By Jeff Brown
The Youngstown State University Men’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking last minute 63-62 loss to the University of Green Bay on Wednesday.
YSU drops to 10-17 overall and an abysmal 1-11 in Horizon League play.
The Penguins dug themselves into a hole early and trailed 13 points with just over 8:00 minutes left in the first half. YSU seemed lifeless and had eight turnovers in the game to this point, until a hard flagrant foul against Green Bay sparked a 10-0 run for the Penguins, and eventually gave them the momentum to take a 33-31 lead going into the half.
“We didn’t turn the ball over,” head coach Jerry Slocum said. “You go and turn it over and they go and score. When you’re throwing it out of bounds you get a chance to set your defense up. A pretty disappointing night I thought our kids deserved more.”
The Penguins came out in the second shooting extremely well from the floor, especially from behind the three-point line (6-8 in second half), and were able to jump out to a 10 point lead with just over eight minutes left in the game. Marcus Keene led the way for the Penguins in the second half hitting five three-pointers to give him 15 of his game-high 21 points and his eighth 20 point game this season.
“He’s played well all year. He’s had some up and downs, but that’s expected from a young guy going from a league for the first time like he has,” Slocum said.
The final eight minutes however, were a disaster for the Penguins. They only managed to score one bucket and turned the ball over numerous times including 10-second backcourt violation.
“It was terrible basketball by our part. You know they went out to the zone. I don’t think we even had a whole lot of good looks. We took two timeouts. A lot of that bothered us a little bit but again its just turnovers,” Slocum said. “Its hard to get shots up when your turning the ball over.”
Even with all the turnovers and lack of offense, YSU still had the ball in their hands with a chance to win it at the end of the game, but point guard DJ Cole’s last second jump shot fell short, hitting the front of the iron and gave YSU its fourth straight loss.
“We obviously wanted to go to Marcus and they guarded it,” Slocum said.
The Penguins look to end their loosing skid on Sunday when they travel to Dayton Ohio to take on Wright State University.