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Started By PointGuard, Nov 08, 2017 01:43 AM

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#361

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Top Two Teams in Horizon Fight It Out
By Steve Porter

Youngstown State’s shooting was cold and they paid the price as the visiting Detroit Titans pulled away to a 22-12 lead midway through the first half. But the Penguins finally began hitting their shots and with 6 minutes left in the half they tied the Titans 27-27. But with Detroit hitting 54% of their shots, the Titans finished the half ahead 36-34. PF/C Morris Phelan, SG Matt Angner, and C Will O’Neil all had 7 points for the Penguins while C Walter Beerbohm poured in 13 for Detroit.

With 17-1/2 minutes remaining, YSU took it’s first lead of the game when PF Lee Pauly put back a rebound to make it 41-40. Turnovers by the Titans took their toll and YSU slowly stretched out their lead. With 9:30 to go, the Penguins were ahead 60-46. YSU then went ice cold for the next 4-1/2 minutes during which their lead shrunk to 60-54. With 58 seconds left and YSU leading by a score of 66-61, the Penguins missed yet another shot and Detroit rebounded and called a time out. The Titans worked the ball inside to Beerbohm but with Will O’Neil guarding him closely, Beerbohm missed a short jumper. O’Neil pulled down the rebound and tossed the ball out to Pat White who was fouled intentionally. White sunk both free throws putting the Penguins on top by 7 with 44 seconds remaining. Following a missed 3 by Detroit, Colin Chambliss was fouled with 18 ticks on the clock, and he also knocked down both foul shots. After a quick miss by Detroit, the Pat White threw up a 3 that went in to give Youngstown State a 73-61 victory. With the win, the Penguins Horizon League record improved to 10-4 as they drew within a game of league-leading Detroit. Even though YSU shot poorly, their 21-7 advantage in turnovers proved to be the difference.

Leading the scoring for Youngstown State was C Will O’Neil who finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds. PG Pat White had 12 and SG Matt Angner scored 10. C Walter Beerbohm and SG Dwayne Poge both scored 13 for Detroit.

“It took us a long time to get control of the game, but fortunately our defense was solid in the 2nd half,” said Coach KD Durst. “Another key to the game was that we were able to get and keep their top-scorer, SG Copley Scott in foul trouble so that he was on the bench for most of the game.”



#362

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Player in the Spotlight: Matt Angner
By Steve Porter

Matt Angner came to Youngstown State as a junior after spending two years at Roane State Community College in Tennessee where he starred on that college’s basketball team averaging 17 ppg, 6 rpg and 3 apg. Coach KD Durst said, “We needed someone who could come in and contribute right away and Matt fit the bill perfectly. He’s been a great team player who gets along well with his teammates. He came to us with good skills but has worked hard to hone those further.”

Angner attended Harriman High School in Harriman, Tennessee. He said, “I really didn’t work all that hard in high school and my grades were just average. So beyond playing basketball at Roane State CC, it was important for me to develop study skills and get grades that would allow me to transfer to a school where I could get my Bachelor’s degree. I was ecstatic to get the offer to come to Youngstown State and play basketball for Coach Durst. My parents still live in Tennessee but have been able to get up here to attend some of our games so that’s been good.”

During his nearly two full seasons playing for the Penguins the 6-5 starting guard has averaged over 7 ppg and 2 rpg plus 1.5 apg while starting about 1/3 of the team’s games. He’s also been very effective coming off the bench, including one game where he scored 19 points.

Angner is rated a good spot up shooter with a mix of mid-range and outside shots and occasional drives. He’s a good rebounder and a strong ballhandler and passer who has good court visibility. He’s also good defensively and is adept at blocking shots and getting steals. Assistant Coach Shannon Winn said, “Matt is a disciplined player who is unselfish on the court. Matt has worked with two younger guards, Noel Manley and Mike Lofton, to help them develop skills and fit into the team. That’s impressive since as Manley has matured and developed, it’s probably cut into Matt’s playing time.”

