.

YSU beat Milwaukee 67-50 and led by as many as 27 in the second half in the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 17, but the Penguins have beaten the Panthers on the road just once since 1991 (in 2005).

Brandi Brown continues to rank among the top 25 players in the country in both points (19.5) and rebounds (11.6) per game, and she needs four points to move into second place in school history in career points. While she had an off day offensively against the Titans last Thursday, she drew several charges against Shareta Brown, the league's leading scorer, and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds. Heidi Schlegel averages 10.2 points off the bench, the best in the Horizon League, and Liz Hornberger and Monica Touvelle both rank in the top five in the conference in 3-pointers per game.

The Penguins will play at Green Bay on Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

#YSUWBB Summary

  • YSU is in its 38th season in 2012-13 and its third under head coach Bob Boldon.
  • The Penguins already have their most wins in a season since 1999-2000.
  • The Penguins are averaging 8.5 3-pointers per game this season, which ranks seventh in the country. They averaged 9.2 3-pointers per game last season.
  • YSU is plus-9.2 in scoring margin this season. That's a 12.1-point improvement from last season and a 35-point improvement from three years ago.
  • YSU is averaging 65.3 points this season, up 0.7 points from last season. It's the best scoring average since 2001-02.
  • Opponents are scoring 56.1 points per game against YSU, the lowest since 1978-79. They averaged 67.5 points last year.

A Win Would

  • Give YSU 17 wins in its first 22 games for the first time since 1997-98.
  • Give YSU its first six-game winning streak since 1999.
  • Improve YSU to 7-2 in Horizon League play for the first time ever.
  • Make YSU 9-4 on the road
  • Be the 506th in program history.

Game Recap vs. Detroit

Karen Flagg scored a career-best 17 points, and YSU hung on for a 58-53 win over Detroit last Thursday in a scrappy battle for second place.

YSU had a slow start and trailed by seven four minutes in, but the Penguins led by 56-45 with 4:36 left. Detroit scored the next eight points and missed four 3-pointers that would have tied the score in the final minute.

Monica Touvelle hit both one-and-one attempts from the free throw line with three seconds left for the final margin.

  • The Penguins won with defense again, holding Detroit 19 points below its season average entering the contest. The Titans shot 27.6 percent, 18 percent below their league-leading 45.6 percent.
  • YSU matched its season high with 37 attempts from 3-point range. The Guins connected on just eight of those, and Liz Hornberger was the only YSU player who hit more than one triple.
  • In addition to her 17 points, Flagg added six assists and five rebounds. She also blocked a shot for the 10th consecutive game.
  • Melissa Thompson led the Penguins with two blocks. She has eight blocks combined in the past four games.
  • Brandi Brown fought through an off day offensively but still scored 12 points. She was 3-for-6 inside the arc but 1-of-9 from beyond it. Brown added a game-high 18 rebounds for her 16th double-double.
  • Detroit's Shareta Brown was held in check for the most part. The league's leading scorer was held to 15 points while committing seven turnovers in 26 minutes.
  • YSU trailed 39-38 with 11 minutes left when a Flagg bucket sparked a 10-0 run.
  • Three players fouled out – Shar'Rae Davis and Heidi Schlegel for YSU and Shareta Brown for Detroit.

Scouting Milwaukee

Milwaukee is 5-15 overall and 1-7 in Horizon League play under first-year head coach Kyle Rechlicz. The Panthers have lost five straight contests since winning at Cleveland State on Jan. 19. Milwaukee leads the conference in 3-pointers per game and 3-point field goal percentage, and they rank third in scoring offense. Angela Rodriguez averages team highs of 13.9 points and 3.5 assists, and Emily Decorah averages three triples per game on 40-percent shooting from the outside.

Last Time vs. Milwaukee

Monica Touvelle scored a career-high 23 points, and Youngstown State's defense clamped down on Milwaukee in a 67-50 home win on Jan. 17.

YSU led 17-15 before Touvelle scored eight straight points as part of a 10-0 run in the first half. The Penguins led by eight at halftime and had a double-digit advantage for the final 17:20.

Touvelle made all five of YSU's 3-pointers, and she got help with 18 points from Brandi Brown. They combined to go 17-for-24 from the field as YSU shot 49.1 percent.

Series With Milwaukee

Youngstown State stopped a 15-game losing streak to Milwaukee with its 67-50 win over the Panthers in January. UWM still leads the all-time series 24-6, and the Penguins are 2-13 in Milwaukee. In fact, UWM has beaten YSU by double digits in seven of the last eight contests at the Klotsche Center. The Penguins' last win in Milwaukee came on Feb. 26, 2005.

