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In Topic: The Town Crier

Today, 02:22 AM

The Battle for First in the Horizon League
By Steve Porter

The Detroit Titans, a team tied with Youngstown State and Oakland for 1st place in the Horizon League visited Beeghly Center last night. When the two teams met earlier this season in Detroit, the Titans defeated the Penguins by a score of 77-71.

Detroit took an early 6-2 lead but Youngstown State then scored 14 unanswered points to take a 10 point lead after 8 minutes of play. The Penguins continued to deploy a stout defense throughout the half and more importantly dominated the boards 25-13. The result was a commanding 40-22 halftime advantage. YSU’s offense was led by C Will O’Neil who scored 11 points.

Detroit cut the Penguins lead to just 6 points with 14 minutes to play. YSU regained a double-digit lead a few minutes later and was never seriously threatened thereafter. Youngstown State went on to down the Titans 72-59. The Penguins outshot Detroit 43% to 34% and completely owned the boards 52-31. YSU hit just 3 of 20 from beyond the arc, though. 

C Will O’Neil scored 16 and hauled in 10 rebounds plus had 3 steals and 2 blocks. PF/C Andre Lilly scored 14. SG Matt Angner came off the bench to add 10 points. Oakland, which defeated UIC 60-50, remained tied for first place with the Penguins. YSU held Detroit’s top scorer, SG Copley Scott, to just 4 points.

“We usually do well on the boards, but this was by far our strongest rebounding game of the season,” said Coach KD Durst. 

Nationally three teams have just one loss apiece this season. North Carolina (23-1) is ranked #1 in the polls with #2 UNLV sporting a 22-1 record, and #4 Gonzaga sitting at 20-1. Even though Maryland has 4 losses, they are ranked #3.

In Topic: The Town Crier

Yesterday, 03:16 AM

Penguins Smash Panthers
By Steve Porter

Although the Penguins failed to score for more than 3 minutes in last night’s game against the Milwaukee Panthers and fell behind 4-0, they opened a 17-5 lead with 11:15 left in the first half. YSU continued to dominate and by the end of the half the Penguins were ahead 42-19. Youngstown State outshot the Panthers 44% to 29%, held a 20-15 rebounding advantage, and had just 2 turnovers compared to 13 by Milwaukee. SF Colin Chambliss scored 10 to lead the Penguins.

Youngstown State held onto a big lead throughout the 2nd half as they thumped the Panthers 79-58. The win kept the Penguins in a 3-way tie for 1st place in the Horizon League.

SF Colin Chambliss tossed in 16 points, PG Pat White and PG/SG William Swan both scored 13, and PF/C Andre Lilly had a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds).

In Topic: The Town Crier

December 10, 2018 - 12:08 AM

Durst Evaluates Penguins’ Play
By Steve Porter

Coach KD Durst responded to questions after his team’s recent loss to Valparaiso which was in 8th place in the league coming into the game against YSU. Besides the loss to Valparaiso, earlier this season the Penguins lost to last place Milwaukee. “We’ve got a good team this season, but we’ve played inconsistently in league play. It’s disconcerting that 2 of our 3 losses have been to teams in lower ranks of the Horizon League. And even in a few other games, we’ve let teams come back against us requiring us to scramble to eke out wins. We need to avoid these letdowns in our effort. By the time the League’s Tournament begins, we have to have a consistent high level of effort and effectiveness if we want to have a chance of getting back to the NCAA Tournament,” said Durst.

Durst analyzed play at each position by saying, “Pat White has played very well at PG. He’s become the team leader. Pat is tied for 12th in the nation in assists per game. William Swan, who played SG for us in prior seasons, has been White’s main back up and has done a good job but recently freshman Matt Stafford has been getting more playing time since he’s shown the ability to come in and put some quick points on the board. B.J. Dennis and Matt Angner have split time at SG. Both have had some good games and I’m comfortable starting either player. Colin Chambliss has been the starter at SF in each of his three seasons. He’s a good scorer and a very good rebounder as well as being a solid defender. James Asbury has been backing him up this season, and as he becomes more experienced, is becoming more valuable to us. When freshman Andre Lilly showed strong capabilities early this season, we began starting him at PF as well as having him also play some at C. He’s scoring well and his rebounding is improving as he gains more experience. Lee Pauly has been the primary backup at PF and while he originally was a SF, he’s shown some real strength on the boards. Will O’Neil continues to be our.top scoring threat and is now also our strongest rebounder. Freshman Morris Phelan has come off the bench to play both C and PF and is improving with each and every game. As a team our guys play tenaciously on defense, we rebound well, and we also make few turnovers in most of our games.”

