Penguins seeking big sweep
The Youngstown State men's basketball team will be on the road tonight for a big Horizon League contest against Loyola in Chicago at 8 p.m.
It's another chance for the Penguins to make a move on one of the league's top teams.
YSU knocked off the Ramblers when it played them at Beeghly Center last month 76-71 in one of its best-played games of the season. The Ramblers are only 4-4 in the league, but took Butler to overtime before losing last Thursday.
While the Penguins are on the road tonight, most YSU fans will be getting ready for Wednesday night's big home clash with Butler at Beeghly Center.
The Bulldogs were ranked No. 11 in the ESPN-USA Today poll and No. 14 in the Associated Press poll going into this week.
If those rankings stay the same or go up, the Bulldogs will be the highest nationally-ranked team ever to play against the YSU men at Beeghly Center.
In fact, the Bulldogs, who were also ranked in the Top 25 back in 2002-03 season, will be only the second ranked team to play against the Penguins at home since they moved up from Division II to Division I-A basketball back in 1978-79.
YSU will be homefor much of February
The Penguins (9-12, 4-5 Horizon) will begin a big home stretch against Butler in which they will play five of their next six games at Beeghly Center.
One of those games will be the ESPN2 Bracket Buster Saturday on Feb. 17 when the Penguins will be a host team.
The pairings for those Bracket Buster games are scheduled to be released today.
Just who the Penguins opponent will be is still a mystery, although several teams keep popping up from around the area, including Bowling Green, Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Kentucky.
The games are usually arranged according to the teams RIP rankings, both home and away.
YSU is the 28th Bracket Buster team in home RPI rankings, while Pacific is the 28th Bracket Buster ranked road team. It is highly unlikely that Pacific will come all the way from California to play the Penguins.
The Penguins are trying to snap a three-game road losing streak tonight against the Ramblers. They haven't won on the road since beating Kent State on Dec. 22.
Women's team getsmuch needed victory
The YSU women finally put together a complete game on Saturday in their 65-55 win over Cleveland State.
The Vikings played a horrible first half, but a lot of that had to do with the YSU defense, which forced 17 turnovers and held the Vikings to just 15 points.
It's never good when you make more turnovers than points and the Penguins know a lot about that.
It was also good to see junior center Jessica Schloemp come out and play the way she's capable of playing.
She had 18 points and seven rebounds, and was a force for the Penguins against the Vikings.
For all you football diehards, spring football practice will get under way on March 29 at Stambaugh Stadium and will run through April 20, the date of the Red and White Spring Game.
Yes, it is on a Friday night again and no, I don't know why they don't play it on Saturday afternoon or evening like most other schools do.
The one and only team jersey scrimmage this spring will be held on April 14 at 9 a.m. (a Saturday) at Stambaugh Stadium.
The Penguins had another big group of recruits in town over the weekend. (I think the number was 10.)
Only thing that I've heard is that Girard High's quarterback Scooter Hargate has verbally committed to the Penguins.
There has also been a report that the Penguins have a verbal commitment from a wide receiver out of Florida.
The official signing day is Feb. 7 and the Penguins are schedule to hold an afternoon press conference to announce the signings.
Don't forget that the YSU Penguin Club's annual Ring Banquet will be o Feb. 13 at Mr. Anthony's in Boardman.
Pete Mollica covers YSU for The Vindicator. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org and read his blogs at Vindy.com.