Men’s, women’s hoops set to take on Wisconsin teams

With an important matchup looming against first-place University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Saturday, Bob Boldon, head women’s basketball coach, said his team isn’t overlooking Thursday’s game.

“We’re just going to try to beat [the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee],” he said.

While the Penguins are on their first five-game winning streak since 2000 and sit in second place in the Horizon League (16-5 overall, 6-2 in the HL), Boldon said there is still room for improvement.

“If we want to continue to win games, we’ve got to find a way to take a lot better care of the basketball and omit some of these crazy turnovers we’ve been having,” he said.

Despite picking up a 67-50 victory against UW-Milwaukee earlier in the season, Boldon said YSU isn’t taking the Panthers lightly the second time around. In fact, he said he’s anticipating getting everyone’s best shot the second time through.

“The most important thing is our energy level and our effort level,” he said.

Boldon remembers the Penguins’ last loss on the road, which came on Jan. 12 at Valparaiso University (8-13, 3-5).

“It was unfortunately necessary,” Boldon said. “It didn’t seem necessary at the time, but, in retrospect, it probably was. Our approach has been 100 times better since that game.” 

Boldon knows that continued success from senior Brandi Brown and junior Karen Flagg means only good things for the team. 

Brown is in the top 25 in the nation in both scoring and rebounding, while Flagg is coming off Horizon League Newcomer of the Week honors after her 17 points and six assists against the University of Detroit Mercy. 

Brown spoke highly of Flagg and what she brings to the team.

“She really wants it,” she said. “She really wants to score, and she really wants to win.”

Brown also has a hunger to win.

“We don’t want just the midway point to be the highlight of our season,” she said.

The women hit the road and head to Wisconsin as they face UW-Milwaukee on Thursday, then travel to Green Bay (19-2, 9-0) for Saturday.

When asked about the short turnaround time before playing UW-Green Bay, Boldon took a lighter approach.

“I just wish we had four days to prepare for Milwaukee, and then we had four more to prepare for Green Bay,” he said. “But they won’t let me have four days to prepare for every game.”

On the men’s side, head coach Jerry Slocum said he credits his team for playing with character and heart in the disappointing triple overtime loss to the University of Illinois at Chicago on Sunday. 

But he also had to mention his team’s struggles: free throws. The Penguins were 20 for 33 (60.6 percent) from the charity stripe against UIC.

“Missing free throws is like the plague,” Slocum said. “It’s disappointing; there’s no stretch about that.” 

Slocum added that having nearly a week off before the next game should help his team. The Penguins host UW-Milwaukee on Friday at 7:05 p.m. and UW-Green Bay on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. 

“It’s that February drag that everybody in the country gets at times,” he said. “A week ago we were in a position to be fighting for a first-round bye. Now, we’re fighting for a first-round home game.”

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