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

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#61

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HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNAMENT RESULTS:

Horizon League Tourney Play-in Games:
UIC-73, Oakland-71
Detroit-74, Milwaukee-69

Horizon League Tourney Round One:
Wisconsin-Green Bay (#1 seed)-91, Detroit (#8 seed)-65
Valparaiso (#2 seed)-107, UIC (#7 seed)-105 (3 OT)
Wright St. (#3 seed)-72, Youngstown St. (#6 seed)-63
Cleveland St. (#5 seed)-82, Northern Kentucky (#4 seed)-67

Youngstown State tried to overcome the refs calling 12 fouls on them as compared to just 5 against Wright State in the first half. The two teams played nearly equally but free throws made the difference to give Wright State a 34-30 halftime lead. Both Jamal Grady for the Penguins and John Blanchard for the Raiders scored 17 points in the half.

 

The second half was nearly a duplication of the first. Free throws plus 26 points from the Raiders’ SG John Blanchard proved to be too much for the Penguins to overcome. Youngstown State went down to a 72-63 defeat. Jamal Grady scored 27 points and Josh Jones scored 10 plus pulled down 8 rebounds.

Horizon League Tourney Round Semi-Finals:
Wisconsin-Green Bay (#1 seed)-68, Cleveland St. (#5 seed)-66
Wright St. (#3 seed)-68, Valparaiso (#2 seed)-60

Horizon League Tourney Championship:
Wisconsin-Green Bay (#1 seed)-76, Wright St. (#3 seed)-65



#62

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Youngstown State Team Statistics:

Season Record: 16-14
League Record: 9-9
PPG: Penguins-70.8; Opponents-72.1
APG: Penguins-15.3; Opponents-16.7
RPG: Penguins-34.0; Opponents-31.8
SPG: Penguins-7.5; Opponents-6.9
BPG: Penguins-6.2; Opponents-5.8
TO: Penguins-15.2; Opponents-15.1


Youngstown State Player Statistics:

PPG: Puzey-11.6; Grady-11.3; Surpin-11.1; Jones-10.0; Lostetter-6.9; Delzell-6.7; Toole-4.4; Harrington-4.4; Braswell-4.2; Martin-2.3; Holt-1.6; Knight-1.4; Anderson-1.1
RPG: Puzey-5.6; Delzell-4.8; Grady-4.6; Toole-4.4; Jones-3.6; Surpin-3.6; Braswell-2.8; Harrington-2.3; Martin-1.8; Lostetter-1.6; Anderson-0.7; Holt-0.6; Knight-0.1
APG: Surpin-4.0; Jones-2.6; Lostetter-2.3; Harrington-1.7; Delzell-1.6; Grady-1.1; Puzey-1.1; Toole-0.8; Braswell-0.7; Martin-0.6; Holt-0.4; Knight-0.2; Anderson-0.0



#63

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Various excerpts from the Youngstown Vindicator:

NIT:

Alabama-79, Wright St.-56

NIT Championship: California-73, Kent St.-62

CBI:

Valparaiso-83, UNLV-65
Portland St.-83, Youngstown St.-75

In their opening game in the CBI Tournament against Portland State, the Penguins fell behind 19-7 after 7 minutes of play. The Penguins struck back to tie the game at 22-22 with 7-1/2 minutes left in the half. But the Vikings then exploded and pulled away to lead 45-37 at the half. PG Ryan Surpin led the scoring for the Penguins with 11 points, but SF Manny Cox hit for 17 for Portland State.

Midway through the 2nd half, Youngstown State cut the Vikings lead to 2 points. Three minutes later the Penguins cut the lead to a single point. Portland State was able to extend their lead again and the Penguins exited the tournament by a score of 83-75. The difference in the ball game was that Portland State got 12 more free throw attempts and scored 12 more points from the line than did the Penguins and two of Youngstown State’s starters fouled out early.

Ryan Surpin and Tim Lostetter scored 19 and 18 points respectively for the 3rd game this season. Chad Delzell hit for 12 and Steven Puzey scored 10. Manny Cox finished with 22 points for the Vikings.

