Different opponents, sites for YSU teams
Horizon League teams figured out a trip to the Beeghly Center meant nothing more than 40 minutes of pain and misery.
The Youngstown State women’s basketball team hopes to inflict some more of what its done for the better part of the previous two months, going 9-0 against the rest of this 10-team grouping.
If there were ever a team even with YSU the last couple of years it would be Milwaukee. The two teams have had six contests decided by four or fewer points. Then the third-seeded Penguins (21-8) dismantled sixth-seeded Milwaukee (15-14) on Feb. 17 by 20 points. It was the tail end of a three-game winning streak and YSU won eight of its last nine games.
The Penguins have led by at least 12 points in at least 12 of the 16 home games, Milwaukee included. Tonight, it’s a new test for this prolific YSU team which is as good as anyone in this league as the two play in a quarterfinal at the Beeghly Center, starting at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, the Horizon League honored Mary Dunn as the league’s sixth person of the year. Dunn averages more than 14 points in Horizon League play and more than five rebounds.
Lordstown native and redshirt senior Sarah Cash was a second-team league selection, averaging 13.3 points.
Then there is Chelsea Olson, a second-team Horizon League selection. She averages about 10 points a game, but leads the team with 6.7 rebounds per game.
This YSU team is about fundamentals and defense. It has been that way since coach John Barnes took over the program in the 2013-14 season.
They’re smart, too. Dunn, Cash and Melinda Trimmer all were named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District and Horizon League All-Academic Teams.
The YSU men need to break their three-game losing streak as the sixth-seeded Penguins (12-19) travel to third-seeded Oakland (15-16), tonight starting at 7 in a Horizon League quarterfinal.
The last time the Penguins were at the Oakland (Michigan) campus, about a half-hour north of Detroit, they beat the Golden Grizzlies to start a six-game winning streak.
Darius Quisenberry, the team’s leading scorer with 16.3 points in league play was a catalyst down the stretch to lift YSU to that win on a below-zero night in Michigan.
Tuesday, he was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman team and to the league’s second team.
Sophomore Garrett Covington has been YSU’s best defender, but the Penguins might be without the 6-foot-5 guard who has been fighting an illness. He is questionable for tonight. Covington was named to the league’s all-defense team.
The men’s team needs a strong defensive presence tonight against Oakland, something the women’s team has had on its own court most of the season.