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

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#41

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Penguins Post Third Straight Win
By Steve Porter

Last night Youngstown State’s basketball team hosted the Detroit Titans. The Titans won their first two games this season, then suffered a 9-game losing streak, but buoyed themselves by winning 2 of their last 3 games. So the question was, which performance level would they bring when they took on the Penguins?

The question was answered early when the Titans hit 7 of their first 10 shots and jumped out to a 17-11 advantage at the 13:13 mark of the first half. Even though the Penguins shooting went cold for the next 8 minutes, they remained in the game as Detroit turned the ball over (12 turnovers in the half). Then in the final 5 minutes, Youngstown State fought to trim the lead and pulled ahead late in the half to go to the break on top 37-35. SG Josh Jones led the Penguins attack with 10 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds. 

The Penguins played solidly throughout the 2nd half and built a 12 point lead with 6 minutes left. They then held the Titans off to record a decisive 79-69 victory. Even though the Penguins only hit 38% of their FG attempts, they out-rebounded the Titans 39-34 and had just 11 turnovers compared to 21 by Detroit.

All five starters for Youngstown State scored in double figures. SG Josh Jones had his best game of the season with 24 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and a block. PG Ryan Surpin scored 15, SF Chad Delzell and C Steven Puzey eachg tossed in 11 points, and PF/C Jamal Grady added 10.

Youngstown State now has a 10-6 season record and they have the 75th best RPI in the nation. They are 4-2 in the Horizon League which puts them in a tie with Oakland atop the league standings. The Penguins host Oakland Monday night in a tussle to break the tie.



#42

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Youngstown State and Oakland Tussle For League Supremacy
By Steve Porter

Oakland’s Golden Grizzlies, while tied for the league lead with Youngstown State with a 4-2 record, entered last night’s game with a less than stellar season record of 6-10. But that was likely deceiving since they only played 1 of 10 pre-conference games at home. Coach Marshod Green commented, “We were on the road so much the first couple months our guys thought Denny’s was home-cooking.”

Oakland’s SG Josh Angner hit for 5 points in the first minute of play. The Penguins shooting was cold but they finally achieved their first tie at 7-7 with 14:17 to play. Youngstown State then ground out a small lead over the next 10 minutes. But the Golden Grizzlies struck back in the final 4 minutes of the half to take a 31-28 lead to the locker room. The Penguins hit just 32% of their shots in the first half. C Steven Puzey was their leading scorer with 7 points.

Hitting 3’s from all over the court, Oakland pulled away for an 11 point lead after just 6 minutes of play in the 2nd half and held a double digit lead for the next 7 minutes. Coach Durst called a timeout and his players came back onto the court with a tenacious defense. The Penguins scored 13 unanswered points to forge a 58-56 lead with just 2:30 remaining. Oakland tied the game, but Ryan Surpin got the ball into Steven Puzey in the lane and Puzey drove to the hoop and converted a contested lay-in to put the Penguins on top 60-58 with 1:49 to play. The Golden Grizzlies were fouled and missed the first shot of a 1-and-1. Youngstown State grabbed the rebound and brought the ball up court quickly. Josh Jones worked the ball inside to Ryan Surpin who hit an 8 footer from the edge of the key. He was fouled on the shot and drained the free throw to give the Penguins a 5 point lead with 1:19 on the clock. Oakland worked the ball around the perimeter but tossed the ball away. They then were forced to foul and Tim Lostetter made them pay by dropping in both shots to put the Penguins on top 65-58 with just 51 seconds remaining. The Golden Grizzlies were unable to pull close. Youngstown State came away with a 69-61 victory that placed them alone atop the Horizon League standings with a 5-2 record. They now have a 4-game win streak. Five Horizon League teams are nipping at their heels with 4-3 records.

The Penguins hit just 37% of their shots but won the game by committing just 12 turnovers compared to Oakland’s 22 and scoring 14 more points at the free throw line.

