Penguins welcome Milwaukee to start big weekend in Beeghly

Game preview

  • Youngstown State is looking to build on its momentum from an undefeated November to a tough week of Horizon League play. The Penguins will host the No.2 and No.3 teams in the league’s preseason coaching poll this week at the Beeghly Center, starting with Milwaukee on Thursday. The game against the Panthers is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, iHeartRadio and ESPN +.
  • The Penguins went 5-0 on aggregate and 2-0 against teams from HL in November, and they are coming off a 70-55 home win over LIU. YSU is 5-0 for the sixth time in program history and for the third time in head coach John Barnes’ nine seasons.
  • Lilly Ritz extended her remarkable play to three games when she rose to 9 for 11 on the field, scored 20 points and took 10 rebounds against LIU. In the last three games, Ritz is averaging 23 points and eight rebounds while making 30 of 38 on the field for 78.9%.
  • Chelsea Olson entered this week as the only active Division I player with at least 700 career rebounds and 400 career assists, which are milestones she reached in the win over LIU. Olson also has 1,183 points in his career with the Penguins.
  • While Ritz topped the post at 18.4 points per game in the first five games, YSU is also making 8.2 3s per game as a team. Paige Shy had 12 3-points, and five Penguins had at least five triples.
  • The Penguins have a new team in 2021-2022. The team has 15 players and nine of them are in their first year at Youngstown State. Three transfers – Megan Callahan, Ritz and Shy – have started each of YSU’s first five games.
  • Four Penguins are averaging at least 10 points this season, and balanced scoring is expected to be a theme in 2021-2022. Ritz has an 18.4 average, and Olson (11.8), Malia Magestro (14.3) and Shy (10.6) also have double-digit averages. YSU’s first two victories in the Horizon League came without Magestro, who had a lower body injury.
  • The transfer portal has created quite a stir in Youngstown. Four players were transferred out of the program, including two who won All-Horizon League honors in 2020-21, but five student-athletes were also transferred. Callahan, Lindsey Linard, Lindsey Mack and Shy are transfers from Division I institutions, and Ritz was a Division II All-American at Wheeling.

Basic program

  • Shooting 3s: Youngstown State has led the Horizon League with 3 points per game in each of the past seven seasons. A penguin has ranked in the top five in the conference in 3s per game in each of the past 10 seasons.
  • Strong in the post: The Penguins have been named to the Horizon League first team, second team or freshman for six of the past eight seasons and 11 times in the past 14.
  • Share the ball: A penguin has led the Horizon League in assists per game for five of the past six years.
  • Academics: YSU has appeared on the WBCA Top 25 Academic Charts 10 times in the past 11 years. The Penguins have been in the top 10 for four consecutive years.
  • Play in the playoffs: YSU has played in the WNIT or the WBI for five of the past nine years.
  • Scratch Strength: YSU has ranked in the nation’s top 20 for free throw percentage in four of the past seven seasons. The Penguins have shot at least 70 percent from the free throw line in nine straight years.

Tickets, promotions and information for fans

Face Coverage Policy: In accordance with university protocols, face coverings are mandatory for all fans, regardless of their vaccination status, in public areas inside the campus.

  • Tickets – Advance tickets for Friday’s game are available on, by phone at (330) 941-1978 or at the Stambaugh Stadium Athletics box office. The ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. The Beeghly Center ticket office and doors will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
  • Parking information
  • Visitors guide
  • Thursday Promotions | Promotional calendar
    • Healthcare Worker Appreciation Game – Show Your Healthcare Badge For Free GA Ticket
    • YSU student t-shirt
    • YSU Students $ 2 Beer Night
    • Burgan Real Estate Putt for Tuition – One lucky student will have the chance to win free tuition for one year!

Youngstown State vs. Milwaukee

A victory would be …

  • Improve YSU’s record to 6-0 this season, which would be his fifth 6-0 start to the campaign and his third perfect record in six games under John Barnes.
  • Give YSU his third 3-0 start in the Horizon League.
  • Give the Penguins a 3-0 record at the Beeghly Center.
  • Take a three game skid against Milwaukee.
  • Be the 289th in Barnes’ career and his 133rd at Youngstown State.

To this date

  • Youngstown State is 6-4 overall in games played on December 2 and playing at home on the date for the first time since 2009.
  • YSU’s last game, Dec. 2, ended in a 78-72 overtime loss to American in 2017. The Eagles finished 26-7 overall and 16-0 at home that season. they were on their way to the NCAA tournament.
  • Danielle Carson had 26 points and 14 assists in a 97-73 win at Cleveland State on December 2, 1985.