Angner is a History major with a 3.0 GPA. He said, “After graduating this May I hope to work for National Park Service where I can put my history education to use. The past two summers I’ve has worked at two different parks (Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and Hocking Hills State Park) where I’ve had a chance to do a lot of different things that have given me an appreciation of the variety of work in the park service. I particularly like interacting with the park visitors. You get a lot of the same questions over and over. You know…where’s the restrooms?, when was this here park created?, how hot will it be tomorrow?, what’s the best trail to hike?...that sort of thing. I take it as a challenge to provide the same answer but in fresh, new ways making it seem like their question is unique and original.”



#363

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Ambush in Chi-Town
By Steve Porter

“This is the middle of a rough set of 3 games in a row where we play the league leader and the 2 teams tied for 3rd. Playing at UIC is tough, so we need to get it all together tonight if we expect to have a chance of winning,” said Coach KD Durst before the game with the Flames began. “Ronald Spruel, their go-to shooting guard who is averaging over 16 ppg and is hitting 53% of his shots, just never seems to have an off night. We’ll try to keep fresh legs on the floor to put some pressure on him and try to prevent him from busting out.”

The UIC Pavilion was rocking before the game as the Flames held a special event dubbed as “Leopard Seal Night”, recognizing the leopard seal as the main predator of Penguins in Antarctica. So the large crowd was revved up by a series of pregame events that focused on the demise of Penguins.

Youngstown State began the game as if they were offended by the pre-game antics. The team applied a staunch defense and leapt out to an 22-11 lead after 6-1/2 minutes of play. UIC came back to score the next 9 points and drew within 2. C Will O’Neil, who had been getting a breather on the bench returned and devastated the Flames’ defense. But SG Ronald Spruel scored well for UIC to keep them in the game. The half ended with the Penguins holding a 42-36 lead. YSU outrebounded UIC 25-12 and hit 50% of their shots compared to 36% shooting by the Flames. But UIC hit 5 three’s compared to none by the Penguins. O’Neil scored 20 and yanked down 8 rebounds and SG/SF James Asbury scored 5 and had 3 assists and 7 rebounds for Youngstown State while Spruel hit for 13 and SF Thurman Coursey scored 12 for UIC.

The Penguins led in the 2nd half until UIC hit a bucket and then made two quick backcourt steals, scoring on both to tie the game at 68-68 with 8 minutes to go. Following the media time out, scored 8 quick unanswered points. The Penguins made a few runs cutting the lead in half, but each time the refs called repeated fouls against YSU that allowed the Flames to regain their footing. With the UIC student body collectively dispaying the choke gesture toward the Penguins, the game ended with Youngstown State on the short end of a 93-84 score. UIC hit 11 of 26 three’s and scored 14 more points at the free throw line than did the Penguins.

C Will O’Neil scored 22 and had 9 rebounds, PG Pat White popped in 19 points and dished out 7 assists, and SG/SF James Asbury finished with 10 points, 5 assists, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and a block. The Flames SG Lonnie Sinville had 21 points and 5 steals, SF Thurman Coursey notched 20 points, and SG Ronald Spruel hit for 19 and those 3 players hit 9 of 19 three-point shots.

Coach KD Durst said, “We let this game get away from us. That 8 point scoring spree in 10 seconds was the turn-around and took the wind out of our sails. Kudos to their outside shooters though.”

It’s rumored that the loss brought out some ugliness within the team with LeRoy Delea complaining about Andre Lilly being unfairly favored. The coaching staff refused to comment saying they wouldn’t discuss internal team matters.



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Penguins Defang Panthers
By Steve Porter

Youngstown State jumped out to a 12-2 lead but visiting Milwaukee struck back to go ahead 15-14. The lead then shifted back and forth, but in the final 8 minutes of the first half, the Penguins gradually pulled away. When the buzzer sounded, YSU was on top 45-30 by outshooting the Panthers 56% to 32%. PF/C Andre Lilly and C Will O’Neil both scored 10 points.