Leading the way for Youngstown State were PF/C Jamal Grady with 17 points while C Steven Puzey and reserve PG Tim Lostetter both scored 14. Puzey also was larcenous with 5 steals.

Oakland’s Coach Green criticized the officiating after the game, saying “We faced a talented and determined opponent tonight and I congratulate them on their win, but the refs took the game out of our hands by the way they called fouls against us. With the game so close, I couldn’t risk getting tagged with a technical, so I had to reign in my frustration. But I call on the League to review game films to evaluate tonight’s officials and take action as they deem fit after that review.”



#43

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Rumor has it that the Penguins basketball team had a wild party following their win against Oakland. Lots of co-eds and plenty to drink. It seems that word got back to the coaching staff. While their activities possibly were not all that unusual for college students, I’ve heard that Coach Durst called a team meeting. He read the entire team the riot act about maintaining control, not embarrassing the program, university or themselves, and keeping their focus on what’s important…basketball, team, and winning.
 

None of the players or staff has been willing to confirm any of this, though.



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Norse Frozen in Highland Heights

By Steve Porter

 

The Youngstown State basketball team took a bus ride to Highland Heights, Kentucky last night to take on the Northern Kentucky Norse.  Although 7-9 for the season, the Norse had a spotless 6-0 record at home.  BB&T Arena was packed with screaming Norse fans.

 

The Penguins jumped out to a small lead, but the Norse’ hot shooting put them on top midway through the half.  But Youngstown State didn’t back down and pulled into a 29-29 tie with 4 minutes left in the half.  When the buzzer sounded, Northern Kentucky sported a slim 37-35 lead as they outshot the Penguins 50% to 39%.  SG Josh Jones led the scoring for Youngstown State with 9 points.

 

The two teams slugged it out in the 2nd half.  With 12:06 remaining the game was tied 48-48.  Tightening their defense, the Penguins were able to pull ahead 67-57 with 3:30 to go.  The Norse tried to make a game of it, but Youngstown State held on to pull off an 81-70 road win and send the Norse fans dejectedly home.

 

Offensively, the Penguins were led by C Steven Puzey’s 16 points, SG Josh Jones with 15 and PG Ryan Surpin with 12.  But reserve guards Tim Lostetter and Lonnie Holt added 9 and 8 points, respectively.  Coach Durst extolled, “I’m particularly proud of how our team controlled the ball.  We had just 6 turnovers and forced the Norse to make 18 turnovers.”



#45

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Penguins Start Strong, Finish Weak
By Steve Porter

The Penguins came into last night’s game riding a 5-game win streak and an RPI ranking of 50th best in the nation. They hosted the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Flames, so named for the Great Chicago Fire. UIC came into the game with an 8-9 record and was 3-5 in the Horizon League. But their two starting guards, Dan Rucker and Tim Robinson, were averaging 16.8 and 15.2 ppg respectively. Before the game, coach K.D. Durst opined, “Not only are those two guys scoring a lot of points, but they are extremely efficient, both knocking down well above 40% of their shots. We’re going to just have to do the best job we can to try to dampen their success.”

Youngstown State came out with guns blazing and ran away to a 17-7 lead while hitting 7 of 10 from the field with 13-1/2 minutes left in the first half. The Fire came roaring back to tied the game at 23-23 six minutes later. The lead shifted back and forth thereon, but the Penguins went to the locker room down 35-32. PF Kareem Toole led their scoring with 7 points, but they were unable to contain Tim Robinson who led all scorers with 11 points.

Trailing by 9 points with 8 minutes to play, the Penguins scored 7 unanswered points to get back into the game. But then their shooting with ice-cold in the final 5 minutes and they fell hard, 65-53. The loss dropped their record to 12-7 for the season and 6-3 in the Horizon League, but they remained in sole possession of first place, one game ahead of 5 other teams.

The only players for Youngstown State scoring in double figures were C Steven Puzey with 11 and PG Ryan Surpin with 10.

