By Jeff Brown
It was a series of unfortunate events for the Youngstown State University women’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon as the women fell to the University of Detroit-Mercy 69-68 on a last second lay-in.
With17.4 seconds remaining and leading 68-67, YSU failed to get a shot off and were charged with a shot-clock violation opening the door for the Titans.
“They played good D. You have to get the shot off when the ball is your hands and its winding down,” YSU head coach John Barnes said. “We dribbled it out, and that’s a mistake that hopefully we learn from and don’t make again.”
Detroit forward Haleigh Ristovski took advantage of that opening by knocking down a clutch lay in with 1.6 remaining.
On YSU’s final possession, once again the Penguins failed to get a shot off. Barnes said the design was to get the ball to forward Sarah Cash in the low post, but the pass was arrant and trailed out of bounds.
“It was going to Sarah. We just didn’t really let her get to her spot. We threw it to quickly,” Barnes said. “With 1.6 there’s not a whole lot you can do.”
In the first half, YSU leading scorers Cash (15.8) and Nikki Arbanas (11.4) battled foul trouble and were limited to a combined 10 minutes. Cash picked up her second foul just over four minutes into the game, while Arbanas totaled three fouls in only six minutes of play.
Cash finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds in only 23 minutes, while Arbanas had only nine points in 25 minutes.
“That obviously killed us. Her [Cash] and Nikki sat out most of the first half,” Barnes said. “So we had to play differently. We had to put different people on matchups we don’t want and they took advantage of it in that third quarter.”
Senior Janae Jackson suffered an apparent right ankle injury and was helped off the court early in the second quarter. Jackson did not return to the game, but was on the bench in a walking boot.
“I have no idea, I haven’t talked to her or the trainer,” Barnes said. “To lose your starting power forward who is our most athletic and second leading rebounder, that hurts.”
The loss drops the Penguins to 15-7 and 6-5 in Horizon League play. Up next the Penguins travel to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for a matchup with the top ranked team in the conference.