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YSU BASKETBALL Victory could be on the Horizon for men Monday



Published: Sun, January 27, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Youngstown State plays at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

SPECIAL TO THE VINDICATOR

YOUNGSTOWN -- The Youngstown State men's basketball team will try to figure out a way to get back on the winning track Monday when the Penguins travel to University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to play the Phoenix.

YSU looks to snap a five-game losing streak and a 10-game road losing skid when it tips off at Brown County Arena in Green Bay at 8:05 p.m.

The Penguins (3-14, 1-6 Horizon League) battle the Phoenix (3-14 and 0-6 entering Saturday's game against Cleveland State) for the league's cellar spot, currently held by the Phoenix.

"We have to figure out a way because there is no way that I am giving up on this basketball team," Youngstown State coach John Robic said. "My staff is not giving up on this basketball team. I want them to give me the same kind of effort and I know they will."

Each team is winless on the road while having three home victories. UW-GB has not won a conference game since beating Loyola on Feb. 13, 2001, having dropped 10 straight contests. Youngstown State has not won on the road since beating UMKC on Feb. 17, 2001.

Last time out: YSU has not played since losing 85-69 at Illinois-Chicago a week ago. The Penguins opened that game with a 14-6 lead through the first three minutes, but the Flames outscored YSU 44-11 the rest of the half and were never threatened.

While YSU has not played a game in a week, the Phoenix are playing three games in five days. UW-GB lost to Detroit 52-40 on Thursday night and played Cleveland State on Saturday.

"Green Bay is going through what we went through with three games in five days, but all of those are at home," Robic said. "Just watching them on tape, they are very similar to us. The one advantage is they may shoot the ball better than we can. We are going to go up there and try to get a road win."

In five prior meetings, Youngstown State has never beaten UW-GB, including a disappointing loss in the championship game of the Oneida Bingo & amp; Casino Classic on Dec. 30, 2000 last season at the Brown County Arena.

YSU led for most of the game, including an eight-point advantage with 1:30 left in regulation. But with 0.6 seconds left, Marlon Williamson was whistled for a foul on DeVante Blanks as Blanks attempted a 3-pointer. Blanks made all three free throws to tie the score at 53 and force overtime.

YSU lost the game 66-58 after taking a 15-0 lead and having a 21-14 halftime advantage.

The contest against UW-GB will be the first of four games in eight days for YSU. Youngstown travels to Green Bay today and will return Tuesday. The next day it leaves for Wright State for the second contest of the season against the Raiders on Thursday night. YSU plays host to Loyola on Feb. 2 and Illinois-Chicago on Feb. 4 to close out a tough stretch.

The Penguins play the final game of their four-game road swing at Wright State on Thursday night. YSU defeated the Raiders 87-80 earlier this year for its lone league victory. Following the WSU game, the Penguins play five of their final eight contests at Beeghly Center.

"This is another big test for them," Robic said. "There are not that many games left, so we have to make the most of it."




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