Women's Basketball Team Highlights from 2011-12
In the first of two stories recapping the successes of the 2011-12 Youngstown State women's basketball season, here are team highlights from Head Coach Bob Boldon's second campaign.
Looking at the Big Picture
It's hard to ignore the improvements that the program has made in just two years under head coach Bob Boldon. Right before Boldon's arrival, YSU went 0-30 in 2009-10 and lost games on average by 25.8 points. Only two Horizon League games that season had a final margin fewer than 10 points. In 2011-12, YSU's scoring margin was minus-2.9, a 22.9-point improvement from two years ago. The Guins won 10 games – more than the previous three years combined. They lost three league games by more than 10 points – 15 fewer than two years ago. For YSU's improvement, Boldon received votes for Horizon League Coach of the Year from his peers.
Improvement on the Road
After having just one road win combined in the past three seasons, and the Penguins had six in 2011-12. The Penguins won five straight road games for the first time since the 1997-98 season, beating IPFW, Bucknell, Loyola Marymount, Ohio and Akron in succession. It was also YSU's first five-game road winning streak against non-conference foes in school history. YSU's 91-81 win at IPFW on Nov. 13 was the program's first road victory against a non-conference team since Dec. 21, 2007.
Competitiveness Shows Growth
Although YSU finished 4-14 in Horizon League play, it either beat or had a one-possession game with under a minute left in regulation against every team in the conference. Seven of the Penguins' final 10 losses were by five points or fewer. Two were in overtime to Wright State, the third-ranked team in the conference, and league champion Green Bay. The Phoenix was ranked 11th in the nation when YSU lost to it in overtime on senior day. Another tough loss came on a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left to fifth-ranked Butler. YSU also lost an overtime game to UIC, which finished fourth in the conference standings.
Draining 3s in League Games
In its 18 Horizon League games, YSU made a conference record 188 3-pointers – an average of 10.4 per game. The previous record was 130. Wright State ranked second in the league with 7.2 3-pointers per game during conference play, 3.2 fewer than YSU. Wright State and Green Bay were the only other league teams to make at least 188 3s during the regular season. YSU shot 35.9 percent from distance in league play, up from 29.7 percent in non-conference games.
Guins Among NCAA's Best at 3s
Through games leading up to the Sweet 16, YSU ranks fifth in the country with 9.2 3-pointers made per game. Florida Gulf Coast, led by YSU head coach Bob Boldon's mentor Karl Smesko, leads the nation with 10.7 per game. YSU averaged 10.4 3-pointers in Horizon League play and 10.8 at Beeghly Center.
Guins Break Season Records for 3-Pointers
YSU set school and Horizon League records for 3-pointers made in a season, making 275 in 2011-12. The previous record was 205 last season. The Penguins also attempted a school and conference-record 828 3-pointers. In conference play, YSU shattered the previous record for makes. The Penguins converted 188 3-pointers during conference play, 58 more than the previous record. YSU also set a record for attempts during conference play with 523, and its 16 3-pointers at Loyola tied a conference record.
New 3s Game Record at Loyola
YSU set a new school record by making 16 3s at Loyola on Feb. 11, breaking the old mark of 15 (which was matched this against Detroit on Jan. 26). YSU made at least 12 3-pointers eight times in 2011-12, which equaled the number of times it made at least 12 during a game in the first 36 years of the program. YSU is one of 10 teams in the country that made at least 16 3s in a game this season.
Youngstown State possessed the top scoring bench in the Horizon League during the season. The Penguins' reserves averaged 19.5 points per game, which was 3.2 points more than second-place Butler. YSU outscored its opponent's bench 14 times in 18 conference games and 22 times in 30 overall contests. The biggest edge came against UIC on Jan. 14 when YSU outscored the Flames' bench 31-5.
Additional Team Offensive High Marks in 2011-12
- YSU's 38.4 percent field-goal shooting was its best since 2005-06.
- YSU's .337 3-point percentage is its highest since shooting .363 from distance in 2004-05.
- YSU averaged 64.6 points, which was its best since averaging 66.0 points in 2001-02.
- The year before head coach Bob Boldon arrived, YSU shot 30.6 percent overall and 26.3 percent from 3-point range. The Penguins also averaged just 48.6 points in 2009-10, 16 points fewer than 2011-12.
- The Penguins scored 91 points at IPFW on Nov. 13 for their highest total since scoring 92 at Valparaiso on Jan. 31, 2008.
- YSU shot at least 40 percent in six straight games from Nov. 25 to Dec. 18. That was the longest streak by the program since 2000-01.
- YSU's 57.1 percent shooting against Detroit on Jan. 26 was its best since making 57.4 percent at Green Bay on Feb. 16, 2006.
Odds & Ends
- YSU had four shooters rank in the top five in 3-point field-goal percentage during conference play
- YSU's 25-point win over Western Michigan on Nov. 30 was its first victory by at least 20 points since Nov. 21, 2006.
- YSU won at least four games in November for the third time in school history.
- The Penguins started the season 7-5, which was their best start since 1999-2000.
- YSU went 3-1 against teams from the Mid-American Conference, beating Akron, Ohio and Western Michigan. Horizon League teams went a combined 19-10 against MAC schools.
- YSU earned a 3.51 team GPA during the fall semester, and Brandi Brown, Kelsea Fickiesen, Liz Hornberger and Devan Matkin all had a perfect 4.0.