By Nathanael Hawthorne
After a win against Canisius College earlier in the week, the Youngstown State University women’s basketball team came into the game against Kent State University with high expectations.
The Penguins lost in overtime 81-73.
Compared to last season, the team played better basketball. The Golden Flashes demolished YSU 62-34, but this year was a different story. After a shaky start, YSU came together after the first quarter to lead Kent State for the majority of the game.
“I think it was a hard fought game against a good team,” Penguins coach John Barnes said. “[We were] in a position to win the game. They did either a good job of taking it away from us or we did a good job of giving it to them.”
In regards to giving the game away, the team had 22 total turnovers and rebounding. YSU grabbed 36 total boards and nine offensive rebounds. Kent State on the other hand had 41 rebounds and 18 of them were on the offensive side.
“Turnovers and offensive rebounds were the difference,” Barnes said.
For the Penguin offense, the team shot 45.2% from the field and 7-23 from 3-point range. Going into halftime, YSU made one three on five attempts. That changed quickly when freshman Maddie Schires connected for three quick three-pointers.
“Maddie did a great job, got in there and did what she was supposed to do in terms of knocking down shots,” Barnes said.
Taylor Petit, Mary Dunn and McKenah Peters were the leading scorers for the Penguins. Petit had 17 points, six assists and seven rebounds. Dunn had 13 points and grabbed three boards. Peters also had 13 points and six rebounds, despite not playing in the second quarter.
Petit said she believes the defense was the strong part of the game for the Penguins.
“We played well defensively. We just gotta limit the turnovers and do better on the rebounds,” Petit said.
The Penguins travel to Robert Morris Nov. 13 for their first road game of the year. To help prepare for the game, Barnes said he believes the team needs to get tougher.
“We just were very soft,” Barnes said. “I think our toughness was not there when it came down the stretch. Throughout the game we played hard and we were pretty tough, but when it came to crunch time, we had a lot of bad turnovers and mental mistakes.”
From a player standpoint, Petit thinks the team can learn from the mistakes and they need to take a step back and realize that it was a really big game.
“Being in there as long as we did and competing as hard as we did throughout the entire four quarters plus overtime. … We can take on take on any team that we wanna take on. We just gotta show up every day,” Petit said.
After the quick road trip, the Penguins are back at Beeghly Center to take on Eastern Michigan University.