By Jordan Boitnott
Last weekend was full of mixed results for Youngstown State University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. The women’s team split the weekend at Robert Morris. According to YSU Sports Information, they lost Friday 61-46 and recovered Saturday with a 71-64 victory. The men’s team lost both games this weekend at home to Detroit Mercy 78-75 Friday and 77-72 Saturday in heartbreaking fashion.
Friday, the women had arguably their toughest game of the year. As a team, they shot 20.6% of shots in the second half going 6-29. They were only down two at halftime and down five entering the fourth. Freshman Nneka Obiazor was the Penguins’ high-scorer with 16 points. The loss snapped a five-game win streak.
Saturday, the girls were able to recover with a hard-fought comeback victory. They went into the half down 12 points. In the second half, the Penguins got hot, scoring 25 points in the third quarter. Mary Dunn led the way with 17 second half points and 25 total. She also led the team with 11 rebounds. The women stayed two games over .500 by progressing to a 6-4 record.
The men had a tough weekend at home against Detroit Mercy. They played well in both games, but came up short.
Friday night, the Penguins made 13 shots from beyond the arc, a season high. That wasn’t enough though, as the 73-73 tie was broken with 48 seconds left by Detroit Mercy guard Bul Kuol. YSU freshman Shemar Rathan-Mayes attempted a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer and missed. Senior Garrett Covington led Penguin scorers with 24 points.
Saturday was just as tough of a loss. The Penguins had a three-point lead with 2:34 remaining in the game after Rathan-Mayes made a 3-pointer. After scoring six straight points to take the lead, they didn’t score another point. Detroit Mercy went on to score eight straight points on free throws. Naz Bohannon was the high-scorer, rebounder and led the team in assists. He boasted a 20/11/6 slash line. After the weekend, the men dropped to 11th in the Horizon League with an 8-10 record.
In his postgame press conference after Saturday night’s game, YSU men’s basketball head coach Jerrod Calhoun said the team has been through a lot but there is a lot of basketball left to be played.
“I don’t know if everyone truly understands what this team has been up against, but in the end if you stay together and you stay the course, the reality of it is it’s coming down to a three game tournament or a four game tournament. So, a lot of basketball to be played,” he said in a press conference airing on YSU’s youtube channel Jan. 31.
The men will travel to Robert Morris this weekend for their two-game series, while the women will be at home in the Beeghly Center for their two-game series against Purdue Fort Wayne.