Unbeaten Jaguars stifle Penguins


By Brian Dzenis

bdzenis@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

When John Barnes looks at his women’s basketball team in the macro, the Penguins fared well.

The Penguins (6-9, 2-1 Horizon League) went 4-2 in a six-game homestead — the longest in school history. It started with three-game win streak before a loss to Oakland closed out 2017. The Penguins bounced back with a win against UIC on Thursday.

Then there’s the micro, his Penguins dispatched by the League’s only unbeaten team, IUPUI, in a 65-43 defeat on Saturday at Beeghly Center.

“I don’t feel that bad about winning four of our last six and losing to a really good team,” Barnes said. “It is what it is, you have to play better to beat great teams.”

IUPUI (11-3, 3-0) is riding a three-game winning streak. YSU was concerned about stopping guard Danielle Lawrence, who entered the game averaging 17.5 points. They did that, holding her to four points, but it was the other guard averaging 8.5 points who was the problem.

Sydney Hall made all four of her three-point attempts in the first half as the Jaguars built a 37-28 halftime lead on 43 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

For the whole contest, Hall made six threes in a career-high 24-point performance. She was the only Jaguars player in double figures.

None of the things YSU did well on Thursday carried over into the weekend. Rebounding and shooting efficiency in particular took a step backwards.

The Penguins shot 28 percent from the floor, including a 5-for-22 mark from three.

Saturday’s loss featured two five-minute stretches where the Penguins failed to score.

The nadir for YSU shooting was a 2-19 fourth quarter. The Penguins were outrebounded, 44-26.

“If we finish better, we don’t have those droughts,” Barnes said. “We have some shots that we could have made and we didn’t make them and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Sarah Cash was the only starter that made more than two shots from the floor and finished the game with 11 points.

The other four starters — Anne Secrest, Indiya Benjamin, Nikki Arbanas and Chelsea Olsen — were a combined 6-of-26 for 16 points. The next highest individual scorer was Mary Dunn, who came off the bench for seven points and a team-high five rebounds.

Eight of the Penguins’ next 10 contests will come on the road. The Penguins return to Beeghly Center on Jan. 25 to face Northern Kentucky.

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