YSU women look to end skid against Valparaiso
By Joe Scalzo
After a 6-0 start in the Horizon League, the Youngstown State women’s basketball team has lost three straight.
But when Penguins coach John Barnes was asked if people were overreacting to the losing streak, he laughed.
“I think people overreacted to the six-game winning streak, honestly,” he said. “I tried to keep the six-game winning streak in perspective and I try to keep the three-game losing streak in perspective.”
All three losses came on the road, with two coming against Wright State (17-7, 6-3) and Cleveland State (11-11, 6-3), which are tied with YSU for second in the conference standings. While Barnes was concerned about his team’s defense in those three losses — opponents averaged 88 points a game — he said those three teams also played at a high level.
“This league’s tough to win on the road,” Barnes said. “On any night, if you’re not ready, you’re gonna get beat.”
YSU’s schedule gets a little easier over the next two games, starting today against Valparaiso (3-19, 1-8), which is tied for last in the conference standings and has already lost to YSU, 62-49, on Jan. 9. It is the Penguins’ only home game until Feb. 27.
“We match up pretty well with Valpo,” Barnes said. “Hopefully that bodes well for [today].”
The Penguins (10-12, 6-3) then play at Milwaukee (7-15, 3-6) on Feb. 23. YSU beat the Panthers, 87-71, on Jan. 18.
If they can win both, they’ll play at Green Bay on Feb. 23 with first place on the line.
“We feel like we can beat any team in the league,” Barnes said. “You’ve just got to go out and do it.”