Youngstown State (9-8) at Milwaukee (5-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Klotsche Center (3,400) -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Television: Sports32. Home Record: YSU 4-2, Milwaukee 5-3. Away Record: YSU 5-4, Milwaukee 0-8. Neutral Record: YSU 0-2, Milwaukee 0-2. Conference Record: YSU 1-3, Milwaukee 1-3. Series Record: Milwaukee leads, 24-7.
GAME NOTES: A couple of teams tied for seventh place in the Horizon League standings get together at the Klotsche Center on Saturday night, as the Milwaukee Panthers play host to the Youngstown State Penguins.
Both programs have won just one of their first four league bouts, and it is Milwaukee that is shooting for back-to-back conference wins this time around. On Thursday night, the Panthers defeated Cleveland State in a rather surprising outcome, 69-57, snapping a three-game slide in the process and winning for the first time against another Division I program since topping Northern Illinois in overtime back on Dec. 7 at home.
As for the Penguins, they fell to just one game over .500 two nights ago when they lost to Green Bay at the Resch Center, 67-58. The loss was the second in a row and the third in four tries for a program that actually has more wins away from home (five) than it does in Youngstown (four) so far this season.
As far as the all-time series is concerned, the Panthers are ahead by a count of 24-7 dating back four decades now. However, the Penguins have shown signs of life recently with consecutive wins over Milwaukee.
Despite shooting only 28.1 percent from the floor in the first half against Green Bay, the Penguins had to be somewhat surprised at the fact that they were tied at the break, 25-25. Unfortunately, the luck for the visitors ran out in the second half when they connected on 33.3 percent and were subsequently outscored by nine points. Kendrick Perry led the way for the Penguins with 21 points, adding six rebounds and six steals, while Blake Allen chipped in with 10 points, although he shot just 3-of-13 from the floor, with all but two of those attempts coming from behind the 3-point line. Playing more than 33 minutes per game, Perry is clearly the go-to guy on offense for YSU with his 16.3 ppg, but at the same time he is more than willing to get his teammates involved in the action with a high of 72 assists. Damian Eargle (12.0 ppg) handles the action in the paint with almost seven rebounds per game and an impressive 57 blocked shots over the course of 17 contests.
Austin Arians scored a game-high 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Milwaukee Panthers stunned the Cleveland State Vikings by 12 points in Horizon League action at the Klotsche Center two nights ago. Also having a strong game for the Panthers was Paris Gulley with 17 points and eight rebounds, followed by Ryan Haggerty with 12 off the bench. Jordan Aaron handed out 11 assists, one more than Cleveland State had on the night. The Panthers overcame 16 turnovers and just 11-of-18 shooting at the free- throw line by outscoring the visitors beyond the arc on the night, 36-21. Although he has played in only 12 of the team's 18 games, Gulley is the one to turn to on offense with his 15.9 ppg. Also in the mix is Aaron (14.2 ppg) as the pair have both made better than 84 percent at the free-throw line, but less than 40 percent of their shot attempts from the floor overall. Aaron also brings the added dimension of being a passer with his 73 assists, then again someone has to do it since no one else on the roster has more than 17 dishes.
Milwaukee probably caught lightning in a bottle the last time out, considering it is being outscored by an average of seven points per game right now. As long as Eargle shows up for the visitors on Saturday, expect a win for the Penguins on the road once again.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 68, Milwaukee 62
01/19 10:41:22 ET