YOUNGSTOWN - Shawn Amiker received a text from Youngstown State coach Jerry Slocum Sunday night.
Slocum saw his junior guard hit a game-tying 3-pointer as his Penguins forced overtime against Detroit, but YSU eventually lost.
"I texted him last night to tell him how proud I was of him," Slocum said. "Obviously the disappointing thing was we didn't capitalize on that tremendous effort. He played special. He stepped up when we needed him and did a tremendous job. I'm happy for him."
Amiker, who had a career-high 25 points, was quick to deflect praise to his teammates.
"I went out there confident. I knew I had to step up," he said. "My teammates found me when I was open. I just capitalized. It wasn't just my single performance.
"They put me in a position where I could make the best of my position."
Can YSU (13-12, 4-6 Horizon League) succeed against the league's top team - Green Bay (19-5, 9-2)? The two play tonight at 7:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.
The Phoenix is the tallest team in the league with 7-foot-1 center Alec Brown and his 73 blocks. Greg Mays (6-9) and Jordan Fouse (6-7) combine for 67 swats. The Phoenix have 178 blocks this season, averaging 7.4 per game - ranking them second in the nation behind St. John's (N.Y.) with 193 for an eight blocks per game average.
Taking care of the basketball will be the key for YSU to have a chance against Green Bay.
"It's not easy to get to the rim. Then, they turn you over and get to 8-10. That's where a key for us is," Slocum said.
IT'S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE: The Youngstown State women's basketball team has lost three straight at Cleveland State, Wright State and Oakland.
CSU and WSU are at the top of the league and the Grizzlies had a hot shooting night against the Penguins.
YSU (10-12, 6-3) are tied for second with WSU (17-7, 6-3) and CSU (11-11, 6-3) in the conference. Green Bay (14-7, 7-2), has won the league title every year since the late 1990s when the league was called the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, is sitting in first place.
YSU started league play with a six-game winning streak.
"I think people reacted to the six-game winning streak," said YSU coach John Barnes, whose team hosts Valparaiso (3-18, 1-7) on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. "We had played well, but we were also at home. Green Bay didn't shoot the ball well against us. Some of that had to do what we were doing, but they had an off night. UIC did a good job defensively, but they shot the ball well.
"I tried to keep the six-game winning streak in perspective and try to keep the three-game losing streak in perspective."
INJURY UPDATE: YSU sophomore forward Ryan Weber broke his nose during a recent practice and is questionable for tonight's Green Bay game.
He will be fitted with a protective mask this week.
"I think there's a better side to yes on Saturday's game," Slocum said of Saturday's home game against UIC.