Youngstown State women's season ends with a 63-53 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There won't be any more basketball games played at the Beeghly Center this season as the Youngstown State women failed in their Horizon League tournament opener Thursday night.
The Penguins gave Wisconsin-Green Bay a battle, but couldn't find a way to pull out a win and dropped a 63-53 contest at the Phoenix Center.
The Penguins had been designated as the host for the tournament's semifinal and final rounds, but the Penguins needed to win in the quarterfinals in order for that to happen. The remainder of the tournament will be played in Milwaukee.
The Penguins had a horrible first half, which was caused by a standout defense from Green Bay, but only trailed by nine points at the intermission, 28-19.
YSU made just five of 24 field-goal attempts in the half and also committed 13 turnovers, but the Penguins did make 8-of-11 free throws to stay close.
The Penguins got to within four points, 28-24, early in the second half, but Green Bay scored six straight points and regained control. The Penguins never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
YSU completed its season with an 8-20 record. Green Bay (23-5) moves onto the semifinals to meet Illinois-Chicago, which eliminated Wright State, 80-78 in overtime.
"I was very proud of these girls," YSU coach Tisha Hill said, "especially the way they fought back. Green Bay did a phenomenal job.
"I was especially pleased with our five turnovers in the second half after we gave it away too many times in the first half," Hill said.
"This is a young group and I'm very excited about the future of this group," Hill said. "We're going to continue to bring in players who want to work hard.
"Even though our record doesn't show it, we know just how hard these girls worked all season long."
Freshman Monique Godfrey sparked the Penguins with 13 points while sophomore Jessica Schloemp added 12 points and nine rebounds. Ten of her points came in the first half.
The Phoenix were led by Natalie Berglin with 18 points while Horizon League's player of the year, Nicole Soulis, added 13 points.
The Penguins never led in the game and only tied the score once at 2 before the Phoenix reeled off seven straight points.
Green Bay led 20-9 with less than 10 minutes to play and led by as many as 14 with four minutes remaining, 26-12.
The Penguins, who went more than nine minutes without making a field goal in the half, went on a 7-0 run in the closing minutes to cut the lead to seven points, 26-19.
The Penguins were within six points, 36-30, with less than 15 minutes remaining when the Phoenix scored 13 of the next 17 points and pulled to their biggest margin, 49-34.
YSU went on an 11-3 run to cut the lead back to seven points, but the Phoenix wouldn't let them get any closer.
The Penguins finished shooting 34.6 percent from the floor on 18 of 52, while Green Bay made 25 of 47 shots.
YSU's top scorer, Kristy Gaudiose, was held scoreless by the Phoenix defense.