Oakland (11-19) at Youngstown State (15-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 7:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beeghly Center (5,100) -- Youngstown, Ohio. Television: HLN. Home Record: Oakland 9-5, Youngstown State 11-3. Away Record: Oakland 2-11, Youngstown State 2-12. Neutral Record: Oakland 0-3, Youngstown State 2-0. Conference Record: Oakland 6-9, Youngstown State 6-9. Series Record: Oakland leads, 6-4.
GAME NOTES: The Youngstown State Penguins will try to put an end to a two-game skid as they host the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in Horizon League action in either team's final regular season contest at the Beeghly Center.
Oakland has dropped two of its past three games, and five of its last seven altogether. The Golden Grizzlies were taken down by conference-leading Green Bay on Thursday, 71-63, and fell to 6-9 in Horizon League action.
Youngstown State has lost two in a row and six of its last eight matchups. The Penguins have had a rough campaign up to this point, recently capped off by a tough 70-69 overtime loss to Cleveland State. YSU is tied with Oakland in the conference standings at 6-9.
Oakland holds a slim all-time series lead over Youngstown State, 6-4. The Grizzlies created some breathing room in the series by defeating the Penguins, 86-85, in Rochester, back on Jan. 31.
Green Bay, the Horizon League leader, found itself down by 15 points to Oakland on Thursday night, and had to rally in order defeat the Golden Grizzlies. That's exactly what the team did, connecting on 65.4 percent of its shots in the second period. Duke Mondy led the Grizzlies with 17 points in the game, adding six steals but turning the ball over a whopping eight times. Corey Petros netted 14 points with a team-high eight rebounds, and Kahlil Felder dished out a team-best eight assists. Travis Bader, the NCAA's all-time leader in 3-point field goals, connected on just 1-of-9 from long range.
Bader is the team's leader in scoring this season with 19.6 ppg on 38 percent shooting from the floor. Bader moved into first position in the all-time NCAA history books in 3-point makes earlier this season, and he currently sports a 40.8 shooting percentage from distance, having hit 131 shots from 3-point range this year. Petros checks in at 13.1 ppg with a team-leading 8 rpg and 14 blocked shots. Mondy scores 12 ppg, and Felder tops the squad with 181 assists.
Youngstown State trailed Cleveland State by one point at the end of the first half, but kept pace with the Vikings in the second frame and tied the score with just under three minutes to play in regulation. Neither team scored in the remaining time, and the Vikings scraped by in the extra period for the one-point win. Ryan Weber and Kendrick Perry each tallied 17 points to lead the Penguins, while Kamren Belin netted 16 points with eight rebounds. Bobby Hain notched a double-double with 10 points and 17 boards in the loss for YSU.
This Youngstown State team puts up plenty of offense (76.3 ppg), but can't seem to stay competitive defensively to win close games like the one on Tuesday night. Kendrick Perry tops the team with an impressive 20.6 ppg average on 50 percent shooting from the field. His 125 assists on the year are second only to D.J. Cole's 133 total assists. Weber is second in scoring at 11.9 ppg, and Belin is third with 11.7 ppg. Hain leads the team in rebounding with 7.6 rpg, adding 11.2 ppg to his resume.
Both teams have some top-notch scorers that could go off at any moment. However, neither team has been able to keep up with its competition defensively this season. Youngstown State has a very healthy home record at 11-3, which should improve with a bout against the Grizzlies.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 78, Oakland 72
03/01 11:52:38 ET