YSU women’s basketball team on a roll


By Joe Catullo Jr.

sports@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown State coach Bob Boldon walked into Monday’s press conference as always getting ready to answer questions.

Sporting a black hoodie, red gym shorts and a pair of red Nike shoes, he took on a different role playing his own sports information director with John Vogel out sick.

Before Melissa Thompson spoke first, Boldon didn’t miss a beat.

“Melissa’s here today because she guarded [Taylor] Johnson really well Saturday night and has really been the key resurgence with her on-ball defense,” Boldon said. “And she’s got a stunning personality. And she usually says good things about me.”

“We’ll take questions for Melissa Thompson,” SID Trevor Parks said.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Boldon said walking away. “You guys ready? We’ll take questions for Melissa.”

The happy atmosphere carried over from the Penguins’ last two games — Saturday’s 75-38 victory over Loyola and Thursday’s 72-63 win at Cleveland State.

“Sometimes we’ll win a game and just try to ride on that energy,” Thompson said. “We were able to take that energy from practice and put it on the floor. Energy is definitely a big thing. We know that’s what allows us to win when we have more energy that the other team.”

Boldon said Saturday’s game was “probably” the best he’s seen in his third year with YSU, but it was only one game.

“I think you get better by doing it again and again and again,” he said. “I think the message is that this is great, this is a lot of fun, but it’s over and we got to go play again on Thursday, and UIC could care less about the score of our game.”

The Penguins (13-5, 3-2) will face UIC on the road Thursday. January could end January as their best month this season. YSU is 4-2 so far this month, averaging 62 points per contest.

It’s the lowest point total in one month as they averaged 69.2 in November and 65.5 in December, but points per game against them is 53.7. YSU allowed 54 in November and 63 in December. Also, the first two months featured no conference games while this month included five.

Even with these statistics, Thompson said it’s not the best fans will see all season.

“Coach told us that no team plays their best in January,” she said. “Right now we’re just trying to get better, and we can’t let the Loyola game be what defines our season. We have to continue to improve every game and in each practice.”

Boldon did everything Vogel normally does during conferences. Another job Boldon did that he normally doesn’t is look at the standings. He saw them and noticed his Penguins are in second place behind Green Bay.

“Hopefully, we like it,” Boldon said. “Hopefully it’s a place that our players want to be and want to work hard to stay there. As you know it’s five games in, and there’s a long way to go. We’ll continue to work to try to stay in that position and hopefully one day move up a spot.”

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