Men’s basketball drops second game at home

Brett Thompson attempts a layup at home against Milwaukee. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

By Cameron Niemi

The Youngstown State University men’s basketball team returned home and began a three-game homestand inside Beeghly Center. 

Coming off a loss on the road against Purdue University Fort Wayne, the Penguins hosted the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Feb. 8. The ‘Guins bounced back with a 97-85 overtime victory over the Panthers.  

Fifth-year senior Ziggy Reid led the way for the Penguins with a season-high 28 points, along with eight rebounds. Fifth-year senior DJ Burns posted his 15th double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. 

Fifth-year seniors Brett Thompson and Bryson Langdon both scored 20 points, a season-high scoring for Langdon. Freshman Gabe Dynes had a career-high seven blocks coming off the bench. 

The Penguins trailed, 43-37, after the first half. Milwaukee extended the lead to eight points early in the second half. Youngstown State fought back to tie the game and eventually climbed out to a 10-point lead with under five minutes to play. 

The Panthers rallied back from the deficit and tied the score at 77 to send the game into overtime. YSU locked up defensively in overtime and capitalized on the offensive end, outscoring Milwaukee, 20-8. 

The win gave YSU its 10th conference win of the season and 12th win at home.

Youngstown State hosted first place University of Wisconsin Green-Bay on Feb. 10. Green Bay came to town with a 16-9 record on the season and 11-3 in the Horizon League conference. 

The Phoenix defeated the Penguins in a close contest, 84-83, handing YSU its second loss of the season in Beeghly Center.

Despite the loss, Burns posted his eighth straight double-double, as he scored a season-high 32 points, including five 3-pointers and 16 rebounds. Burns is ranked 4th in the country with 16 double-doubles on the season.

Thompson added 23 points along with a team-high four steals.

In the first period, YSU fought back from Green Bay’s 10-point lead and went into halftime up, 42-38. 

The Penguins extended their lead to eight points in the second half. Green Bay came back from a deficit and took the lead with under nine minutes to play. 

YSU’s offense stalled as it was held scoreless for almost six minutes. The stout Phoenix defense capitalized and took a six-point lead. 

The ‘Guins climbed back into the game and tied it at 79 with under two minutes to play. Burns hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to put the team back up by three points. 

Down three, the Phoenix scored a layup with 15 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one. YSU was sent to the line, making just one of two free throws to put them up by two. 

With seven seconds remaining, Green Bay drilled a 3-pointer which led to their victory.

Head coach Jerrod Calhoun spoke on the loss and gave high praise to Green Bay’s success this season. 

“They’ve been doing this all year, this is no surprise,” Calhoun said. “We just had a lot of breakdowns — lack of discipline, throughout the game. When you don’t guard and you’re constantly putting pressure on your offense, you’re not getting easy baskets. You’re gonna lose.” 

YSU moves to 18-8 on the season and 10-5 in the Horizon League. The team is sitting in third place with five games remaining in the regular season. 

Burns spoke on the tough loss and focusing on the team’s mistakes heading into the final stretch of the season.

“I feel disappointed,” Burns said. “As one of the leaders, I’m gonna take it on the chin — we’re gonna be right, we’re gonna win — make sure this doesn’t happen to us no more this year.”

Youngstown State rounded out its homestand on Feb. 14 as they hosted Robert Morris University. To see the final score of the game versus RMU, visit 

YSU will begin a three-game road trip at 3 p.m. on Feb. 17 against Cleveland State University. To watch the game, visit ESPN+ or listen on 570 WKBN.