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YSU WOMEN Penguins face tough task in stopping skid



Published: Fri, February 18, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



They travel to nationally ranked UW-Green Bay carrying a four-game slide.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State is coming off four consecutive losses and its next game, Saturday, will be at Wisconsin-Green Bay, which is ranked nationally in both national polls.

"It's probably not the best scenario to be coming off four straight losses and going to Green Bay, but as I told my kids, this is a new day and anything can happen," said YSU coach Tisha Hill.

The Penguins (9-15, 3-10 Horizon League) have dropped six of their last seven games, with the lone victory an impressive one, 79-67 over second place UW-Milwaukee at Beeghly Center on Jan. 29.

The Penguins are 6-6 at home this year and 3-9 on the road. In their first meeting with Green Bay at Beeghly Center on Dec. 15, the Penguins dropped a heart-breaking 53-51 contest.

"We've watched that film of our first game with them hoping that we can pick up something to take up there on Saturday," Hill said. "You never know, this has been an up and down year, especially with our work effort and that's one thing that we need to be up this week."

Phoenix on the rise

Green Bay (22-2, 13-0) is ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll and No. 23 by USA Today/ESPN.

The Phoenix have won 16 consecutive games and clinched at least a share of their seventh consecutive Horizon League regular season title Thursday against Cleveland State.

YSU is coming off two consecutive disappointing home losses against Wright State and Butler, losses that dropped the Penguins into eighth place in the conference.

If the standings were to remain the same at the end of the year the Penguins would play host to No. 9 Cleveland State in the league tournament's play-in-game March 1 at Beeghly Center.

"In a long season like this, you have to be able to overcome adversity, especially now when you need the momentum going into the tournament," Hill said. "The long season makes it tough to stay focused, but I'm hoping this team will be focused for the rest of the way."

Hill says that she expects her team to be hungry for a win going to Green Bay.

"After four straight losses, I know they are hungry, now we have to just go up there and see how we can play," she said.




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