Fouls sink Penguins up north
Wisconsin-Green Bay's final 15 points came at the line.
VINDICATOR STAFF/WIRE REPORT
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Youngstown State saw its chances of holding on to the sixth and final home-court seed in the Horizon League tournament drop considerably Wednesday night.
Wisconsin-Green Bay was 33-for-47 at the free throw line and defeated the Penguins 69-53.
The Penguins (8-16, 4-9 Horizon) took 21 more shots than Green Bay and made more field goals (20 to 17), yet still suffered their 27th consecutive road loss. YSU is 0-12 away from Beeghly Center this season.
YSU still leads the Phoenix (9-17, 4-10) by a half-game for sixth place in the Horizon standings. Wright State and Cleveland State are both 3-10.
Critical of officials
"I thought the referees tonight were the worst I've ever seen," said YSU coach John Robic. "When a team scores one field goal in the last 12 minutes and still wins the game by 16 points something is wrong.
"I thought we were prepared for this game," he added. "It becomes frustrating when you have to keep digging yourself out of a hole every game."
The Penguins, who shot just 37 percent (20-of-54), were led by sophomore Doug Underwood, who scored 11 points. Freshman Andy Jahnke tied his career high with nine points, but junior Adam Baumann scored just two points before fouling out with 2:51 remaining. Baumann had a team-high seven rebounds.
Khari McQueen and Marlon Williamson also fouled out. YSU was whistled for 32 fouls to Green Bay's 18.
Greg Babcock scored with just over 12 minutes remaining to give the Pheonix a 47-35 lead. They scored only one more field goal the rest of the way, that coming with just over six minutes remaining by Mike King.
During that stretch Green Bay 19-for-30 at the foul line. The Phoenix's final 15 points of the game came on free throws.
YSU trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, and by 15 early in the second half.
But the Penguins got to within 48-42 on TeJay Anderson's basket with just under nine minutes remaining. And a score by Jahnke made it 52-46 with just over six minutes to go.
However, YSU scored just three baskets in the final five minutes.
The Penguins play host to Butler Saturday at 7 p.m. before finishing the regular season at Detroit (Feb. 27) and Illinois-Chicago (March 1).