YSU women to be tested against Toledo
Thursday was the Youngstown State women’s basketball team’s first postseason victory in 15 years.
The last time they won was an NCAA Tournament victory over Memphis.
Thursday, inside the Beeghly Center, YSU handled Indiana State in the first-round of the WNIT.
It was the return of 6-foot sophomore forward Heidi Schlegal, back after being out for about a month with a knee injury.
She had 12 points off the bench and looked strong in her return.
“Unbelieveable,” Schlegal said. “There’s no words to describe it.”
YSU doesn’t have too much time to revel in the victory as the Penguins (23-9) travel to Toledo (28-3) for today’s second-round WNIT game starting at 2 p.m. at Savage Hall on the Rockets’ campus. The Rockets are 14-1 at home and beat Butler 63-49 on Thursday.
Naama Shafir, Imma Zanoguera, Yolanda Richardson and Andola Dortch all average close to double figures for Toledo. Shafir, Zanoguera and Richardson accounted for 71 percent of the Rockets’ offense.
The Rockets limited Butler to 34.7 percent from the floor. YSU’s defense clamped down as well, holding Indiana State to 32.3 percent.
“They’re really, really good,” YSU coach Bob Boldon said. “It will be a great challenge. It will be something our kids will be open to. They’ve accepted challenges pretty well this year. It’ll be the biggest one we’ve had.
“It’s something I’m looking forward to as well. We don’t have a lot of prep time, but neither do they. We’ll go out there and play basketball.”
It’s a quick turnaround for YSU.
“It’s almost like conference,” Schlegal said. “We play on Thursday and turn around and play on Saturday the last two months.
“We’ll be fine. We’ll be good.”
It’ll be another game against a physical team, like the one YSU faced in Indiana State.
“In tournaments, officials are going to let you play a little bit more,” Boldon said. “They’re not going to call as many hand checks and ticky-tack fouls.”
In the last game, Horizon League Player of the Year Brandi Brown led five YSU players in double figures with 16 points and 10 rebounds against the Sycamores to post her 23rd double-double of the season. Shar’Rae Davis and Schlegel each scored 12, while Karen Flagg and Liz Hornberger finished with 10 each.
Speaking of Hornberger, she suffered an ankle injury in Thursday’s game.
“She had 14 rolls of tape on her ankle,” Boldon said. “Liz is a tough kid. She’ll get her treatment and do what she’s got to do.”