Portland St.-63, Valparaiso-53

CBI Championship: St. Francis (NY)-64, Kentucky-57

CIT:

CIT Championship: Northern Arizona-98, Kennesaw St.-84

NCAA Tourney:

#1 Seeds: Indiana (29-3); Wake Forest (24-7); Florida (28-5); Temple (27-4)
Wisconsin-Green Bay (#13 seed)

Georgia-71, Wisconsin-Green Bay-62

NCAA Championship: Louisville-84, Oregon-60



#64

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Youngstown State’s Post-Season News
By Steve Porter

Senior C Steven Puzey has been named to the Horizon All-Conference 2nd Team. Puzey led the Penguins in scoring and rebounding and played solid defense. Puzey said, "I'm honored to be selected. It's a nice way to finish my collegiate career here." Puzey later indicated he had no plans to pursue any further basketball activities since he has accepted an advertising position at Jensen Manufacturing after he graduates later this mon

Today the Athletic Department announced that Steve Simmons has been promoted from 2nd Assistant to 1st Assistant Coach and will remain in charge of recruiting. Two new coaches have been added for the upcoming season. A. D. Kenna has been hired as 2nd Assistant in charge of practice and Kirk Smith has been hired as 3rd Assistant and will handle scouting activities for the Penguins.

The 4th scholarship available this season was not filled. Apparently the high flyers that Youngstown State was pursuing were not sufficiently interested to accept scholarship offers. By the end of April, the team’s recruiting budget was fully expended limiting their last-minute efforts to fill the scholarship. Coach Durst indicated that the team will look closely at available transfer players and will go that route to fill the available scholarship if there is a good fit. Durst said, "We're looking forward to taking a close look at the many transfer players who will be looking for new schools to attend. While we're confident we can get a good transfer player, should that not work out, it just means we will have two scholarships to offer next season rather than one."



#65

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PENGUINS PREPARING FOR 2017-2018 SEASON
By Steve Porter

The Athletic Department announced that PG Linehan Murphy has transferred from Boston University to the Penguins. The 5’7” Murphy is from Worcester, Massachusetts and was a part-time starter in his freshman year at Boston. He will have to sit out a year but will be a sophomore eligibility-wise when he is eligible to play in the 2018-2019 season.

 

Steve Simmons, who now is 1st Assistant Coach, advised that even though they only have one scholarship to offer this season, they’ve been working hard to land the best available recruit they can. “We’d really like to gain a player who can come right in and contribute in a big way next season,” said Simmons, “But even though Coach Durst turned things around for the Penguins last season, we still don’t have the reputation that gets star players easily attracted to coming our way.”



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Youngstown State Lands Recruit
By Steve Porter

Youngstown State’s Athletic Department announced that William Swan from Huron, Ohio has given a verbal acceptance for a scholarship to play for the Penguins’ basketball team next season. Swan is a 6’0” shooting guard who averaged 15.6 ppg as a junior last season for Huron High School. Steve Simmons, the Penguins recruiting coach, said, “We’re extremely pleased to have William coming to play for us. He’s has an outstanding jump shooter from outside but also can put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket. We expect him to put a lot of points on the board for us. He’s also got some great athleticism and plays solid defense.” While ranked higher earlier in the summer, Swan presently is ranked as the 276th best recruit nationally. Don Pardoe, Huron High School’s coach, praised Swan profusely, “William’s a very hard worker who has developed into a player who carries our team.” Swan will fill Youngstown State’s lone scholarship that they can offer this season.



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Penguins 2017-2018 Season Beginning
By Steve Porter

The Youngstown State basketball season kicks off Tuesday when the Penguins travel to Connecticut to take on the Hartford Hawks. Other pre-conference games include away games against Loyola-Chicago, Pacific, North Alabama, Elon, and Stony Brook and home games against Ohio, George Mason, and Wichita State. 

