YSU women run out of steam against Green Bay
YSU women unable
to duplicate first half
By Brian Dzenis
It’s tough to hang with — let alone defeat — a nationally ranked team.
The Youngstown State women’s basketball team had No. 21 Green Bay on the ropes in the first half, but ran out of gas in the second as the Penguins were knocked out in the Horizon League Tournament semifinals with a 66-45 defeat.
“They just came out in that third quarter with a lot more energy and made it tougher for us to score and it was tough for us to stay in the game,” YSU guard Indiya Benjamin said. “They’re just really good.”
YSU failed the third quarter test for a third time in three meetings with the Phoenix, all of which ended in defeat.
The Penguins mustered eight points in Wisconsin in the first contest, then the Penguins went scoreless in Beeghly Center before putting up just five points on Monday.
“We sat and talked for 15 minutes at halftime. The coaches are saying, ‘What are we going to do? What are we going to do?’ and came up with absolutely nothing,” Green Bay coach Kevin Borseth said. “Right at the start of the second half, we just went with generic, tight movement and it worked. It was blind luck. It really was. I thought it got us into a rhythm.”
Starting in the final two minutes of the first half and stretching through the whole third quarter, the Phoenix mounted a 26-7 run. By the fourth quarter, they had a 20-point lead.
Penguins coach John Barnes pointed out that Green Bay (28-3, 16-2) had the night off while his team fought off a fourth-quarter rally from Milwaukee in a 62-58 win on Sunday and it was a factor in his team not being able hang on.
“Our energy level that you need to maintain at a high level for four quarters to beat a team like that when they had a day off and we had to play is very difficult,” Barnes said. “I thought we tried to give everything we had and keep that energy level, but it’s tough when we had such a fight the night before.”
The third quarter wiped out what had been an inspired first half against the Phoenix.
Despite being smaller at every position, the Penguins managed to out-rebound Green Bay 20-16 in the first half. The Penguins made five 3-pointers in that stretch to hold a 28-26 lead at the break.
Sarah Cash was the lone Penguin in double figures with 12 points. Nikki Arbanas went three for five from 3-point range for nine points. Benjamin had YSU’s first seven points, but no more.
Green Bay junior Jessica Lindstrom led the Phoenix with 19 points and with nine rebounds, crossed 1,000 rebounds in her career. Allie LeClaire had 17 points and Jen Wellnitz had 14.
Green Bay moves on to face Wright State and for its 21st Horizon League Title today. YSU is 0-5 in Horizon League semifinals.
“Overall, Green Bay is a really good team and they work really hard,” Penguins forward Mary Dunn said. “It’s hard to get up shots and sometimes our shots don’t go in. Green Bay is just really good, that’s what it is.”