NKU WBB hits the road for Youngstown State

Northern Kentucky women’s basketball begins its final road swing of the regular season on Thursday, Feb. 16, traveling to Youngstown State for a 5:15 p.m. ET tipoff. The game will be the first of three games that the Norse will play in a five-day span on the road, with the trip also including matchups against Cleveland State and Oakland. Thursday’s tilt against the Penguins will be carried on the ESPN3 platform with Drae Smith and Michael Yourstowsky on the call. Fans can stream the game live on computers, tablets and smart phones through WatchESPN and the ESPN App.

Northern Kentucky (8-17, 4-9 HL) at Youngstown State (8-17, 4-10 HL)
Thursday, Feb. 16 – 5:15 p.m. ET
Youngstown, Ohio – Beeghly Center

Live Stats | ESPN3 Broadcast

LAST TIME OUT: The Norse were subject to their fair share of shooting woes on Saturday, Feb. 11, falling to Valparaiso in a low-scoring affair, 41-32. Both teams shot under 25.0 percent for the game, with NKU connecting on 10-of-47 from the field. Senior guard Kelley Wiegman led the Norse in scoring with 12 points for her third-straight double-digit performance, while junior forward Kasey Uetrecht had a strong afternoon on the boards with 13 rebounds.

SCOUTING YOUNGSTOWN STATE: Like NKU, Youngstown State holds an 8-17 record on the season with four wins in Horizon League action. The two teams were in a similar situation the last time they met, when both were searching for their first League win on Jan. 7. The Norse put on a strong three quarters, but the Penguins battled back to tie it up by the end of regulation and force overtime, which NKU went on to win in its highest-scoring game of the year, 87-81.

The Penguins rank in the middle of the Horizon League in scoring offense at 67.8 points per game, but are at the bottom of the League in scoring defense as YSU allows 73.9 ppg. Youngstown State is one of the best in the League when it comes to sharing the ball, averaging 15.7 assists per game to rank just behind Green Bay and Detroit Mercy, while also boasting the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the League at 1.07, sitting just outside the national top 50 in the category.

In terms of individual standouts, Youngstown State has one of the top point guards in the League with Indiya Benjamin dishing out 5.6 assists a game to rank 28th in the nation. Benjamin has also been one of the top scorers for the Penguins with 11.2 ppg, while Allison Smolinski and Mary Dunn have been posting 11.5 and 11.3 ppg, respectively. Smolinsky scores most of her points from beyond the arc, as she leads the League in 3-pointers per game with 2.78 and is third in 3-point percentage at a .405 clip.

NKU has faced Youngstown State five times in the history of the two teams with a 4-1 all-time record against the Penguins, but the Norse have not dropped a matchup to YSU since joining the Horizon League in the 2015-16 season.

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Chloe Smith
Assistant Athletic Communications Director
Northern Kentucky University

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