Lost and found: Green Bay’s second-half surge sinks YSU

YOUNGSTOWN – Green Bay coach Kevin Borseth was visibly frustrated on the team bus following Saturday’s game against Youngstown State.

He was furiously sifting through some of his items and flustered, slamming an item or two on the empty vehicle parked behind the Beeghly Center.

Borseth’s team won by 18 points. So what was the problem?

Borseth was a bit more composed coming off the bus. He lost his iPhone.

“They got it back at the hotel,” he said.

The Phoenix, on the floor, found something in Jenny Gilbertson.

She made back-to-back 3-pointers with 12:57 left and found something for the Horizon League’s top team – a 59-41 victory.

“Jenny Gilbertson hit some 3s and that was the difference,” Borseth said. “We kept a better eye on (YSU’s Liz Hornberger) and (Monica Touvelle). Those two kids can shoot. I watch them warm up in practice and they were shooting one after another. I was thinking, ‘Do you ever miss?’ “

Hornberger and Touvelle both had two 3s in the first half to pace the Penguins, which stayed step for step with the Phoenix for the majority of the first 20 minutes.

Unlike the lost iPhone, YSU never recovered in the final 20 minutes. YSU coach Bob Boldon was quite despondent in the post-game news conference.

“They were tougher than us,” Boldon said. “… I though the whole second half they outworked us. They did a good job of executing their game plan. I thought their offense was better than our defense. And, their defense was significantly better than our offense the second half.

“You could pick any point in the second half, stop the game and look at it and they worked harder and better than us in the second half.”

In the first half, 14 YSU turnovers put Green Bay right back into the game. Lydia Bauer’s 3 at the end of halftime gave the Phoenix (14-2, 4-0 Horizon League) at 24-19 lead at half.

Bauer had 12 points, while Stephanie Sension led all scorers and Green Bay with 15 points. The 6-foot-3 forward had most of her shots in the paint, where the Phoenix held a 30-12 lead.

YSU couldn’t recapture the same momentum it had in the first half, with some sporadic 3s and hard-nosed defense.

That wasn’t the only thing rough and tumble about the game. Bodies were hitting the floor seemingly coinciding with the basketball dribbling the first half.

It was so rough that Boardman native Monica Touvelle got an inadvertent elbow from her own teammate after hitting two 3s to start the game. Touvelle, who had a career-high 23 points against Milwaukee, was limited to those two 3s after sitting a couple minutes after that elbow.

Meanwhile, YSU was led by Brandi Brown’s 10 points and 11 rebounds.

“She’s really good,” Borseth said. “She can drive. She can shoot 3s. She posts up. She defends really well. She rebounds like a bear. She’s a handful to guard. I think our kids concentrated on her tonight.”

Saturday’s performance wasn’t they way YSU wanted to play following Thursday’s domination over Milwaukee, 67-50.

“It’s discouraging no matter what day of the week it is,” Boldon said. “Your minimum to play college athletics is you should come in and you should work hard. That should be the bare minimum. It shouldn’t be negotiable or deciding when you’re going to play hard or not or that nonsense.

“It’s disappointing.”

For the Penguins (11-5, 1-2), they have dropped to the bottom of the league.

“I think we got a good look that we’re not nearly as good as any of the teams in the conference,” Boldon said. “You can either pout and hang your head or get to work tomorrow and try to get better.

“We’ll try to get better and see if we can get out of the bottom of this conference for the first time in a decade. But, we’ve got a lot of work to do. They really exposed a lot of our weaknesses tonight.”

Thursday, YSU is at Cleveland State.