By Kyle Wills
The Youngstown State University women’s basketball team will try to regain momentum in Wisconsin following Sunday’s loss to Oakland University. The women now sit at 18-3 for the season and 12-2 in conference play.
The Penguins started the weekend homestand with a victory Jan. 28 over the University of Detroit Mercy 78-59. They got multiple players involved offensively as five players were able to score at least 12 points.
Seniors Lilly Ritz, Chelsea Olson and Megan Callahan, as well as junior Paige Shy and sophomore Malia Magestro, all scored in double figures.
Olson was a rebound shy of a triple-double as she finished with 12 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds. Despite lighting up the stat column, she just wants the team to come out victorious.
“Sometimes I’d rather be far away from it than miss it by one rebound. It’s still a good number and still helps our team,” Olson said.
Offensively, the women shot 41.9% from the field and 30% from 3-point range. However, they struggled at the line as they converted only 68% of their free-throw attempts.
Defensively, the Penguins held the Titans to 38% from the field and 26% beyond the arc. The team was also able to force 20 turnovers.
Two days later, Youngstown State was defeated by four points in comeback fashion against Oakland 56-52. The Penguins entered halftime with the lead but fell apart in the fourth quarter, being outscored 20 to 10.
Ritz recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds while Olson and Shy also helped the offense with 14 and 13 points.
It was an off day for the Penguins as they shot only 36% overall and 17.2% from long range. The team also had 16 turnovers, seven coming in the fourth quarter.
In the contest, the Golden Grizzlies shot 42% overall and 25% from beyond the arc. They also converted 83% from the charity stripe.
The Golden Grizzlies were matching the Penguins’ intensity. Shy said during the game, the team’s sense of urgency wasn’t there.
“I feel like they outworked us and wanted it a little bit more. Coach said they outscored us 20 to 10 [in the fourth quarter]. I feel like we need to learn from it and move on,” Shy said.
Head coach John Barnes said it was an off night for the Penguin offense and the team can’t win with a performance like that.
“We missed a ton of open shots. I felt like it just wasn’t our day. We had open [3-pointers.] We had open layups all day. You can’t do that against a good team and [Oakland’s] a good team,” Barnes said.
Youngstown State will look to remain in first place in the Horizon League as it takes a road trip to Wisconsin this weekend as the match up against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay tonight and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5.