“It was disappointing to lose a game at home that we had a good chance to win. After making the run that got us close in the 2nd half, we just couldn’t buy a bucket. But you can’t hit just 38% of your shots and expect to come away with a victory. We knocked down 9 of our first 12 shots and then hit just 27% of our field goal attempts thereafter,” lamented Coach K.D. Durst.



#46

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Offense Continues to Slumber for Penguins
By Steve Porter

After falling behind 11-2 early in the game to Wisconsin-Green Bay, it took until the 7:07 mark of the first half for Youngstown State to finally forge a 26-26 tie. A 3-pointer by Ryan Surpin put the Penguins into the lead for the first time with 4:30 to go at 29-28. Then their offense fell apart and the Phoenix took a 35-31 halftime lead. C Steven Puzey led the scoring for the Penguins with 11 points.

The second half was an unmitigated disaster for the Penguins. Even though the Penguins held the Phoenix’ high-scoring SG Ross Lang in check, their offense was lifeless and they continually dropped further and further behind to sustain an embarrassing 76-52 loss at home. They now are 6-4 in the Horizon League and fell into a 5-way tie for the league lead.

The bad news: 34% shooting (13% from 3-point distance) vs 48% by the Phoenix (37% from beyond the arc); -6 in rebounds, 19 turnovers. The only Penguin to do much offensively was C Steven Puzey with 16 points. 

Raymond Harrington, Youngstown State’s 1st Asssistant Coach, said, “These past two game have shown we need to go back to basics in practice and re-build our confidence. We’re a better team than we’ve shown in these two games.”



#47

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Bad news for the Penguins. PG Ryan Surpin strained his calf and is likely to miss one and possibly two games. With Jermaine Harrington on academic probation, the Penguins already didn’t have much of a bench for guards. Their remaining healthy guards will be sorely tested.

In an unrelated development, it turns out my last game summary got under the skin of Coach Durst. He felt it was too negative and passed along his displeasure to my editor. Luckily, Tracy Tason, my editor, told me to just forget it and to keep reporting the story about the team accurately and in a forthright manner. He said Durst needs to learn to take some criticism when it’s deserved.



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Penguins Defenseless 
By Steve Porter

The first half in Youngstown State’s game last night with the Wright State Raiders was a shootout. Both teams. The Raiders hit 60% of their shots and the Penguins his 64% of their field goals attempts. Both teams hit over 50% of their 3’s as well. Wright State maintained a small lead throughout most of the half. At the break the score was 52-46 in favor of the Raiders. Chad Delzell started at his normal SF position but also played extensively at SG and scored 15, while Josh Jones who started at SG and filled in at PG, hit for 12. 

The Penguins fought hard in the 2nd half but weren’t able to shut down the potent Wright State offense and ended up on the short end of a 95-78 score. With PG Ryan Surpin sitting out the game due to an injury, the Penguins piled up 20 turnovers.

Josh Jones dropped in 22 points while Chad Delzell hit for 15 and Tim Lostetter popped in 12.

3rd straight loss by the Penguins dropped their season record to 12-9. In the Horizon League they are now 6-5, placing them in a 5-way tie for 2nd place in what’s turning into a muddled race for league supremacy.

Reserve C Kevin Anderson strained his hamstring and will be sidelined for 10-12 days meaning he likely will miss the next 3 games. Meanwhile reports indicate PG Ryan Surpin strained calf will cause him to miss yet another game.

Coach Durst commented after the game, “We ran into a buzzsaw of an offense tonight. The Raiders shredded our defense. I thought our guys valiantly tried to keep up and we got great production from the perimeter. That’s a big positive that came out of the game tonight, particularly with Ryan Surpin unable to play. But Wright State did a terrific job of stopping our big guys. The Raiders cut off our passing lanes. We simply couldn’t get the ball inside enough. We needed that balance to compete successfully. Our other major problem tonight was that we turned the ball over too much. That not only took away opportunities thus stymying our offense, but gave the Raiders points on breakaways as well.” When asked if increased turnovers were due to the absence of Ryan Surpin, Durst replied, “No, because our turnovers were coming from everyone on our team, not only our guards. We simply got sloppy with the ball and that was, unfortunately, a total team effort.”



