By Joe Catullo Jr.
Before Saturday night’s game, Green Bay coach Kevin Borseth spoke to Youngstown State’s Bob Boldon about how the Penguins are quickly turning the program around.
“He’s a great coach, he’s got a great coaching philosophy, and he’s got some really good players and they’re young,” Borseth said. “They’re going to be a force to be reckoned with as time moves forward.”
The Phoenix, though, stopped the Penguins’ clock and 1,000th game celebration in a 59-41 victory. The 41 points is a season low as the Penguins (11-5, 1-2) averaged 1.025 points per minute. The Phoenix (14-2, 4-0) was faster, taller, stronger and any other ‘er’ words one can think of.
“They either did a nice job or we did a poor job,” Boldon said. “You guys write whatever story you want.”
The Phoenix held a five-point lead at halftime despite 14 Penguin turnovers. YSU even trailed by one with 16:13 remaining in the game thanks to two straight 3-pointers by Liz Hornberger.
Similar to Hornberger, Monica Touvelle hit consecutive 3-point field goals in the first half that gave YSU momentum and cut the deficit. But an elbow from a teammate with 11:26 in the first half slowed Touvelle down even though she returned.
“Those two kids can shoot,” Borseth said. “Man I’ll tell you what, I was watching all of them after practice. It was just one after another.”
Borseth also said the biggest difference was Jenny Gilbertson, who hit three 3-pointers in the second half that halted any YSU comeback attempt.
“I thought the whole second half they did better than us,” Boldon said. “You can pick any point in the second half.”
Brandi Brown finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, both team-leading statistics, but struggled throughout making only four shots in 12 attempts.
“She can do everything,” Borseth said. “She can drive, shoot threes, shoot post shots, she rebounds like a bear, she’s a handful to guard, and I think our kids really had to concentrate on her tonight.”
The loss comes two nights after the Penguins celebrated their 500th victory on Thursday. On Saturday, the Phoenix celebrated YSU’s 500th career loss.
Boldon said a game like Saturday’s is discouraging after any type of game, even Thursday’s 17-point victory.
“You should come in and work hard; that should be the bare minimum,” he said. “It shouldn’t be negotiable or decided when you’re going to play hard or not play hard.”
The Penguins are off to Cleveland State on Thursday and return home Saturday to face Loyola.
“We just got a good look, and we’re not nearly as good as any of those good teams in the conference,” Boldon said. “You can either pout [and] hang your head, or you can get to work tomorrow and try to get better. We’ll try to get better and see if we can get them out of the bottom of this conference for the first time in a decade. They really exposed a lot of our weaknesses tonight.”