Rout of Stony Brook is YSU’s fifth win in November
By Joe catullo JR.
Youngstown State coach Bob Boldon took three of his five starters out with approximately six minutes remaining in Friday night’s game against Stony Brook.
Brandi Brown, Melissa Thompson and Liz Hornberger kept the seats warm and watched the others go to work. Brown and Thompson enjoyed the time off with smiles and laughter, especially when Amanda Barger banked a 3-pointer with 2:25 remaining in the game.
Even though the Penguins won 76-43, Hornberger maintained a stern and determined look while motivating her teammates to do better. She acted as a player-coach throughout the night, whether it was the game’s first second or the last.
“You guys are seeing the version that we saw in practice last year, and I think that’s maturity as well,” Boldon said. “I don’t think I’ve coached a kid that understands our offense as well as she does and what we’re trying to do defensively. Her basketball mind is phenomenal.”
Hornberger finished with a game-high 15 points (five 3-point field goals) as the Penguins improved to 5-1. This is just the second time in team history YSU has won five games in November.
“When she’s on the floor, our offense is better whether she’s 5 of 10 [shooting] like she was tonight or if she would’ve been 0 of 8,” Boldon said. “Our offense is better when she’s on the floor because of her ability to talk and get people in the right spot.”
Friday night’s game occurred three nights after a heartbreaking 66-64 defeat at Northern Kentucky, the Penguins’ lone loss this season. YSU led by two with two seconds remaining before blowing the game.
Hornberger said she’s at least happy it happened against a non-conference opponent.
“While the confidence is building, we have to maintain a humbleness because I think that’s what really got us the last game,” she said. “You can’t go into every game thinking, ‘Hey, you know, they’re not as good as us, and we can just show up and win.’ ”
Boldon said he did not know what to expect Friday after Tuesday’s loss.
“You never know exactly how you’re going to respond until it happens,” he said. “That was a heart-wrenching loss. I thought we came out with a lot of energy. It got a little sloppy midway in the first half, but then [we] came out in the second half and really executed well.”
YSU visits Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Monday.