YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The YSU Women’s basketball team is off to their best start ever in Horizon League play. The Penguins are undefeated through their first six conference games. They are 12-1 overall and sit in first place with a two game lead.

One of the keys to that early success has been the defense.

It’s been crucial,” says YSU head coach John Barnes. “We’ve focused on that since the team got here this summer. We’ve talked over and over about how that’s going to be the difference in us possibly winning a championship or finishing mid-pack.

Right now, the Penguins are the best in the league, holding opponents to less than 56 points per game. They’re also lighting it up from long range again this season, shooting better than 34% from behind the arc, with 25 more three-pointers than the next best team.

Through the first 13 games, YSU has become the team to beat.

“Teams come in here and they have nothing to lose and we have everything to lose,” says Penguins senior Lindsey Mack. “Everyone wants to beat us.”

“When you’re in first place, it doesn’t matter what team is coming that you’re going to play, they’re coming here or you’re going there, they understand that they have to play their best game,” added Barnes. “They can play loose because the pressure is on us now. They’re trying to catch us and we’re trying to stay where we’re at.”

Next up, the Penguins will play their first league road game in over a month. They take on Wright State this Friday at 6 p.m.