The Penguins had 3 starters from last season graduate and are picked to finish in 5th place in the Horizon League this season.

It’s anticipated the starting lineup this season will be:
PG Tim Lostetter, 5-6 sophomore who averaged 6.9 ppg last season
SG Josh Jones, 6-0 senior who averaged 10.0 ppg last season
SF Chad Delzell, 6-8 junior who averaged 6.7 ppg last season
PF Rich Braswell, 6-6 junior who averaged 4.2 ppg last season
C Jamal Grady, 6-10 sophomore who averaged 11.3 ppg last season
Reserves include:
Guards Levall Hart (6-3 So.) and Lonnie Holt (6-4 Jr.)
Small Forwards Rick Martin (6-6 Jr.) and William Worley (6-8 redshirt Fr.)
Power Forwards Aaron Tice (6-6 Fr.) and Charlie Praben (6-6 So.)
Centers Kent Jones (6-7 Fr.) and Kevin Anderson (6-8 So.)
B.J. Dennis has been redshirted and Linehan Murphy is sitting out the year due to having transferred.

Coach K.D. Durst said, “We have a young team this season and a pretty inexperienced bench. We had some good practices this past month and the guys worked hard so hopefully we develop quickly.”



#68

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A Tale of Two Halves
By Steve Porter

Traveling to Hartford, Connecticut, the season started poorly for the Penguins. It took over 4 minutes for the team to score. By that point, Hartford had a 9-0 lead and the Penguins had missed all 5 of their field goal attempts and had 3 turnovers. Two free throws by Aaron Tice finally put the Penguins on the board. But the team didn’t make their first field goal attempt until the 14:41 mark of the first half. Hitting just 24% of their first half shots, Youngstown State trailed the Hawks 37-25 at the break.

The Penguins defense stymied the Hawks, allowing the Penguins to take a 43-42 lead after 7 minutes of play in the 2nd half. With 6:15 remaining in the game, Youngstown State’s lead had grown to 57-50. The Penguins then put the Hawks away with a potent offense and a stalwart defense, pulling away for a 74-56 beatdown of Hartford. The Penguins outscored Hartford 49-19 in the 2nd half.

Youngstown State’s 2nd half turn-around resulted in the Penguins holding a 38-27 rebounding edge, a 47% to 35% shooting advantage, and hitting 22 of 25 free throws. SG Josh Jones scored 16 points (all in the 2nd half) and pulled down 8 rebounds. PF Aaron Tice hit for 14 points and PF Rich Bramwell added 12 points plus had 7 rebounds. Centers Jamal Grady and Kent Jones combined for 17 points and 7 boards.

Josh Jones admitted, “At halftime Coach Durst really blistered us for our poor play. He then exited the locker room so that we as a team were left to get together to commit to turning things around. That led to our coming out on fire when we took the court in the 2nd half. We all pulled together both offensively and defensively for the entire 20 minutes.”

Youngstown State (1-0) now travels to Chicago to take on the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (0-1) Friday night.



#69

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Tough Loss For Penguins
By Steve Porter

Youngstown State held a small lead throughout much of the first half, but then the refs put all 5 starters on the bench with 2 fouls apiece. Loyola-Chicago then pulled ahead to take a 35-29 halftime advantage. 

The game stayed close in the 2nd half. With 46 seconds remaining and Loyola-Chicago holding a 67-65 lead, the Ramblers threw the ball away. The Penguins missed a 3-point shot and then were unable to foul because they had too few fouls to put the Ramblers on the line. Loyola-Chicago hit a 3 to ice the game 70-65.

Leading scorers for the Penguins were C Jamal Grady with 16 points and SG Josh Jones with 10.

PF Aaron Tice was selected as the Horizon League’s Freshman Player of the Week. Tice scored 20 points and pulled down 6 rebounds in his first two games for Youngstown State.



