The Penguins offered little sign of hope in a lifeless 65-42 loss to UWM.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State's men's basketball team is finding life in the Horizon League isn't easy - either on the road or at home.
The Penguins played host to preseason conference favorite Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wednesday at the Beeghly Center and were outclassed, outhustled and outmatched.
The visiting Panthers dominated from the opening tip and cruised to a 65-42 victory.
It was the Penguins' sixth consecutive loss, and 11th in the past 12 games, and dropped them to 3-12 overall and 1-5 in the Horizon. Milwaukee improved to 10-4, 4-1.
YSU coach John Robic was left with few answers.
"We are like Jeckle and Hyde as far as practice and games go," said Robic. "I don't know what it is."
Asked if the team could take anything positive away from the game, the coach joked, "That it's over."
Suspense gone early
It was over by halftime.
YSU's first-half stat sheet read: 13 turnovers and seven field goals. In fact, at no point did the Penguins have more made shots than turnovers, finishing with 23 miscues and 15-for-45 (33.3 percent) from the floor.
UWM bolted to a 7-0 in just more than a minute into the game off a Boo Davis 3-pointer and two fast-break buckets off turnovers. YSU's Jon Mends' layup made it 7-3 but that was as close as the Penguins would get.
The Panthers steadily padded their lead and led 41-18 at the half.
YSU had problems all night long breaking the Panther's hawking full-court press and never got into much flow on offense. At times the Penguins had trouble inbounding the ball.
& quot;We had a bad first half, & quot; Robic said. "They came out with the intensity that you need to have and we didn't."
It didn't get any better in the second half.
The Panthers kept running -- and dunking - seemingly at will and pushed their lead up to 30 points on a steal and thunder slam from Davis at the 14:15 mark. UWM finished with a 21-2 advantage in fast-break points.
Late run no consolation
The lead reached 33 points, 58-25, with 11:59 remaining before YSU closed on a 17-7 run.
The Penguins did a solid job defending UWM's Ed McCants, limiting the league's scoring leader, who averages 17 points a game, to 11 first-half points.
But that offered slight consolation for a team that was thoroughly beaten.
"They are the best team in our conference from what I have seen," added Robic. "There is a reason they were picked to win the league. They have a nice thing going up there."
Brian Radakovich paced YSU with 10 points and five rebounds but left the game early after twisting his ankle near the seven-minute mark of the second half. The extent of Radakovich's injury was not immediately known.
Davis led the Panthers with 13 points, and McCants and Joah Tucker had 11 apiece.