#49

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Youngstown State Crushes Crusaders
By Steve Porter

With Ryan Surpin and Kevin Anderson not suiting up for last night’s game against Valparaiso, the bench looked a little short. But Coach K.D. Durst used all of his players to keep fresh legs on the floor. The Penguins overwhelmed the Crusaders in the first half, hitting 56% of their shots while holding Valparaiso’s shooting to 37%, holding a 20-12 rebounding advantage, and turning the ball over just 6 times. Youngstown State led at the break 44-30. Tim Lostetter, starting in place of Surpin, paced the Penguins attack with 11 points as well as dishing out 4 assists.

The Penguins continued their dominance in the 2nd half, extending their lead to as much as 21 points before settling for a lopsided 79-63 victory. 

PG Tim Lostetter played the best game of his career with 19 points and 8 assists. The Penguins’ two primary big men, Steven Puzey and Jamal Grady, came back from weak performances in the Penguins’ prior game this week, to score 12 and 11 points respectively and also combined to haul down 14 rebounds. For Valparaiso, C Ian Boyce had a double-double (11 points and 10 rebounds).

With the win Youngstown State rose back into a 4-way tie for the Horizon League lead with a 7-5 record.

PG Tim Lostetter was named the Horizon League’s Freshman Player of the Week. He scored 31 points and dished out 13 assists in the Penguins’ two games this past week.



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Youngstown State has one scholarship that still will be available after this season. The Penguins have been continuing to actively recruit throughout this winter hoping to land the best available recruit this spring. I learned that Steve Simmons, Coach Durst’s recruiting assistant, has developed a good relationship with an unnamed very high profile high school recruit. Apparently this recruit fell of the radar of the big name Division I programs due to poor grades. When Coach Durst determined this, he directed Simmons to contact the recruit. Then when his SAT scores were announced and they were above Youngstown State’s miimum level, the recruiting became more focused. The recruit is now showing interest in the Penguins. My source was careful not to divulge his name, not wanting to alert other programs to the inroads Simmons has made and asked me not to report what I was told. I also learned that the Penguins have a talented JC player they are recruiting in the event that the high schooler doesn’t commit to Youngstown State.



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First Half Dooms Penguins

By Steve Porter

 

Neither Cleveland State nor Youngstown State scored in the first 3 minutes of play last night.  At that point the Penguins hit a shot but then went scoreless for another 10 minutes leaving them with a 19-2 deficit.  The Penguins hit 1 of 15 shots during the first 13 minutes of play.  During that period both teams turned the ball over 8 times.  Things didn’t improve for the Penguins the rest of the half and they left the court with their heads hanging and trailing Cleveland State by a dismal 37-8 score. 

 

During those atrocious 20 minutes, Youngstown State made just 3 of 24 field goal attempts, 0 of 7 from 3 point distance, and only 2 of 6 from the free throw line.  They also had 11 turnovers and were outrebounded 22-13. 

 

As one Penguins fan was overheard to decry, “THAT was the worst play I’ve ever seen by a college team for an entire half.  And if the Vikings had played well, we’d be behind by 50 points instead of just, did I really say just, 29 points.”

 

The Penguins came out in the 2nd half and missed their first 3 shots.  They then played better but never could get closer than 18 and were walloped 61-43. 

 

While Youngstown State shot better in the 2nd half, they still finished the game hitting just 29% of their field goals, 13% of their 3’s, and 50% of their free throws.  The team’s ineptitude for the evening was exemplified by starters SG Josh Jones and SF Chad Delzell who combined to score on just 2 of 22 shots.  The only player to have a strong game was PF/C Jamal Grady who hit 7 of 11 shots, scoring 15 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

 

Coach K.D. Durst said, “Play by both teams was ugly and ineffective early.  But we were unable to shake the infection throughout the entire first half.  This is a game we just need to put out of our memories and prepare for our upcoming game against Milwaukee.”