#70

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Youngstown State Drops Another Close Game
By Steve Porter

The Penguins had trouble scoring early in the half and fell behind by double figures quickly. They made a few runs that got them close to the Ohio Bobcats but never caught up and at the end of the first half, they trailed 34-26. Ohio hit 52% of their shots compared to just 25% by Youngstown State. The Bobcats also out-rebounded the Penguins 21-13. Ohio’s PG Brandon Hayes, who came into the gave averaging 17.3 ppg, scored 12 in the half. 

Both teams came out hitting their shots in the 2nd half. But in the first four minutes of the 2nd half, Youngstown State cut the Bobcats lead to 43-40. With 8:27 remaining, Jamal Grady was fouled on a breakaway and sank both free throws to knot the score at 49-49. Then with 7:30 on the clock, Levall Hart dropped in a 12-foot jumper to give the Penguins their first lead of the game, 53-52. But then the Penguins’ shooting let them down, and they dropped their season home-opener by a score of 67-63. Another tough loss that left their season record at 1-2. The Bobcats had a 41-25 rebounding advantage while the Penguins held a 26-12 turnover advantage. But ultimately it was the Penguins’ 35% shooting from the field compared with the Bobcats’ converting 48% of their shots that made the difference.

PG Tim Lostetter tossed in 20 points and dished out 7 assists to lead the Penguins. SG Lonnie Holt hit for 12 and C Jamal Grady scored 11 and had 4 steals plus 3 blocks.

Coach K.D. Durst said, “I was proud of how my guys came back in the second half, but we failed to attack the boards which gave them too many opportunities. We had a chance at the end of the game to win it, but let it slip away. We need to nail down these close games.”



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Youngstown State Offensively Impotent
By Steve Porter

Even though the Penguins defense was solid in the first half, their offense wasn’t able to generate enough points and they trailed 30-26 at the break. SF Chad Delzell scored 6 points and had 5 rebounds in the half.

Pacific scored 10 unanswered points to in the first 1-1/2 minutes of the 2nd half. Without being able to ignite their offense, Youngstown State never threatened. The Penguin defense fell apart in the latter portions of the 2nd half and they suffered a 69-48 shellacking. The loss dropped their season record to 1-3.

Youngstown State his just 31% of their field goal attempts and had 19 turnovers. PF Rich Braswell, SF Chad Delzell and PG Tim Lostetter each scored 8 points. Delzell also pulled down 9 rebounds.



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Penguins Rebound
By Steve Porter

The 1-3 Youngstown State Penguins took their 3-game losing streak down south to take on the Northern Alabama Lions who were 3-1 and sporting a 3-game win streak. Four Lions’ starters were averaging in double figures.

The Penguins scored 20 points, including 11 points by SF Chad Delzell, in the first 5 minutes of play and led by 13. Youngstown State finished the half ahead 45-35. They hit 55% of their shots and were +16 in rebounds. The only negatives affecting them in the half were 12 turnovers and early foul trouble by both of their starting interior players.

The 2nd half was pretty much a replay of the previous half. The Penguins stomped the Lions 89-71. Youngstown State held a 51% to 39% shooting advantage and a 46-27 rebounding advantage.

The Penguins were led by SF Chad Delzell who scored 17 and pulled down 12 rebounds. SG Lonnie Holt also scored 17 points while PG Tim Lostetter hit for 16, C Jamal Grady dropped in 15, and PF Aaron Tice added 10.



#73

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Evaluating the Penguins
By Steve Porter

Although it’s early in the season, a look at the Youngstown State basketball squad indicates the team needs to develop and mature if it is to be competitive in the Horizon League this season. While the team has shot very well from the free throw line (81%), their shooting from the field has been extremely inconsistent. As a team they’ve hit just 41% of their field goal attempts. Even more disconcerting has been their effectiveness from beyond the arc. They have knocked down just 24% of their 3-point attempts. But their opponents have not fared much better: 42% from the field including 33% of their 3-point attempts. On a positive front, the team is out-rebounding their opponents by more than 2 rpg and they have made 2-1/2 less turnovers per game than their opponents. Thus far the Penguins have averaged 67.8 ppg while their opponents have averaged 66.6 ppg.