Milwaukee Scouting

  • Milwaukee enters Week Two of the League with a 3-4 overall record and a 2-0 record against HL teams. All three of the Panthers’ victories came in back-to-back home games against Wright State, northern Kentucky and Wisconsin from Nov. 18-24.
  • Milwaukee ranks second in the country in free throw percentage with 86.4%. The Panthers sit seventh in the HL for offensive scorers and ninth for defense.
  • Megan Walstad was a preseason All-Horizon League first-team selection and averaged 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds. Sydney Staver averages 9.4 points and leads the team with 11 steals, and McKaela Schmelzer is averaging 9.1 points while pacing UWM with 22 assists.
  • The Panthers were chosen to finish second in the preseason coaching poll. Milwaukee has reached 20 wins in three of the past five seasons and went 20-8 last season while sharing the HL regular season title.

History of the series

Overall: Milwaukee leads 31-17
Barnes: 10-7 • Home: 10-13 • Away: 6-18 • Neutral: 1-0
Current win streak: 3 by Milwaukee

  • Milwaukee has a 31-17 all-time series advantage with YSU, but the Penguins have won 12 of the last 19 games dating back to the 2012-13 season. YSU has won seven of the last nine meetings at the Beeghly Center.
  • Ten of the last 14 meetings with UWM have been decided by six points or less, and only two final margins since February 2015 have been in double digits. Apart from these two games, the 12 other contests were decided by an average of 4.4 points.
  • Youngstown State and Milwaukee have become rivals in the Horizon League tournament as the teams have eliminated each other in three of the past four seasons. YSU ousted Milwaukee in 2017-18 and 2018-19, and the Panthers ended the Penguins’ season in 2020-21.

Last time against Milwaukee

  • Youngstown State pushed Horizon League regular-season champion Milwaukee to a stalemate in 33 minutes, but lost 77-68 in the conference tournament quarterfinals on March 2 at the Klotsche Center.
  • Chelsea Olson posted a career record 6 for 7 on a 3-point range and scored a high 22 points to lead YSU. Former Penguin Mary Dunn scored all of her 20 points in the first three quarters.
  • McKaela Schmelzer scored a career-high 24 points and scored three of Milwaukee’s 10 3-points.
  • YSU led 36-34 at halftime and 43-36 with just under eight minutes to go in the third period. Milwaukee rallied and took a 57-55 lead going into fourth, and the Panthers had a significant 8-0 streak in the final quarter that decided the game.

LIU recap

  • Youngstown State led LIU 38-14 in the second and third periods and finished with a 70-55 victory Friday at the Beeghly Center.
  • YSU forward Lilly Ritz once again dominated the post as she finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds while adding five steals in 26 minutes of action. It was her third straight 20-point effort and second double-double, and she became the first Penguin to finish with at least five interceptions in a game since February 27, 2020.
  • Youngstown State finished the game with 14 steals, his record against a Division I opponent in head coach John Barnes’ nine seasons. YSU made 15 interceptions twice under Barnes – against Muskingum on December 20, 2019 and against Ohio Valley on December 19, 2014. The previous record against a Division I opponent was 13.
  • Chelsea Olson scored 12 points, and she hit milestones in rebounds and assists in the win. His eight rebounds against the Sharks have given him 705 rebounds in his career and his four assists have given him 402 in his career.
  • Mady Aulbach added a career-high seven assists and four steals in her third straight game in the starting lineup.
  • The Penguins had six turnovers and started 1-on-9 on the field in the first period, but they weathered the poor offensive start and distanced themselves in the final three quarters. YSU led for 32:46 in the game, and he was ahead in double digits for the final 23 minutes. In the final 3:45, the Penguins worked with players who didn’t have a lot of playing experience as LIU pressed their starters to reduce the final deficit by nine points.
  • Lexi Wagner’s 3 points at 8:26 of the second period ended a streak of 17 consecutive misses by the Penguins beyond the arc. YSU missed its first five tries against LIU and its last 12 at Detroit Mercy on November 20. In total, YSU spent 45 minutes between 3 runs scored, an odd stretch for a team that has led the Horizon League in 3 seconds per game for seven straight seasons.
  • After Wagner’s trey, Lindsey Mack’s 3-point score at 5:49 gave the Penguins a 21-12 lead. The lead hit double digits for the first time at 23-12 over Paige Shy’s basket with 3:03 remaining, and the biggest difference in the first half was 28-12 when Olson buried a 3. points with 33 seconds remaining in the second period. . YSU was leading 49-24 at the end of the third period, and the lead peaked at 27 at 51-24 with 9:17 remaining.
  • The Penguins still struggled with turnovers at times and committed a season-high 24. These turnovers resulted in 19 points for LIU. On the other hand, YSU forced a season high at 22 turnovers and scored 26 points on them. YSU’s top ball handlers Olson and Aulbach had 11 assists and just four turnovers.


  • Youngstown State will host Green Bay on Saturday at 1 p.m. There will be a half-time teddy bear throw to benefit Akron Children’s Hospital, and it will also be a Veterans Appreciation Game presented by NECA IBEW.

About Marc Womack

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