 

The loss dropped the Penguins Horizon League record to 7-6 and they sank to sole possession of 4th place in the league, one game behind the three teams tied for first and one game ahead of five teams tied for fifth place.



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Penguins Pass Panthers
By Steve Porter

Youngstown State trailed the Milwaukee Panthers throughout most of the first half and went to the locker room on the short end of a 46-41 score. Jamal Grady led the scoring for the Penguins with 9 points.

The lead shifted back and forth for the first 6 minutes of the 2nd half, but then after a total of 14 lead changes and 7 ties, the Penguins began to pull away and won going away 95-78. The Penguins dropped in 51% of their field goal attempts, 67% of their 3’s and 93% of their free throws, a complete turn-around from the debacle of their last game. They also out-rebounded the Panthers 38-25.

C Steven Puzey dropped in 20 points, PG Ryan Surpin didn’t miss a shot enroute to his 16 points, PF/C Jamal Grady scored 15, and SG Josh Jones added 10.

PF/C Jamal Grady was named the Horizon League Freshman Player of the Week based on his scoring 30 points and pulling down 14 rebounds in the two games played by Youngstown State this week.



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Topping individual stats through Youngstown State’s first 24 games are:

PPG: C Steven Puzey, 11.3; PG Ryan Surpin, 11.3; PF/C Jamal Grady, 10.8; SG Josh Jones, 10.3

RPG: C Steven Puzey, 5.8; SF Chad Delzell, 5.0; PF/C Jamal Grady, 4.7; PF Kareem Toole, 4.4

APG: PG Ryan Surpin, 4.0; SG Josh Jones, 2.5, PG Tim Lostetter, 2.2; SG Jermaine Harrington, 1.7



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First Half Again Dooms Penguins
By Steve Porter

After leading the Detroit Titans throughout much of the first half, Youngtown State’s defense totally disappeared and let the Titans roar ahead to take a 60-42 halftime lead. Detroit hit 68% of their shots. For the Penguins, C Steven Puzey scored 14 points.

The Penguins pecked away at the lead in the 2nd half, but could never get closer than 8 points and feel to the Titans 89-79. The loss dropped the Penguins into sole possession of 4th place in the Horizon League. 

C Steven Puzey had a big game, scoring 28 points. SF Chad Delzell hit for 13 and PG Tim Lostetter dropped in 12 points.



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Penguins Defense Again Porous
By Steve Porter

Weak first half defense again cost Youngstown State. The Oakland Golden Grizzlies knocked down 54% of their shots to post a 45-35 halftime advantage. SG Josh Jones had 8 points to lead the Penguins offensively.

The Penguins let Oakland pull out to a 24 point lead midway through the 2nd half. While Youngstown State was able to cut into the lead, there just wasn’t enough time to make a serious run. Oakland won 81-71. Oakland hit 51% of their shots in the game. The Penguins have lost 6 of their last 8 games and are now mired in a 3-way tie for 4th place in the Horizon League. 

SG Josh Jones scored 19, PF/C Jamal Grady has 12, and C Steven Puzey added 10 for the Penguins. SG Josh Angner scored 21 points for Oakland.



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Covering a winning team earlier this season for the newspaper was sure a lot more fun that covering the losing team that's been around the last several games. Almost makes me wish I had picked a different profession. Coach Durst has been rather surly as well and not talkative at all.

In addition, I met Claire, a woman who seemed like a good potential to replace Lynn, the girl friend I lost a couple months ago. But I then found out that Claire is allergic to dogs. There's no way I'm getting rid of my golden retriever, Max...so bye-bye Claire.