Here's a quick position-by-position look at how players have performed thus far:

Point Guard: 

Tim Lostetter is averaging 25.6 mpg, 10.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, and 4.4 apg. He’s hitting 37% of his FG attempts and just 18% of his 3’s. Levall Hart is his backup with 9.6 mpg, 2.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg, and 0.8 apg. He has hit just 27% of his FG’s and 25% of his 3’s. While adequate, neither is yet a standout. But both are sophomores so there is hope for substantial development and maturity as the season progresses.

Shooting Guard:

Senior Josh Jones, a second year starter, has yet to play up to his level of last season. While playing 26.0 mpg, he’s averaging just 7.8 ppg and hitting only 32% of his FG’s and 17% of his 3’s. On the positive side he is averaging 5.0 rpg and 2.2 apg. Meanwhile Lonnie Holt has been a pleasant surprise. Rarely used last season, the junior has played 14.4 mpg and averaged 8.2 ppg, hitting 54% of his FG’s and 44% of his 3’s. But he’s only pulled down 0.6 rpg and dished out 0.4 apg. He’s been a valuable reserve and is developing into a valuable 6th man who can come in and provide a quick offensive spark. Together the two are contributing 16 ppg.

Small Forward:

Chad Delzell returns as a second-year starter and is the team's top rebounder. He is averaging 25.2 mpg, 7.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, and 1.4 apg. He is shooting well from the field (46%), although his 20% from 3-point distance is subpar. His 17 points and 12 rebounds in the Penguins’ last game reveals he can be dominant, but he has also disappeared in a few games. Another junior Rick Martin is Delzell’s relief. Martin’s play has been inconsistent, but he’s averaging 14.4 mpg, 4.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, and 0.8 apg. While he’s not a strong rebounder like Delzell, Martin has hit 50% of his FG’s and 40% of his 3’s. The Penguins could use a little more offensive output at this position.

Power Forward:

While junior Rich Braswell has started 4 of the team’s 5 games at this position, freshman Aaron Tice, who has started the other game, has been on the court a little more time. Braswell is averaging 17.6 mpg and Tice 19.4 mpg. Braswell averaged 5.6 ppg while Tice hits for 6.4 ppg. Braswell has knocked down 42% of this FG’s and Tice 46%. Neither has attempted a 3-pointer. Braswell is the stronger rebounder (4.8 rpg) to Tice’s 3.6 rpg. Braswell has 0.8 apg and Tice 0.6 apg. As Tice develops, he is likely to get an even higher percentage of playing time.

Center:

Jamal Grady played well as a freshman last year, moving into the starting lineup midway through last season. This year he is averaging 23.0 mpg, 10.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, and 2.0 apg. He is only scoring on 41% of his FG attempts and hasn’t shot a 3-pointer. Expected to star on the team this season, his performance thus far is close but not quite as strong as last season. The Penguins need him to be more aggressive on the boards. Freshman Kent Jones has been his main backup. Jones is averaging 11.0 mpg, 3.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg, and 0.4 apg. So there’s a drop off in performance when Grady is off the court, but Jones should develop as the season progresses.

Bit Players:

Freshman small forward William Worley and two walk-on sophomores, center Kevin Anderson and power forward Charlie Paben, have combined to play about 9 mpg and score 1.2 ppg.



#74

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Penguins Pound Patriots
By Steve Porter

Early in the game, the Penguins took a 6-point lead over visiting George Mason (3-1). But the Patriots hit shots from all over the court and spurted ahead in the middle of the first half and took a 10-point lead. Youngstown State recovered and moved ahead late in the half to come away with a 45-42 halftime advantage. Both teams hit over 50% of their shots, but the Penguins were +9 in rebounds. SG Josh Jones had a big half with 17 points and C Jamal Grady scored 11 and had 5 rebounds and 4 steals.

