Men’s and Women’s Basketball Near End of Regular Season

By Christina Sainovich

Freshman guard Maddie Schires made four 3-pointers, giving her the record for the most 3-point baskets made by a freshman in Youngstown State University history, when the women’s basketball team hosted Cleveland State University at the Pink Game on Saturday.

The women’s basketball team showed out during the game, and after going back-and-forth with their rival, the Penguins dominated the second half, winning 84-72.

Penguins coach John Barnes said the win was instrumental for the rest of the season. 

“We’re trying to get on a run to get some momentum,” he said. “Hopefully get us a chance to host a tournament game.”  

Junior McKenah Peters, still fresh off an injury, scored 18 points in the contest to lead the team. 

Freshmen Jen Wendler and Quinece Hatcher tallied 14 points, and junior Chelsea Olson was consistent once again with 12 points, six assists and six rebounds.  

YSU surpassed its season-high conference scoring total in the win. 

Saturday’s victory was the first in six games for the Penguins, who have faced more than their fair share of injuries this season. The win puts them at 12-13 overall and 5-9 in the Horizon League. 

Penguins guard Geoff Hamperian celebrates on the bench after the team makes a big play. Photo courtesy of YSU Sports Information

Barnes touched on the win and how important it was for the team.

“We needed a win in the worst way,” he said. “Obviously, we hadn’t won in a while, and that takes a toll on the players, the coaches. It’s just tough when you’re putting in the work and you’re not winning games”

The women will host the University of Detroit Mercy on Friday and Oakland University on Sunday. These will be the last two home games of the season for YSU.  

The men’s basketball team completed its Michigan road trip with a win at Detroit Mercy and a loss at Oakland. 

On Thursday, the team beat the Titans, 76-72. Junior Garrett Covington had 16 points in the win while shooting 8-12 from the field. Junior Naz Bohannon continued his outstanding play with 13 points and eight rebounds. 

Detroit Mercy made a late push, going on a 10-0 point run in the last two minutes of the game. This cut YSU’s lead to just two, but the team was able to hang on for the win. 

Saturday’s game at Oakland was a different story. The Penguins trailed for most of the contest, falling 72-64. 

Senior Devin Morgan recorded a game-high 20 points, and Bohannon put up his sixth double-double of the season. Their efforts weren’t enough to push past the Golden Grizzlies. 

Penguins coach Jerrod Calhoun said offense was a problem in the Oakland game.

“We did not make any shots. … Both times we played Oakland, we didn’t score the basketball,” he said.

Youngstown State University freshman Maddie Schires set the freshman record for most 3-pointers in a season in the game against Cleveland State University. Photo courtesy of YSU Sports Information

Bohannon said the team is trying to learn from its loss and move forward. 

“We told the guys that we had the opportunity to get our 16th win and punch a postseason berth right then and there. It obviously didn’t happen. We’ve got to wake up and be ready to play the whole entire game,” he said. 

After the road trip, YSU is tied for third with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in the Horizon League with an overall record of 15-12 and a conference record of 8-6. 

“Coach [Calhoun] called it ‘the gauntlet’ yesterday and even after the game,” Bohannon said. “I just tried to get the guys to understand the importance [of] it. We’ve got four games. We can go out with a bang.”

“We can win all four, go 19-12, and everybody will be talking about us. Or we can lose all four and be 15-16. Everybody will talk about us in a negative way.”

This week, the team returns home to host Wright State University on Thursday and Northern Kentucky University on Saturday in its final home games of the regular season.