Not only that but I thought I had a big Lotto win this week. I began planning how I would spend all the money I was going to get. It turns out I was looking at my previous week's ticket which was a bust THAT week. Just wish I had used the same numbers THIS week. So my bank account remains in a condition where I have to be careful not to bounce checks.



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Winter Blues
By Steve Porter

Just a month ago it seemed to be an incredible turn-around year for Youngstown State under the helm of new coach K.D. Durst. The Penguins were then 12-6, riding a 5-game win streak, and sitting atop the Horizon League standings.

What a difference a month makes. 2 wins and 6 losses during that month has made Coach Durst’s turn-around year seem to be “nice” rather than “incredible”. Yes, the Penguins have still won more games than they’ve lost (14-12). And yes, they no longer are at or near the bottom of the Horizon League (presently they are 8-8 and solidly in the middle of the pack).

But their six losses in the last 30 days have revealed glaring inadequacies. In each of the games either their offense has sputtered (in three of those losses they have averaged under 50 points) or a woeful defense has been exposed (in the other three losses their opponents have averaged almost 90 points). They’ve shown what they are: a team with some good players but no stars. No one who can carry them over the rough spots during the schedule. No one they can count upon to come up big each and every game to stabilize the team. And while Coach Durst has rightfully earned praise for developing a team with some relevance, he has not been able to fix whatever apparently ails the team. Instead the team has regularly found a way to lose rather than a way to win.

The Horizon League title is now impossible this season. With 3 games left (2 in the Horizon League), their upcoming “bracket buster” game against Wichita State is meaningless. The best they can do in their next three games is to “right the ship” and prepare for the League Tournament in hopes that they can pull off an unlikely run of victories in the Horizon Tourney which is their only chance to make the NCAA Tournament.



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Penguins Shock Shockers
By Steve Porter

Last night’s “bracket buster” was really just a chance for one, rather than two, of the teams to impress the NCAA Tournament selection group. Wichita State was 15-11 this season and 9-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Unfortunately, Youngstown State’s recent swoon has left them out of contention for any at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The Penguins took an early 6-2 lead, but then a series of turnovers (7 in the first 4-1/2 minutes of play) led to a quick turn-around to put Wichita State on top. While the Youngstown Staters fought valiantly to keep in the game, they trailed 39-29 by the end of the half, primarily due to turning the ball over 16 times.

In the 2nd half Wichita State held the Penguins off, maintaining a double digit lead. But with 4 minutes to go, Youngstown State got within 7 at 62-55. Then two quick scores by the Penguins cut the lead to 62-59 with 3:19 remaining. The Shockers missed a shot and the Penguins worked the ball around, getting the ball into Steven Puzey, who stepped out and made a 12-foot turn-around jumper making it 62-61. Another miss by the Shockers gave the Penguins a chance to take the lead. A pass inside to Jamal Grady and he drove to the basket and was fouled with 2:17 on the clock. Grady made one of two and the game was tied at 62-62. Wichita State then made one of two foul shots to give them a one point lead. On the ensuing play after a time-out, Tim Lostetter cut around a pick for a shot in the key, but was fouled. He dropped in both free throws and Youngstown State took a 64-63 lead with 1:26 to play. Neither team could score on the next 3 possessions, but then with 27 seconds to play, Tim Lostetter drove on his man and pulled up to sink a 10 footer making it 66-63. The Shockers missed a 3-point shot, but tipped in the rebound to cut the lead to one. The Shockers then tried to steal rather than foul, freeing Ryan Surpin for a shot at the buzzer that fell through to give the Penguins an upset 68-65 victory.

Guards Ryan Surpin and Tim Lostetter scored 19 and 18 points, respectively while big men Steven Puzey and Jamal Grady each scored 10. SG Craig Sharp tossed in 20 for Wichita State.

During the post-game press conference, Coach Durst stated, “I was proud of how my guys hung in the game and then went for the jugular when the time was right. They hit some big shots and made key stops at the end. I thought we played well in all phases on the game tonight except for ball control. There’s no way to defend making 25 turnovers. We’d had some rough going recently and hadn’t played well. Sort of like newspaper journalists whose articles come up short and don’t reach the right conclusions. I think my guys wanted to prove our doubters wrong tonight.”