Youngstown State scored the first 7 points in the 2nd half to give them a double-digit lead. Again the Patriots made a run to cut the lead to 61-58 with 12 minutes to play. As fouls piled up on both teams, George Mason overtook the Penguins 71-70 with 5:16 remaining. On the following possession Jamal Grady scored on a reverse layup and was fouled. He converted the free throw to put the Penguins back on top 73-71. The score was knotted at 73 and then 75, but the Penguins scored the final 10 points to notch a resounding 85-75 victory that evened their season record at 3-3.

Youngstown State completely dominated the boards 42-21. C Jamal Grady scored 23, pulled down 9 rebounds and had 5 steals. SG Josh Jones finished with 21 points and PF Aaron Tice added 11 points. For George Mason, PG John Reed scored 20 points.

Coach K. D. Durst said, “Both teams played all-out tonight. I was really pleased to see how our guys hung in against a tough team like George Mason. Each time it looked like the Patriots might pull away, we struck back to regain the lead. Grady and Jones gave us a great inside-outside game but we had solid play from everyone tonight.”



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Penguins Bewitch Wichita State
By Steve Porter

Last season the Penguins came away with a thrilling come-from-behind victory at the end of their “bracket buster” game against the Wichita State Shockers. As a result of that contest, Youngstown State was able to induce the Shockers to come to Youngstown for a game last night. Both teams had 3-3 records coming into the game. As they were last year, C Jason Wheeler, averaging 16.3 ppg and 8.0 rpg this season, has led the Shockers’ attack. Before last night’s game Penguins’ Coach K. D. Durst opined, “Wheeler is going to be tough for us to handle. We’ve just got to keep him from exploding.”

The Penguins came out in an attack mode, forging a 9-2 lead in the first 3 minutes of play. Their lead was expanded to 10 points with 13 minutes left in the first half, but 3 Penguins’ starters had been relegated to the bench due to foul trouble. Ten minutes into the game, Youngstown led 24-9. The Shockers cut the lead to 4 points several times, but the Penguins were able to pull away each time. The half ended with Youngstown State ahead 45-37. The Penguins outshot Wichita State 52%-37% and had just 5 turnovers compared to 11 by the Shockers. C Jamal Grady led the scoring for Youngstown State with 10 points.

The Penguins maintained a lead in the 2nd half until the Shockers tied the game at 61-61 with 8 minutes to go. Youngstown State rallied to retake a 76-63 lead just 3-1/2 minutes later. The Penguins continued to control the game to come away with an impressive 87-74 victory. The biggest contributing factor to the Penguins win was a 26-11 turnover advantage.

C Jamal Grady hit for 20, PF Aaron Tice had 17 (along with 3 steals and 2 blocks), and SG Josh Jones scored 13. For Wichita State, C Jason Wheeler lived up to expectations, scoring 21 points while pulling down 12 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists.

After the game, Coach Durst said, “I was impressed by how focused the guys were tonight. They were intent on winning this one and absolutely would not let the Shockers take a lead. While as a coach, you can never sit back against a team like Wichita State, it was fun to watch our guys play their hearts out. It was a real team effort.”

Youngstown State’s offense has come alive during their 3-game win streak. The team has scored 85, 87 and 89 points in those three games.


The Horizon League named C Jamal Grady Player of the Week and PF Aaron Tice Freshman Player of the Week.



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Penguins Take Flight on the Phoenix
By Steve Porter

The Penguins and Elon Phoenix had 21 lead changes and 16 ties in the first half, but Youngstown State’s hot shooting (61%) allowed the Penguins to take a 49-43 lead to the locker room. PG Tim Lostetter popped in 14 points in the half.

Neither team could take control in the 2nd half either. With 2 minutes to go, the Penguins took a 5 point lead. The Phoenix cut the lead to 2 with a little over a minute to play. Youngstown State then pulled away to an 86-80 lead with 47 seconds to go. The Penguins kept the Phoenix from scoring and came away with an 88-80 road win. 

