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YSU women hurt by injuries to Davis, Touvelle

Published: 11/13/13 @ 12:06


By Joe Scalzo

scalzo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

When Youngstown State women’s basketball coach John Barnes was hired last March, he knew he’d have to find a way to replace Brandi Brown.

He didn’t know he’d have to replace Shar’Rae Davis, too.

Davis, who made the Horizon League’s all-newcomer team last season as a freshman point guard, likely will be out until at least January with an undisclosed medical issue, Barnes said. A source familiar with the situation said Davis hasn’t been able to attend classes and is at home in Grand Haven, Mich.

“I’m not going to go into too much depth [about the medical issue] but we’re hoping to have her back probably in January, but that’s not even for sure at this point,” said Barnes, whose Penguins lost to VCU 85-66 in Saturday’s opener. “She’s doing everything she can to try to get back as quickly as she can.

“It’s pretty big [her loss]. We’re going through some growing pains and trying to get some different options in there [at point guard] to maneuver people into different positions and fill that gap.”

YSU’s guard depth took another hit recently with an injury (again undisclosed) to senior Monica Touvelle, a Boardman High graduate who will likely miss three-to-four weeks, Barnes said.

“We’re not sure [when she’ll return]; it depends on how she heals up,” Barnes said. “[Having her] would have helped tremendously against their [VCU’s] 2-3 zone.”

The Penguins’ biggest problem against VCU was turnovers. Point guard Liz Hornberger, who has mostly played shooting guard in college, started in place of Davis and struggled, committing 10 turnovers while shooting just 1 of 8 from the field.

YSU did get big contributions from junior forwards Heidi Schlegel, who scored a career-high 27 points with nine rebounds, and Latisha Walker, a transfer from Xavier who had 18 points and 10 rebounds in her YSU debut after sitting out last season.

Walker became the first Penguin to post a double-double in her YSU debut since Jen Perugini in 2001.

“First game in two years, I was nervous but I was excited,” Walker said. “I didn’t know what type of numbers I was going to put up but I knew I would do well because I was willing to work hard and do what I had to do and try to win.”

YSU will play host to Buffalo tonight. The Bulls (1-0), who beat Binghamton 65-47 on Friday, went 12-20 last season, including 8-8 in the Mid-American Conference.

“Right now we’re thinking, ‘OK, we did some things,’ but like Coach Barnes said, there are things that we can improve on,” Walker said. “Basically, we beat ourselves so we know what to change. Therefore, we can go out [tonight] and win.”