Well, OK Coach Durst! Touché! Congratulations to the Penguins on a big-time win.



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Penguins and Norse Take It To The Wire
By Steve Porter

With reserve guard Lonnie Lott sidelined with a sprained toe, the Penguins were again short-handed at the guard positions as they hosted the Northern Kentucky Norse last night. In recognition of the strength of his recent play, Coach Durst started freshman Tim Lostetter at the point and moved Ryan Surpin to SG, thus benching Josh Jones who has been inconsistent lately.

After falling behind by 10 points, the Penguins reeled the Norse back in and took a lead late in the half to go to the break with a slim 48-46 advantage even though Northern Kentucky hit 58% of their shots. PG Ryan Surpin led all scorers with 12 points.

The lead was exchanged repeatedly throughout most of the second half, but the Norse took a 8 point lead with 2-1/2 minutes to play. Youngstown State cut the lead to 2 before Northern Kentucky scored from inside with 56 seconds to play putting them ahead 89-76. Tim Lostetter then hit 3 to cut the lead to 1 with 41 seconds remaining. Josh Jones blocked a shot and recovered the ball. After a time out, the Penguins designed play resulted in a miss and they fouled to stop the clock with 8 ticks remaining. The Norse made one of two shots. After gaining control of the subsequent rebound, the Penguins immediately called a time out. But with just one second remaining, they were unable to get a shot off and were defeated 81-79.

Again guards Ryan Surpin and Tim Lostetter led the team offensively with 19 and 18 points, respectively (same exact same number of points each has scored in the Penguins previous game). Surpin also grabbed 10 rebounds to record a double-double. Jamal Grady added 11 points.

The loss dropped Youngstown State into a 3-way tie for 5th place in the Horizon League.

After the game, Coach K.D. Durst expressed concerns about the end of the game, “I’m upset that the officials were late acknowledging our timeout request. Otherwise we could have had at least 2 more seconds to get off a final shot.”



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Penguins Extinguish Flames

By Steve Porter

 

The Youngstown State Penguins took the floor last night without Coach K.D. Durst directing them.  Durst, who faulted the officials after the team’s last game and then blasted them further in a subsequent radio interview, was suspended by the league for the team’s final game of the regular season. 

 

Therefore, 1st Assistant Coach Raymond Harrington led the team against the UIC Flames.  The Penguins played a controlled game in the first half.  After the lead switched back and forth during the first 8 minutes, the Penguins steadily carved out a lead that was 38-28 at the half.  Then in the 2nd half, the Penguins hit their shots, finishing by dropping in 53% of their field goal attempts, to keep the Flames at bay.  Youngstown State came away with a resounding 80-66 road win.  The victory evened their Horizon League record at 9-9 so that they finished in a tie with Cleveland State for 5th place.

 

SG Josh Jones stepped up to score 14 points and haul down 7 boards.  He was backed up by the inside duo of Steven Puzey and Jamal Grady who both scored 13.  Tim Lostetter scored 10 points.  For UIC, SG Dan Rucker scored 20.

 

Catching up with Coach Harrington after the game, he said, “I’d much rather have Coach Durst handling the reins during games.  But since he wasn’t allowed to be with us tonight, it really was fun making the decisions and working with the guys on our team.  They went out and made it easy for me by winning this for Coach D to show their appreciation for how he went to bat for them after last week’s loss.”

 

This year’s Horizon League Tournament is one big crap-shoot.  Even though the regular season title was won by Wisconsin-Green Bay, their 12-6 record didn’t reveal any type of dominance.  And even the teams that finished with 7-11 records have the ability to beat any other team on a given night.  So to try to predict a tournament champ is nigh impossible.  That means every team needs to put it all on the line in every game.






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