YSU suffers loss to Akron
The Penguins played poorly in a 71-60 defeat at Beeghly Center.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State men's basketball coach Jerry Slocum doesn't like to play non-conference games once the league season is underway.
Especially when his team plays the way it did on Tuesday night.
The Penguins (7-8) shot poorly, missed too many free throws and turned the ball over too many times in a 71-60 loss to Akron at Beeghly Center before 2,091 fans.
"What you saw out there was a very poor performance by us against a very good basketball team," Slocum said. "We didn't shoot well, missed way to many free throws and turned the ball over too many times," he added.
"I don't like playing non-conference games after the league begins and this was a typical example as we were coming off a big league win on Saturday and then had a complete let down. It was a poor performance on our part."
A poor effort
The Penguins shot 38 percent from the field (30 percent in the first half) and were 18-for-27 from the foul line, while committing 21 turnovers.
YSU did do a good job on the boards, outrebounding the Zips 46-33, including 18 offensive rebounds, which helped the Penguins outscore Akron 20-10 in the paint.
The Penguins were once again led by seniors Quin Humphrey and Keston Roberts, the only two in double figures.
Humphrey finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, but he also had a game-high eight turnovers, while Roberts added 15 points.
The Penguins had two players in double figures in rebounds as sophomore Jack Liles pulled down 11 and junior John Barber added 10, both had five offensive boards.
Akron (9-3) was led by Quade Milum with 17 points, Nate Linhart with 15 and Romeo Travis with 12.
"We just didn't come ready to play tonight," said Humphrey. "We came in here with the wrong mind set and we let the coach down and everybody down."
The Penguins never led in the contest and the closest they ever got was early in the contest when they trailed 5-4 after the Zips had jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
Akron threatened to break the game open several times, but the Penguins managed to battle back time and again.
The Zips jumped out to a 10 point margin 25-15 with 7:12 left in the first half, but Roberts hit back-to-back baskets, one a 3-pointer to pull the Penguins to within five 25-20.
Akron's Travis scored seven straight points in a final 11-3 run just before intermission to give the Zips a 36-23 edge at halftime.
Zips biggest lead
Linhart scored eight points in the first 10 minutes of the second half leading the Zips to a 19-point advantage 54-35, but that was their biggest margin of the contest.
Two straight baskets by Humphrey and another by Barber cut the Akron lead to 12 points 62-50, but the Penguins would get no closer until Barber's long 3-point shot with 35 seconds left made the final score 70-61.
The Penguins are now idle until Saturday when they return to Horizon League play with a road contest at Detroit that will begin at 4:05 p.m.
YSU will return home for a pair of contests first on Jan. 11 against UW-Green Bay at 7:05 and then on Jan. 13 against UW-Milwaukee in a 7:35 tip-off that will be part of a doubleheader with the YSU women playing Detroit in the opener.