Tuesday, March 2, 2004
The Penguins won at UW-Green Bay. Tonight, they open at Butler.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
Youngstown State's basketball teams begin play in the Horizon League tournament tonight.
The men (8-19) play at Butler's (14-13) Hinkle Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on WNIO-AM (1390).
The Penguins are the seventh seed in the tournament after finishing Horizon League play with a 4-12 record. Butler is the No. 6 seed with an 8-8 conference mark.
The winner of this game will play Wisconsin-Green Bay Friday night in the quarterfinals. If the Penguins win, that game will be at Illinois-Chicago.
If Butler loses, UIC will play host to the quarterfinals and semifinals because UW-Milwaukee, the top seed, has an arena conflict.
In other first-round games tonight, No. 4 Detroit plays host to No. 9 Cleveland State, and No. 5 Wright State entertains No. 8 Loyola.
Model of success
Youngstown State is hoping for a repeat performance of last season's first-round tournament game. At UW-Green Bay, the No. 7 Penguins defeated the sixth-seeded Phoenix 65-61.
However, Butler has won 72 of its last 79 games at Hinkle Fieldhouse and is 10-4 at home this year. The teams played there less than a week ago, with Butler winning 81-76.
The Bulldogs defeated YSU 67-66 in overtime at Beeghly Center in January.
The Penguins are 1-6 all-time against the Bulldogs and have lost the last six games. However, five of those six losses have been by nine points or less.
YSU is 1-2 in the Horizon League tournament and 8-14 all-time in conference tournaments.
The women's team will try for a repeat performance when it visits Wright State.
The game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast on WBBG-FM (106.1).
The Penguins (4-23, 2-14 HL) won only one road game this season, but that came at Wright State on Feb. 12, 54-42.
YSU is the No. 9 seed and Wright State (8-19, 5-11) is the eighth seed.
The winner of today's game will travel to the tournament's No. 1 seed, UW-Green Bay on Thursday.
The other quarterfinal games Thursday will have No. 2 Wisconsin-Milwaukee playing host to No. 7 UIC, No. 6 Loyola at No. 3 Detroit and No. 5 Butler at No. 4 Cleveland State.