YSU Takes an “L” in The Land

By Brent Bigelow

Coming into the Wolstein Center, the Cleveland State University Vikings men’s basketball team was looking for their first Horizon League win in the 2018-2019 campaign. The Vikings picked the right team to end their drought as they defeated the Youngstown State University Penguins 72-62.

YSU came out with the quick seven point lead in the opening minutes, but the door quickly closed.

Naz Bohannon carried the Penguins the majority of the first half, scoring seven points, which was a team high to that point.

Bohannon would finish the game with a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. He was one point away from tying his career high of 16 that he reached against Cleveland State in early 2018.

“[Bohannon] really, really tried. It’s so important in life when you’re down you fight back,” Penguins head coach Jerrod Calhoun said.  

The Penguins had a lot of fighting back to do after half time.

YSU was down by 17 points and once play commenced after the break, it continued to get worse. Cleveland State pushed their lead to 24 points with only thirty seconds into the second half.

The first half woes put YSU behind the eight-ball. The Penguins had 14 turnovers just in the first half and shot the ball at 28 percent from the field.

“When you spot a team a 17 point halftime lead, it’s hard to come back and win,” Calhoun said. “It’s even harder when you’re on the road. I think our young team got a lesson in that.”

The growing pains for YSU have been difficult and sometimes hard to watch. Out of the starting five, three are freshman and two are sophomores.

The starting freshman, Jelani Simmons, Darius Quisenberry and Olamide Pederson, have been the focal point of this program so far this season, but they only combined for seven points and shot the ball 17 percent from the field the entire game.

The starting sophomores, Bohannon and Garrett Covington, played great the first half. Covington and Bohannon combined for 13 points and 45 percent from the field, but shooting was an overall issue for the team.

At halftime YSU shot the ball at 28 percent from the field and with 14 turnovers on top of that, it spelled doom for the Penguins.

The second half was a decent effort from the Penguins. Bohannon continued his dominance with eight points, eight rebounds and a steal, but, Bohannon wasn’t the only one to light up the scoresheet in the second half.

Devin Morgan caught fire from three-point range, blasting five threes and finishing with 17 points.

Donel Cathcart III scored all his points in the second half, totalling 10 points, three rebounds and two blocks.

YSU outscored Cleveland State 42-35, only turning it over twice and out rebounding CSU 30- 15.

Despite the successes, YSU failed to improve their ball movement and shooting percentage in the second half.

The Penguins shot 31 percent from the field and only had three assists. Lack of ball movement often times led to bad shot selection and YSU’s shooting percentage reflected it.

For YSU’s next game the Penguins will travel to Rochester, Michigan to take on the Oakland University Grizzlies, who are currently ranked third in the Horizon League standings with a 12-10 record and a 6-3 league record. After their loss to Cleveland State, YSU moves to 6-16 on the season and 2-7 in league play.