The Youngstown State University Men’s basketball team quite possibly suffered its worst loss of the season on Sunday in a 96-80 beat down against Oakland University.
The loss drops the Penguins to 10-15, and just 1-9 since starting Horizon League play in early January. It also keeps them in a tie with the University of Illinois at Chicago for last place in the conference.
YSU head coach Jerry Slocum was disappointed with his team’s effort, which he felt lacked at both ends of the floor.
“First time in a long, long, long time that I wasn’t happy in terms of what our effort was,” Slocum said. “We have obviously limitations in our skill levels at times, but we’ve always played hard and I don’t think we did that.”
Slocum was particularly critical of his teams defense in the first half.
“I was not very happy with the attitude of this team,” Slocum said. “ Especially on the defensive end in the first half.
The Penguins kept the game close in the first half with their offense, and only trailed seven points going into the half (49-42). However, stretch of turnovers early in the second half gave Oakland a commanding 60-44 lead with 15:38 left to play and the Penguins were never able to recover.
“We came out empty on five possessions and they scored on all five, that’s your ball game,” Slocum said.
Junior center Bobby Hain was one of the few bright spots for the Penguins. Hain tied a career-high with 26 points and also added nine rebounds.
Hain agreed with coach Slocum that the team as a whole came out flat in the second half.
“It’s hard. We were only down seven at the half and we came in and we had our energy going, we had momentum we felt like, and then shots just weren’t dropping through and they got some buckets,” Hain said.
Hain had the tough job of defending Oakland big man Corey Petros, who finished with 21 points and shot 7-9 from the field.
“In this league, yeah he’s a good player. I would say he’s definitely one of the toughest bigs,” Hain said.