The loss by Elon kept them winless at 0-9. The game was highlighted by 30 lead changes and 21 ties. Youngstown State’s 61% shooting for the entire game was the difference. The win was Youngstown State’s 4th in a row and improved their season record to 5-3.

PG Tim Lostetter scorched the nets for 23 points. C Kent Jones scored 12, SF Chad Delzell and SG Lonnie Holt both hit for 11, and PF Rich Braswell added 10.



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Penguins Post 5th Straight Win
By Steve Porter

Youngstown State ran off to a 12-2 lead in the first 4 minutes of their game against the Stony Brook Seawolves. But 6 minutes later the Seawolves had taken a 20-18 lead. After falling behind by 8 points, the Penguins roared back by hitting 58% of their FG attempts to pull ahead by a 44-35 score at the end of the half. C Jamal Grady and SG Lonnie Holt shared scoring honors in the half with 10 points apiece.

The Penguins held a lead throughout the 2nd half. Each time the Seawolves got close, Youngstown State was able to reassert its dominance. By hitting 57% of their shots and making just 13 turnovers, the Penguins came away with an 88-82 victory. The win gave the team a 6-3 pre-conference record. The Penguins will enter conference play riding a 5-game win streak during which they have averaged 87.4 ppg.

C Jamal Grady led the Penguins scoring with 18 points. Others scoring in double figures were SG Lonnie Holt with 16, PF Aaron Tice 14, PF Rich Braswell 11, and SF Chad Delzell 10.



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Youngstown State Ready for Horizon League Play
By Steve Porter

Tuesday night the Youngstown State Penguins (6-3) open their Horizon League season by hosting the Milwaukee Panthers (4-5). The Penguins have won their past 5 games. Coach K. D. Durst answered some questions as the Panthers prepared to take on Milwaukee:

Has your team out-performed your expectations thus far?

I’m pleased with how the team has come together and played. Seven of our nine games have been close and we’ve won five of those games so that shows the guys can play well under pressure. Also since six of our nine games were on the road, a 6-3 record is impressive, even though our schedule wasn’t over-challenging.

What have been your team’s strengths and weaknesses up to this point in the season?

Offensively we’ve done well, scoring 76.3 ppg which is 22nd best in the nation and we’re hitting nearly 46% of our shots and 79% of our free throws. Conversely, we still are not a good scoring team from 3-point distance where we’ve dropped in just 30% of our attempts. Defensively we’ve been inconsistent, playing well in some games and poorly in others. So we need to work harder on that aspect of our game. We’ve rebounded pretty well. We’re +3 per game in rebounds. And we’re +2 in turnovers, so I’m particularly pleased with how we’ve controlled the ball. 

How have your players performed individually?

I think we have a very balanced team. We are getting decent output at each position and many different players have stepped up to lead us on any given night. Our two guard positions are collectively averaging nearly 30 ppg even though Lonnie Holt is the only one who has been shooting at a high percentage. Chad Delzell and Rick Martin have combined to score over 11 ppg at SF and Chad is our leading rebounder with 6.1 rpg. At PF, Rich Braswell and Aaron Tice have spelled each other. Both are hitting over 50% of their shots and together they are averaging 14 ppg and 7 rpg. Jamal Grady is carrying the load at the C position and is our leading scorer with 12.8 ppg. Freshman Kent Jones is developing and beginning to produce better when he fills in for Jamal. So all-in-all, I think the guys are doing well. The two areas where they can improve the most would be in hitting for a higher percentage in the perimeter and making better passes to set up our scoring. Overall our assist rate has been rather low thus far.

How do you think you’ll fare in the Horizon League?

I think we’ll be competitive. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a replay of last season where there is no dominant team in the league and any team can win on any given night. So I think we, along with all others in the league will take their lumps as well as having some impressive wins.

You’re now midway through your second season at Youngstown State. Have you met your own expectations?

There’s always things you wish you’d done better and accomplished more. But overall, the guys have really worked hard and developed as well as I could have possibly hoped for. I think we still are a couple years away from becoming a team that can dominate, but we’re going to keep working hard to improve. We remain a very young team with just 1 senior and 4 juniors on this year’s squad.