The Penguins continued to roll in the 2nd half and stomped the Panthers 88-58 with the entire bench getting playing time. YSU held hit 52% of their shots whereas Milwaukee scored on just 34% of the field goal attempts. The Penguins held a 20-11 turnover advantage and out-rebounded the Panthers 39-33. 

C Will O’Neil hit for 18 points while grabbing 9 rebounds and getting 4 steals and 3 blocks. PF/C Andre Lilly also scored 18 and SG Noel Manley added 12. SG Kyle Selby, who scored 26 points, was Milwaukee’s lone bright spot.

The 18-7 (11-5) Penguins remains in 2nd place in the Horizon League, following Detroit by 1 game. YSU’s RPI is 43rd best in the country.

Walk-on PG Blake Elleby strained his abdominal muscle and is expected to be on the injury list for 2 weeks. But the Penguins announced that PF Donnie Williams broken toe has healed and he will be ready to play in their next game.



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Penguins Play Game for First Place
By Steve Porter

Knowing that Detroit lost earlier in the day meant that Youngstown State could tie for the lead if only they could win a road game against Wisconsin-Green Bay. After falling behind 4-0, the Penguins went on a 13-0 run, but C Will O’Neil picked up his 2nd personal foul just 3-1/2 minutes into the game. PG Pat White joined O’Neil on the bench with 2 fouls at the 15:41 mark. After 5 minutes of play the Penguins already had been charged with 7 team fouls while none had been called on the Phoenix. With 11:40 remaining in the first half, Wisconsin-Green Bay recaptured the lead 16-15. With 2-1/2 minutes to go in the half, the Phoenix were called for their first foul! But someway the Penguins came out of the half with a slim 34-32 lead. That was primarily due to SG/SF James Asbury’s scoring early in the half and C Will O’Neil’s scoring late in the half. Both had 10 points at the break. C Jamil Weekes scored 13 to lead Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The Penguins controlled the game in the early going of the 2nd half. But with 13 minutes to play and YSU ahead 51-42, C Will O’Neil picked up his 4th foul. As the refs continued calling fouls against the Penguins and not the Phoenix and with the game score tightening, Coach Durst had an outburst that resulted in a technical. The Penguins gamely held onto a slim lead. With 4 minutes remaining YSU was ahead 69-65. O’Neil, Lilly and White expanded the Penguins lead to 75-67 but at that point O’Neil fouled out. The Phoenix began intentionally fouling, but YSU could not connect on a free throw. With 39 seconds remaining Wisconsin-Green Bay sunk a 3 to cut the lead to 77-75. Lilly was fouled with 28 seconds to go. He hit the first but missed the second and the Phoenix, now trailing by 3, rebounded and called time out with 26 seconds to go. The Phoenix beat the Penguins full court press, but before they could get their play set up, Pat White stepped in front of a pass and stole the ball. He quickly pushed the ball upcourt to a flying Colin Chambliss who slammed down a dunk to put YSU ahead by 5 points with 13 seconds left. Wisconsin-Green Bay got off a 3 point attempt but it went off the rim and out of bounds. The Penguins ran out the clock and won the tight game 80-75. Although the Phoenix scored 12 more points at the line, the Penguins hit 52% to Wisconsin-Green Bay’s 42%.

Even though limited to just 21 minutes of court time, C Will O’Neil scored 16 as did PG Pat White who also had 11 assists. SG Matt Angner tossed in 14, C/PF Andre Lilly scored 11, and SG/SF James Asbury added 10. C Jamil Weekes led Wisconsin-Green Bay’s scoring with 21.

“While I have comments about the officiating, I’m not going to expound upon them,” said Coach KD Durst. “Instead I’m just happy we were able to pull this one out even though several of our players’ court time was limited by foul troubles.”

Going into the final game of the regular season, the Penguins are now tied with Detroit for 1st place in the Horizon League with 12-5 records. Youngstown State’s season record is 19-7 while Detroit’s is 17-9.



