Brown, Penguins look to erase losing skid

The Youngstown State University women’s basketball team returned home on Sunday after dropping two straight games in Wisconsin.

Head coach Bob Boldon said in Monday’s press conference that the Penguins simply did not score enough points or play good defense.

“The trip to Wisconsin is always a difficult one to make,” Boldon said. “I think those are two bears we’ve got to continue to fight through. For the first time on that trip, the bench wasn’t as good as they’ve been for us leading up to the trip.”

The Penguins (8-10, 2-5) fell to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Thursday, 75-50, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday, 76-68.

The Penguins are winless overall against the Panthers in their career, while they played the Phoenix during a then 35 regular season game-winning streak.

Junior forward Brandi Brown said in the press conference that the team hit mental lapses.

“We haven’t come in with the right mentality,” Brown said. “We’re just making sure we’re keeping up with the hard work and fixing the problems that we know we can fix that will help us win games.”

Brown added that physical fatigue comes along with mental fatigue.

“They kind of go hand in hand sometimes, but I think that at this point everyone’s facing physical fatigue, so it’s something everybody’s battling,” Brown said. “We got to fight through those mental fatigues.”

Boldon said turnovers killed, but are fixable. The Penguins committed 38 turnovers during the two games, including 28 on Thursday.

“The turnovers are a simple answer, and that’s definitely something we need to improve on,” Boldon said. “That’s something very tangible that you can measure.”

Boldon added that ill-advised passes caused most of the turnovers.

“We do passing drills every day, believe it or not,” he said. “I think it’s got to improve by the amount of pressure and the level of competition we have in practice.”

Boldon and Brown also hinted on the defensive struggles, stating that 151 points allowed in two games are too many.

“The biggest improvement I think is our defense just not letting one breakdown lead to many breakdowns right after,” Brown said. “It’s recognizing what’s wrong or recognizing how to fix those things and fixing them right away.”

Brown compiled 35 points and 18 rebounds during the two-game stretch.

One aspect Boldon said he likes is Brown’s development in understanding the team’s struggles.

“As much as she’s developed as a basketball player and from a physical standpoint, mentally Brandi’s made great strides and understanding of what we do well, continuing on what we need to do better and holding her teammates accountable for that stuff,” Boldon said.

The Penguins look to end their current four-game losing streak and improve their 2-5 home record on Thursday against the University of Detroit Mercy.

The Penguins also play host to Wright State University on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader. The men’s program hosts Cleveland State University in the nightcap.