The Youngstown State University women’s basketball team ended a three game losing streak on Saturday, defeating Valparaiso University, 84-56. Senior guard Liz Hornberger had a career night, scoring a career high 20 points.
Head Coach John Barnes seemed surprised to hear that Hornberger’s career high was 20 points.
“That’s her career high? 20?” Barnes said at the post-game press conference.
Hornberger went seven of 10 from the field and had five assists.
“Every other thing coach Barnes yells at me for is not shooting the ball,” Hornberger laughed. “I had to shoot it or I was going to be taken out. I like to stay in the game, so if that’s what I have to do to stay in the game, that is what I’ll do.”
Hornberger went six of 10 from 3-point range tonight. Karen Flagg, Heidi Schlegel and Monica Touvelle also finished with double digit points.
During the three game skid, the Penguins (11-12, 7-3) played tough opponents, who could put up points.
“Wright State and Cleveland State are really high scoring offenses,” said Barnes.
Even with the Penguins facing these high-powered offenses, Hornberger feels like the team shouldn’t use that as an excuse.
“It’s about taking pride in yourself and the shouldn’t score 80 points,” Hornberger said. “They shouldn’t even score 70 in my opinion.”
With the Penguins giving up more than 80 points per game during the losing streak, Barnes was looking to get the defense rolling in this one.
“We really felt like this is a great game to jumpstart our defense again,” Barnes said.
Even with the three game losing streak, the women find themselves alongside Wright State University tied for third in the Horizon League standings, trailing only the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and Cleveland State University.
“Coach Barnes really put into perspective yesterday at practice. We’re only a half game out of first place even with those three losses,” said Hornberger
With this win, the Penguins feel like they have a chance to put themselves in position to win the conference, according to Hornberger.
“The conference is still up for grabs people have losses here and there,” she said. “Being at home today really helped because we play awesome at home compared to on the road.”
Hornberger explained that at times, during the losing streak, her and the team’s confidence wasn’t where it should be.
“I caught myself thinking our season is over some days, Hornberger said. “Three losses is the end of the world to some people on our team and I don’t know why.”
With the win tonight Hornberger feels a certain comfort in ending the losing streak. She hopes that this win will help the team put the team back on track and put the last few losses behind them.
“We were just talking about how we want to host the tournament this year,” Hornberger said. “To do that my senior year would be a dream come true.”
The Penguins’ next game will be on the road against the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee on Friday.