16-5: Best Start in 15 Years

  • Youngstown State has 16 wins in its first 21 games for the first time since the 1997-98 season, 15 years ago.
  • With at least nine games remaining, YSU has already surpassed the win totals from each of its previous 12 seasons, including last year's 10-20 record.
  • YSU's six conference wins are already the most since 2007-08 and tied for the third-most in 12 seasons in the Horizon League.
  • The Penguins are 11 games above .500 for the first time since Feb. 26, 2000.
  • The 10 non-conference wins tied the 1997-98 team for the most in school history.
  • The Penguins won their first six home games for the first time since the 1991-92 season. Their eight wins at Beeghly Center are the most since 1999-2000.
  • YSU's eight road wins are the most in the last 13 years.

Looking Back at the First Half of HL Play

  • With Thursday's game at Milwaukee starting the second half of Horizon League play, YSU has posted a nice list of accomplishments so far this conference season.
  • The Penguins have led by at least 11 points in seven of their eight conference games.
  • YSU has six league wins, the most since 2007-08 when it went 8-10. It has won five straight Horizon League games for the first time in school history.
  • YSU is plus-9.3 in scoring margin in conference games. Its previous best scoring margin since joining the Horizon League is minus-2.4 in 2007-08.

Brown's Place in Horizon League History

  • With eight games left in her Horizon League career, Brandi Brown continues to cement herself as one of the top players in Horizon League history.
  • The senior forward ranks seventh in league history in career points with 1,814, which is 41 points behind sixth place. Three players in conference history have scored 2,000 points.
  • Brown is even better in career rebounds, ranking third with 1,118. She is 75 behind second.
  • Brown is the active career leader in both categories. She leads the closest active player in scoring by 124 points and the closest active rebounder by 78 caroms.
  • Brown is one of two players in conference history with 1,800 points and 1,100 rebounds.

Flagg is Horizon League's Newcomer of the Week

  • Youngstown State junior Karen Flagg is the reigning Horizon League Newcomer of the Week. It's the first time she's received the honor.
  • Flagg scored a career-high 17 points while adding six assists and five rebounds in YSU's win over Detroit last week.

Brown at the National Level

  • Brandi Brown ranks 11th in all of Division I with 11.6 rebounds per game, and she is 23rd in scoring with 19.5 points per game.
  • Brown is one of three players in the country who rank in the top 25 in both scoring and rebounding. She joins Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike and Middle Tennessee's Ebony Rowe.
  • Brown ranks fifth among active Division I players in career rebounds. She is also 19th among active D-1 players in points.

Brown Named Academic All-District

  • Brandi Brown's list of career accomplishments got a little longer when she was named Capital One Academic All-District in January.
  • Brown is one of five players in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois to earn Academic All-District honors. She is now an Academic All-America candidate.
  • She is the first YSU women's basketball player to earn academic all-district honors since Lauren Branson earned second-team honors in 2007-08.
  • Brown holds a 3.75 GPA in communications studies.

Flagg, Davis Among League's Best Newcomers

  • YSU has two of the top newcomers in the Horizon League in Shar'Rae Davis and Karen Flagg.
  • Davis leads the Horizon League in assists per game, and, among newcomers, she ranks fourth in scoring and ninth in rebounding.
  • Flagg ranks second among newcomers in blocks, third in rebounds, sixth in assists and seventh in points.

Schlegel is One of League's Top Bench Players

  • YSU sophomore Heidi Schlegel is perhaps the Horizon League's top bench player this season. She averages 10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds off the bench this season in 25.8 minutes per game.
  • Among players eligible to be named the Horizon League's Sixth Player of the Year (must come off the bench 67 percent of the time), Schlegel leads the league in scoring, rebounding, steals and minutes.
  • Compared to the second-place player in each category, Schlegel averages 2.7 more points, 0.2 more rebounds, 8.6 more minutes and one more steal per game.

Hornberger, Touvelle Form Outside Threat

  • YSU has two of the top 3-point shooters in the Horizon League with juniors Liz Hornberger and Monica Touvelle.
  • Hornberger ranks fourth in the conference with 2.3 3-pointers per game, and Touvelle is right behind her with 2.2 per contest. Touvelle ranks second in 3-point percentage at 39.2 percent, and Hornberger is ninth at 36.9 percent.
  • Touvelle has made 125 career 3-pointers, and Hornberger has made 99. Senior Brandi Brown has made 100 in her career.

Penguins Rank 70th in RPI

  • At the beginning of the week, YSU ranked 70th in the official NCAA RPI. That is its best ranking since 1997 and 187 spots better than last year.
  • Mercer is the only team in the country to improve its RPI more than YSU from last season.
  • Green Bay is the only Horizon League team above YSU at 26. Detroit is next at 103.
  • Dayton (18) and Toledo (39) are the only schools in Ohio above Youngstown State. The other schools in Northeast Ohio rank 130th (Akron), 226th (Cleveland State) and 337th (Kent State).