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Penguins Surface to the Top
By Steve Porter

In the Penguins final league game, they didn’t score against visiting Valparaiso for the first 3 minutes of the game. The Penguins defense stymied the Crusaders for most of the first half and YSU was able to build a 37-24 lead at the break. Even though Valparaiso hit some late shots in the half, they still connected on just 33% of their field goals attempts. With C Will O’Neil again getting into early foul trouble, PG Pat White and C/PF Morris Phelan led Youngstown State’s scoring with 8 points apiece. 

After 5 minutes of play in the 2nd half, YSU led by 21. The lead ballooned to 25 points before the Penguins coasted to an easy 68-52 victory. YSU out-rebounded the Crusaders 47-28. Surprisingly, Detroit lost at home so the win by the Penguins boosted them into sole possession of 1st place in the Horizon League. Youngstown State finished the regular season with an overall 20-7 record and were 13-5 in the Horizon League. Their RPI is now 34th best in the nation. The team has averaged 82.4 ppg while giving up 73.4 ppg. They will ride a 3-game win streak into the Horizon League Tournament.

C/PF Morris Phelan scored 13 and grabbed 7 rebounds. PG Pat White hit for 12 points and SG/SF James Asbury dropped in 11 points. 

“Coming out on top of the Horizon League in our final game of the regular season was a shocker, but the team is ecstatic to have pulled it out,” said Coach KD Durst. “With Will O’Neil getting tagged with some petty fouls these last two games, the team had to find different ways to win which was a confidence-builder.”

Donnie Williams said, “After having to sit out for nearly 2 months with an injury, it sure was nice to get back on the court for this last game of the regular season. I feel ready for and look forward to tournament play and hope to be able to contribute positively to the team.” Williams started and finished the game with 8 points and 9 rebounds. Coach Durst added, “Donnie picked right back up where he was before he got injured. He had a really strong game tonight.”



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Penguins Take Horizon Crown
By Steve Porter

On the final day of Horizon League play, the Youngstown State Penguins edged ahead of all competitors to take the Horizon League crown. This is the fifth straight season that the Penguins have finished atop the Horizon League.

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Player in the Spotlight: Pat White 
By Steve Porter

Senior PG Pat White came to the Penguins via transfer after playing at the University of Oregon in his freshman year. 1st Assistant Coach Brandon Warren said, “Pat started every game during his one year at Oregon and played exceptionally well as a freshman, averaging 11.6 ppg. We were certain he would provide us with the court generalship we needed after he sat out the required year here due to transferring.”

White hasn’t disappointed the coaches or the fans. He’s started all but one game during his three subsequent seasons with the Penguins. Each season he’s averaged between 8.4 and 11.0 ppg and his assist totals have continually improved to the point this season where he’s averaging 7 assists each game, which is tops in the Horizon League. His defensive capabilities have improved each year also. Last season he was chosen for the Horizon League All-Conference 2nd Team. Thus far this season, White is averaging 9.9 ppg, 7.0 apg, 2.8 rpg, 1.1 spg, and 0.9 bpg. “Pat has shown he can score from anywhere on the court. This year he has given up some scoring opportunities as he’s become even more adept at finding the open man which is reflected by an increased number of assists,” said Coach KD Durst. “If we’re to make it back to the NCAA Tournament this season, Pat’s experience and ability to direct the action will be a big reason why.”

White hails from Kahuko, Hawaii. He said, “Playing here in Youngstown has meant that my family has only been able to see me play a few times since not only are they far away but they don’t like Ohio’s winter weather, but I have no complaints. The coaching staff has been great. I also feel fortunate to have been able to play in the NCAA Tournament the past two years and in the NIT the year before that, and I’m confident we’ll get back to the Big Dance this year also.” 

Majoring in education with a 3.0 GPA, White said he hopes to teach and coach at the high school level. White indicated he’s not sure if he will stay in Ohio or return to Hawaii and said, “I’ve had a chance to travel to many places while playing basketball and there are even other areas of the U.S. I think would be good places to live, so we’ll just have to see how things work out.”