Are there any specific areas that have been tougher than you expected?

That’s easy. Recruiting has been a bigger challenge than I anticipated. We still don’t have enough of a reputation to sway a lot of recruits to seriously consider accepting scholarships. But Steve Simmons has done well as my chief recruiter. We’re still not able to recruit successfully out of the state of Ohio and regionally. And I think we are still quite a ways from being able to recruit on a national level. We continue to set high goals and go after high quality recruits but for the most part we’ve been unsuccessful at that level. It’s been frustrating but we need to just be persistent.

What’s your assessment of your recruiting this season?

We were able to get a talented transfer player this summer. Linehan Murphy of course is ineligible this season, but next year he will be a sophomore eligibility-wise. He played well for Boston University as a freshman, and I expect him to be a big asset for us next season at PG. We only had one scholarship to offer to recruits this fall. William Swan, a talented scoring guard from Huron High School, will be filling that scholarship next year. While it may take him a year or two to develop in Division I ball, he’s got a sweet outside shot so I expect him to become a big scorer for us.

How’s your team’s fan base?

I’m very impressed by how impassioned our fans are. We just need more of them. But that also will come as our team becomes more successful and more consistent. We’re seeing more students come to our games and that’s very important to our players. The athletic department and student newspaper have been very helpful in encouraging students to support our team. As we get more people attending our games and loudly encouraging our play, our home court advantage will become more pronounced.

What’s your team’s goal for this season?

The guys have set their sights on topping the Horizon League and getting to the NCAA Tournament. That’s a very challenging goal, but I’m confident in our ability to achieve it.



#79

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League Play Begins For Penguins
By Steve Porter

The Youngstown State basketballers came out with guns blazing as they opened league play last night. Midway through the first half they led the visiting Milwaukee Panthers 29-14 by hitting 67% of their FG attempts. At the half, Youngstown State led 46-22. SG Josh Jones led their scoring with 14 points in the half.

While the Penguins attack slowed in the 2nd half, they kept the Panthers from mounting a serious run and came away with a commanding 76-57 victory to open league play. Penguins knocked down 49% of their FG’s including 54% of their 3’s. They also out-rebounded Milwaukee 37-28.

SG Josh Jones finished with 23 points. PF Rich Braswell scored 12 and SF Chad Delzell had 11. C Jamal Grady had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The win pushed Youngstown State’s win streak to 6 games. Coach K.D. Durst said, “While we played with a lot of confidence tonight, our fans really got into the game from the get-go and that was really a big plus. We played particularly well on both ends of the court in the first half.”



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Penguins Tail-Feathers Singed By Fire
By Steve Porter

The Youngstown State basketball team journeyed to Chicago last night to take on the University of Illinois-Chicago. The Fire burned the nets early to pull away to a 19-10 lead in the first 7 minutes of the game. Led by C Jamal Grady, the Penguins gamely fought back and finally took a 34-33 lead with 3 minutes remaining in the half. The half ended with UIC on top 43-42. C Jamal Grady accounted for 16 points for Youngstown State in the first half.

The refs called 6 fouls on the Penguins in the first 3 minutes of play in the 2nd half as UIC streaked out to a 51-42 lead. Youngstown State was ice cold and failed to knock down a field goal for the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half. By then they trailed 60-46. The Penguins tried to come back but were unable to sustain a run and fell to the Flames 79-67. Youngstown State hit just 36% of their shots and a dismal 13% of their 3’s.

C Jamal Grady finished with 21 points. PF Aaron Tice scored 14 and SF Chad Delzell added 12. PF Rich Braswell scored 8 and pulled down 11 rebounds. 

“We were sure we could take this one after coming back in the first half. Maybe we were a little bit too high and over-confident in the locker room at the half. But then ten minutes without any of us hitting a shot from the field. And we had some good looks at the basket. I hope never to have that happen again. It was so frustrating and ultimately sealed our fate,” said Chad Delzell.






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