The Winning Formula

  • With the regular season two-thirds of the way through, some trends have emerged as keys to YSU wins.
  • YSU is 16-1 when shooting at least 35 percent from the field and 12-0 when opponents shoot less than 40 percent.
  • The Penguins are 14-2 when allowing fewer than 60 points and 15-1 when they at least match their opponents in points in the paint.
  • The Guins are 11-0 when at least tying in rebounding margin. Along the same lines, they are 12-1 when at least tying in second-chance points.
  • YSU is 12-2 when at least three players score in double figures.

Among D-I Leaders in 3's Per Game

  • Through games completed on Feb. 3, Youngstown State ranked seventh in Division I with 8.5 3-pointers per game.
  • The Guins ranked fifth nationally last year with 9.2 3-pointers per game and set school and Horizon League records for 3-pointers made in a season last year with 275.
  • In fact, YSU has set and re-set the school record for 3-pointers made and attempted in Coach Bob Boldon's first two seasons.
  • The Penguins have made at least seven 3-pointers 38 times in the last 51 games dating back to the start of last season.

Rebounding Getting Better

  • YSU has held a rebounding edge in 10 of its first 21 games and is plus-0.2 in rebounding margin for the year. That's a tremendous improvement from recent years.
  • YSU was minus-5.1 last year and minus-9.0 in Boldon's first season in 2010-11. In fact, plus-0.2 is YSU's best mark since being plus-0.5 in 2005-06.
  • The Penguins have out-rebounded six of their last nine opponents and are 5-0 in conference play when holding an edge on the glass. YSU is plus-1.3 in rebounding margin in conference play, even with a minus-24 at Valparaiso in the league opener.
  • YSU held a rebounding edge in six games last year and just three times in Coach Bob Boldon's first campaign.

Responding from Losses

  • A key to YSU's success so far has been responding from losses with emphatic wins.
  • Following losses, YSU has won its next game by an average of 19.8 points. The closest games were decided by nine points – against Cleveland State and Akron. YSU led Cleveland State from start to finish and led Akron for the final 31 minutes.

Slowing Down the Pace

  • Coach Bob Boldon has emphasized a slower pace throughout the season.
  • The Penguins are averaging 68.1 possessions per game this season, which is the lowest for YSU since joining the Horizon League in 2001-02. The Penguins averaged 71.9 possessions per game last year, which was their highest since 2002-03.
  • YSU plays at the second-slowest pace in the league behind Green Bay (65.9 per game). Milwaukee plays at the fastest pace, averaging 72.5 possessions per game.
  • Benefit of Defined Roles
  • YSU has employed the same starting line-up in 20 of its 21 games this season. The only game that the combination of Brandi Brown, Shar'Rae Davis, Karen Flagg, Liz Hornberger and Melissa Thompson was Wilmington, when Monica Touvelle stepped in for an injured Hornberger.
  • Additionally, Heidi Schlegel has been the first player off the bench in each of the last 16 games she's played in.
  • Last year, YSU employed 10 different starting combinations in 30 games. The Penguins used seven starting lineups in coach Bob Boldon's first season.

A Much-Improved Defense

  • YSU has held opponents to an average of 56.1 points per game this season. That is an 11.4-point improvement from last season
  • The Penguins haven't allowed fewer than 64 points per game since 1990-91, and they haven't allowed fewer than 60 points on average since 1979-80.
  • Although it's higher than desirable, opponents' .400 shooting percentage is the lowest since the 2004-05 season and 30 points below last season's mark.
  • Last season, the Guins ranked second-to-last in the Horizon League scoring defense (67.5 points per game) and last in field goal percentage defense. This season, they are second in the HL in scoring defense and third in field goal percentage defense.

Brown Sets Two Records, Eyes More

  • Brandi Brown has set her first two career records and has her eyes set on more.
  • She broke YSU's record for career free-throw attempts against Cleveland State on Jan. 24, and she set the record for career free-throw makes against Loyola two days later.
  • Brown is also two starts, 61 rebounds and 278 minutes from other career records. She currently ranks second in YSU history in rebounds and third in points.
  • In 111 career games, Brown has 1,826 points, an average of 16.5 per game. Wanda Grant is second with 1,829 points, and Dorothy Bowers is first with 2,324. Brown is four points shy of passing Grant, and she needs to average roughly 19.4 points the rest of the season to reach 2,000.
  • Brown has 1,118 rebounds and needs to average roughly 6.7 rebounds the rest of the season to break Wanda Grant's school record of 1,178.

Women's Basketball Takes Winning Streak to Milwaukee
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