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Horizon League Tournament—Day 1
By Steve Porter

Last night the Horizon League Tournament kicked off with two play-in games matching up the bottom four teams in the league standings. Wisconsin-Green Bay (led by Josh Abraham’s big scoring effort) won in overtime while Cleveland State (with a typical stellar effort by Michael Schau) won with relative ease to move on to take on the two top teams in the league in the 2nd round.

Game #1:
#10 Northern Kentucky Norse (8-19, 5-13, RPI 326) —31-37-4—72 (SG Will Flores-20 pts)
vs 
#7 Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix (10-17, 7-11, RPI 302)—40-28-15—83 (SF Josh Abraham-27 pts)

Game #2:
#9 Wright State Raiders (10-17, 7-11, RPI 276)—30-39—69 (SF Kent Evans-11 pt, C Jerald Johnson-11 pts)
vs 
#8 Cleveland State Vikings (11-16, 7-11, RPI 246)—35-44—79 (SG Michael Schau-23 pts)



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Horizon League Tournament—Day 2
By Steve Porter

Even though UIC, the league’s hottest team at the end of the season, got a tremendous performance from Thurman Coursey, Wisconsin-Green Bay led from start to finish and won going-away. For the Phoenix Josh Abraham came up with another strong game but had good support from C Jamil Weekes and PF Julian Bonner who both scored 15.
#7 Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix (11-17, 7-11, RPI 302)—43-50—94 (SF Josh Abraham-18 pts)
vs 
#2 UIC Flames (18-9, 12-6, RPI 68)—34-44-78 (SF Thurman Coursey-24 pts)

In the second game of the day, the slumping Detroit Titans were nearly defeated by lowly Valparaiso. Detroit was led offensively by Thurman Coursey with PG Jim Avery dishing out 10 assists. Valparaiso was carried by a double-double performance by freshman Marty Jeppson.
#6 Valparaiso Crusaders (7-20, 7-11, RPI 306)—37-38—75 (PF Marty Jeppson-24 pts/12 reb) 
vs 
#3 Detroit Titans (17-10, 12-6, RPI 174)—41-37—78 (SG Copley Scott-22 pts)

With Gary Johnson ablaze Oakland stormed away from Milwaukee in the first half and then went on cruise-control throughout the 2nd half and still won with ease in a game that was expected to be a toss-up. 
#5 Milwaukee Panthers (15-12, 10-8, RPI 139)—24-44—68 (C Reggie Ratliff-18 pts)
vs 
#4 Oakland Golden Grizzlies (14-13, 10-8, RPI 166)—52-33—85 (PG Gary Johnson-25 pts)

Even though the refs calls against Youngstown State sent 3 starters to the bench early in the 2nd half, their offense was cooking so that by mid-way through the first half they had a double-digit lead. The Penguins hot-shooting (55%) and 7-1 turnover advantage kept them well-ahead as they finished the first half on top 48-34. 
Youngstown State never let the Vikings get close in the 2nd half and won in workmanlike fashion. Although fouls limited his playing time, C Will O’Neil still was the Penguins leading scorer with SG Noel Manley and SG/SF James Asbury each adding 12 points. Cleveland State had 5 players score in double figures, but it wasn’t enough. The Penguins held the usually high-scoring Michael Schau scoreless.
#8 Cleveland State Vikings (12-16, 7-11, RPI 246)—34-45—79 (SG John Smith and C Darryl Graham-16 pts apiece)
vs 
#1 Youngstown State Penguins (20-7, 13-5, RPI 34)—48-43—91 (C Will O’Neil-17 pts)



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Horizon League Tournament—Day 3 (Semi-Finals)
By Steve Porter

In a game with 23 lead changes and 8 ties, Detroit and Wisconsin-Green Bay were forced to go to overtime. The Phoenix outscored the Titans and came away with an upset victory, again led by Copley Scott. Jamil Weekes was top scorer for the Titans but PF Julian Bonner had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.
#3 Detroit Titans (18-10, 12-6, RPI 174)—29-37-13—79 (SG Copley Scott-18 pts)
vs
#7 Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix (12-17, 7-11, RPI 302)—32-34-19—86 (C Jamil Weekes-17 pts)

