Calhoun vents after Ursuline’s Hughes, Wright State dominate against YSU men

Calhoun vents after Ursuline’s Hughes, Wright State dominate against YSU men

By Greg Gulas

sports@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Wright State has asserted itself as one of the favorites to win the Horizon League men’s basketball title this season.

The Raiders showed why they also could be one of the mid-major teams to watch come tournament time. Former Ursuline High standout Mark Hughes is a big part of that equation.

Hughes scored 15 points and was one of four Raiders double figures as Wright State (18-7, 10-2) defeated YSU, 83-57 to remain atop the conference standings along with Northern Kentucky (17-7, 10-2), a 78-61 winner over Cleveland State on Saturday afternoon.

In addition to Hughes, who had nearly 50 friends and family members in attendance, Cole Gentry added a game-high 21 points, Jaylon Hall 16 markers and Loudon Love 14 points.

After starting the game by canning just two of their first 10 field goal attempts, the Raiders finished a blistering 27 of 41 (65.9 percent) from the field.

With YSU holding a 9-2 lead barely five minutes into the game, Hughes hit two of his five triples to key a 14-0 WSU run as they forged a 16-9 advantage, opened a 29-17 lead and settled for a 40-25 margin at the intermission.

“I would say we just played our game today. Last game against Cleveland State we didn’t do that, but tonight we were ourselves out there,” Hughes said. “We moved the ball, took good shots and other than needing to take better care of the ball, we just played within ourselves.

“When we were down 9-2, that run was big for us. I made a couple shots, helped out and that got my confidence going, especially in the second half. It’s exciting to come home and play well in front of everyone. It’s always fun playing here.”

He said YSU is definitely a team on the rise.

“They’ve turned up the tempo and play a lot faster than we’ve been used to in the past,” Hughes said. “They crash the glass really hard and have some workhorses inside. It puts a lot of pressure on your defense because they turn those first shots into second chance points. It’s really hard to get a rebound against them. They have some big bodies out there that work really hard.”

Penguins’ (6-19, 4-8) head coach Jerrod Calhoun was visibly frustrated by his team’s performance.

“I thought tonight was total, total domination. Very, very disappointing for the entire organization,” Calhoun said. “You can’t just blame kids anymore, you’re not allowed to do that so I take full blame.”

Calhoun expressed disappointment for the 5,371 fans in attendance.

“I was involved in a few jobs and the common theme I kept hearing about Youngstown was that they want a winner in basketball,” he said. “Well, you saw that tonight. All those little kids that were lined up out the door, all those people that were sitting in the end zone and on the sides, it kind of makes you sick for them.

“I feel very, very bad for them because they paid a lot of money, that’s hard work because tickets cost a lot of money and we put on a performance like that. It’s very, very shocking because I thought we were ready to go.”

Braun Hartfield led the Penguins with 20 points while freshman Naz Bohannon had a game-high 13 rebounds, narrowly missing a double-double by a point.

His two free throws and a triple at 11:44 of the second half cut the Raiders’ deficit to 57-40, but the closest they could get the rest of the way was 14 points at 59-45.

“After that 9-2 run we stopped putting the ball in the basket,” Hartfield said. “We wanted to get into our press early and when you don’t score, you can’t get into the press. Personally, that’s on us. We gotta grow up and we gotta say when we can’t score, we have to stop our man from scoring. We just continue to bleed and continue to bleed and then let it go.”

The loss was the Penguins’ fourth straight and ninth in their last 10 outings.


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