When asked about weaknesses, Durst replied, “Our overall shooting is OK, but as in prior seasons, our 3-point shooting still is subpar. We have yet to develop a go-to shooter beyond the arc. Colin Chambliss has been our best outside shooter, but needs to put up more 3-point attempts. I’d also definitely like to see our FT shooting improve.”

In response to how he saw his team doing the rest of the way in league play Durst was unwilling to make a prediction, but said, “We still have to play our 4 toughest competitors [Oakland, Detroit, UIC and Wisconsin-Green Bay] and two of those games [Oakland and UIC] are on the road, so anything can happen. But to end this on a positive note: We’re the 65th best scoring team in Division 1 while we’re the 30th best defensively in points allowed per game by our opponents. Also, we’re the 18th best in rebounding, 33rd best in assists, and have the 15th fewest turnovers per game.”

In Topic: The Town Crier

December 08, 2018 - 08:12 PM

Valparaiso Zone Stymies Penguins 
By Steve Porter

In their game last night against the Valparaiso Crusaders, PG Pat White hit three 3-point shots in the first 2 minutes of play to put the Penguins on top 9-2. With the Crusaders employing a 2-3 zone, the Penguins continued to fire away from outside and went to the break with a 33-25 lead. The Penguins hit 9 of 18 from beyond the arc. They also controlled the boards 21-14 but turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 11 times while Valparaiso had only 6 turnovers. The Penguins also employed a 2-3 zone and held the Crusaders shooting to just 31%. PG Pat White popped in 15 points while SG B.J. Dennis hit for 11.

Valparaiso’s C Dan Davis scored the first 8 points of the 2nd half to tie the game at 33-33. After 4 minutes of play in the half, Valparaiso was ahead 37-33 as the Penguins self-destructed and their offense sputtered. After falling behind by 6 points, YSU regained the lead at 45-44 with 9 minutes remaining. The lead shifted back and forth over the next 6 minutes but with 3 minutes remaining the Crusaders took a 5 point lead and expanded it to 8 as the Penguins offense fell apart. Valparaiso vanquished YSU by a final score of 64-59. The Penguins poor shooting in the 2nd half lowered their FG% to 37% for the entire game and their 21 turnovers helped seal their defeat.

SG B.J. Dennis scored 16 and PG Pat White scored 15 while handing out 7 assists and making 4 blocks but he turned the ball over 11 times. C Will O’Neil grabbed 11 rebounds but scored just 3 points. C Dan Davis scored 26 points for Valparaiso and PF Derick Coffee had a double-double (16 points and 12 rebounds).

“After we played and shot well in the first half, Valparaiso’s 2-3 defense stymied us in the 2nd half. They totally shut down our inside game and when our outside shooting went south, our goose was cooked,” said Coach KD Durst. 

The loss coupled with a loss by Detroit and a win by Oakland knotted those 3 teams in a tie for 1st place with 7-3 records.

In Topic: The Town Crier

December 07, 2018 - 07:38 PM

Youngstown State Refuses to Fold at Cleveland State
By Steve Porter

It took 6 minutes for Cleveland State to knock down their first FG, but Youngstown State’s shooting wasn’t that much better so they only led at that point 6-1. The Penguins continued to implement a stingy defense and took a 22-9 lead with 8 minutes left in the half. The Vikings closed to within 6 points but then YSU pulled away late to post a 31-20 halftime lead. Youngstown State outshot the Vikings 39% to 32% and also held a commanding 21-11 rebounding advantage. C Will O’Neil scored 8 points and pulled down 7 rebounds in the half.

Cleveland State scored the first 10 points in the 2nd half to cut the Penguins lead to a single point with over 17 minutes to play. Will O’Neil then took charge and re-ignited YSU’s offense. With 11:16 to play, the Penguins led 47-37. Even though the Penguins shot poorly, YSU held the Vikings off from there on and won by a score of 70-59. Youngstown State held a 21-12 turnover advantage and a 34-28 rebounding advantage. The Penguins hit just 4 of 24 of their 3-point attempts. With their 6th straight win Youngstown State improved their Horizon League record to 7-2 and in doing so, tied for 1st place in the league.

C Will O’Neil had a double-double (17 points and 12 rebounds) plus had 1 steal and 2 blocks. SG Matt Angner scored 13 and PG Pat White had 10 points, 6 assists, 4 steals and a block.

“When the Vikings cut our lead to 1 in the 2nd half, our guys began pounding the ball inside so it was up to me put some points on the board. Luckily the ball fell through the hoop and we were able to pull away and regain a comfortable lead. Both of our games this week are on the road. We want to keep this win streak intact, so we need to get up for Valparaiso this Friday since they also have a win-streak going [3 games],” said Will O’Neil.