Youngstown State pulled away early in the first half and led by 12 midway through the half. But the Penguins’ shooting cooled and Oakland’s 3 point shooting caught fire along with the refs sending the Golden Grizzlies to the line so that they roared back to take a late 3 point lead. PG Pat White hit a last second 3 for the Penguins to tie the game at 43-43 at the break. White and C Will O’Neil both scored 11 for YSU while PG Gary Johnson and SG Clint Smith both had 10 points for Oakland.
Oakland went on a 12-2 run to begin the second half. The Penguins fought back to cut the Golden Grizzlies’ lead to 2. But YSU’s shooting went south allowing Oakland to pull away again. Youngstown State was unable to recover and fell by a final score of 82-72. Oakland scored 17 more points at the free throw line than did YSU. PG Pat White led the Penguins scoring with 21 points while C Will O’Neil finished with 15. PG Gary Johnson topped Oakland’s scoring with 17 points.
Coach KD Durst said, “We played well for most of the first half but we let the game get away from us in the last 25 minutes. Oakland played with the will to win so give them all the credit. RIght now we're super-disappointed, but we need to pick ourselves up because we'll be participating in SOME post-season tournament and need to be ready to perform well.”
#4 Oakland Golden Grizzlies (15-13, 10-8, RPI 166)—43-39—82 (PG Gary Johnson-17 pts)
vs
#1 Youngstown State Penguins (21-7, 13-5, RPI 34)—43-29—72 (PG Pat White-21 pts)



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Horizon League Tournament—Day 4 (Championship)
By Steve Porter

Oakland jumped out to a 7-point lead early in the game, but the Phoenix cut their lead to 35-33 at the halftime break. Then in the 2nd half, Wisconsin-Green Bay began hitting their shots while shutting down Oakland’s offense and controlling the boards and ran off to a 21-point lead. The Golden Grizzlies cut into their lead late in the game but the Phoenix came away with their 3rd straight upset victory, taking the championship 73-60. C Jamil Weekes continued to lead the way for Wisconsin-Green Bay with 16 points and 8 boards. C Rasheem Dorsett hit for 13 for Oakland.
#7 Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix (13-17, 7-11, RPI 302)—33-40—73 (C Jamil Weekes-16 pts)
vs
#4 Oakland Golden Grizzlies (16-13, 10-8, RPI 166)—35-25—60 (C Rasheem Dorsett-13 pts)

The upset wins by the sub-.500 Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix (now 14-17) were amazing but likely mean that they will be put in a play-in game with the winner tabbed to take on a #1 seed.



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Youngstown State's Player Stats
By Steve Porter

Now that the regular season is over, the 2022-2023 Penguins' stats were dominated by C Will O'Neil and PG Pat White but a closer look shows contributions by nearly everyone on the team.

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Five Horizon League Teams Selected for Tournaments
By Steve Porter

On Selection Sunday five teams from the Horizon League were selected for the four post-season Division I tournaments.

NCAA Tournament Selections:
Wisconsin-Green Bay plays Campbell in a play-in game for a #16 seed.
#1 seeds: North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, Georgia Tech

NIT Selections:
Youngstown State is the #3 seed in the East Region and plays #6 seed Charleston Southern

CBI Selections:
UIC is the #1 seed in the West Regional and plays #8 seed Lamar

CIT Selections:
Oakland is the #6 seed in the Midwest Region and plays #3 seed North Dakota
Detroit is the #7 seed in the South Region and plays #2 seed Kentucky (Kentucky in the CIT—oh how the mighty have fallen)

Coach KD Durst said, "After not winning the Horizon League tournament, we realized we wouldn't be returning to the NCAA tournament. But we're happy to be a part of the NIT tournament and want to make some noise within it."






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