New year, but same place: Can YSU erase bad taste?
By Joe Scalzo
Bob Boldon’s press conference was a few minutes old before a reporter finally got around to asking the about the inevitable.
“You were there last year and you lost by 59 points,” the reporter said. “What can you take from that?”
“Thanks for bringing that up,” the YSU women’s basketball coach said, drawing laughter. “What can we take from it? I can honestly tell you there was not one bright spot in that entire game. We may not have done one thing right the entire game.
“Hopefully we’re a better team this year.”
The Penguins should be, since no YSU team was ever worse. Green Bay scored the first 26 points and led 49-8 at halftime. The 59-point margin of defeat was the largest in YSU history, two points worse than a 99-42 loss to Pittsburgh in 2008.
YSU will head back to Green Bay on Thursday for the first time since that defeat. The good news is, the Penguins (8-8, 2-3 Horizon) are off to their best start since 2007-08. The bad news is, 12th-ranked Green Bay (15-0, 5-0) is in the midst of a school-record 35-game winning streak.
“Thirty-five, really?” said Boldon, whose team has lost two straight. “Yeah, that’s pretty good. That’s better than our current win streak.”
Monday’s press conference was surprisingly funny — “I decided the last couple were a little dry,” Boldon said — and when a reporter asked about Green Bay suffering a Packers-related hangover, Boldon smiled.
“That’s a good idea,” he said. “I don’t know if we should wear some New York Giants gear up there. That might not be a bad idea.”
Eh, that might not be a good idea.
“We could always tell them we’re San Francisco 49ers fans, right?” Boldon said. “They might buy that.”
Green Bay has either won or shared the last eight Horizon League titles and leads the league in attendance at 1,801 per game. (Saturday’s opponent, Milwaukee, is second at 1,440 and YSU is third with 827.)
“They get the biggest crowd and they’re the best team,” Boldon said. “And it’s a long way from Youngstown. You put those things together and it makes for a difficult road trip.”
But Boldon and his players have made this season about winning and not just being competitive and backup guard Monica Touvelle said that won’t change this week.
“Green Bay is a great team but we’re not just gonna play to be close,” said Touvelle, a Boardman High graduate. “We want to play to win.”
Would a Packers hangover help?
“Yeah,” she said smiling. “Hopefully the town is a little sleepy this weekend.”