Offense Struggles in 60-42 Loss at Green Bay

Alison Smolinski (Photo by David Dermer)
Alison Smolinski (Photo by David Dermer)

Green Bay, Wisc. - The Youngstown State women's basketball team was out of sorts offensively all afternoon and lost 60-42 to Green Bay on Saturday afternoon at the Kress Center.

YSU went without a field goal for more than nine minutes in the first half, and Green Bay went on a 16-1 run during that stretch to take an insurmountable 23-6 lead. The margin was at least a dozen the rest of the game.

Alison Smolinski posted her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, and Chelsea Olson had nine points. Olson was 3-for-8 from 3-point range, but the other eight Penguins who played were a combined 2-for-22.

Youngstown State shot 23.2 percent overall and was 5-for-30 from beyond the arc. They also committed 16 turnovers, six of which came in the opening quarter as Green Bay set the tone defensively. The Phoenix held the Penguins without a field goal for the final five minutes of the first period, the final three minutes of the third and the last seven minutes of the fourth.

Laken James and Jen Wellnitz scored 17 points apiece to lead Green Bay, and they also combined for 10 of the team's 13 steals. Phoenix head coach Kevin Borseth registered his 700th career victory.

Youngstown State dropped to 12-5 overall and slid back to third place in the Horizon League standings with a 4-2 conference record. Green Bay improved to 9-6 overall and secured second place in the league with a 4-1 mark.  

YSU's only lead was 3-2 when Olson made a 3 at the 7:45 mark of the first period, but the deficit was just 7-5 when Smolinski scored on a drive with 5:25 remaining. That was YSU's last field goal of the first period, and the Penguins finished the quarter 2-of-11 shooting with six turnovers.

Sarah Cash was whistled for two fouls in the first four minutes, and Green Bay clamped down defensively to go on its 16-1 run. Wellnitz hit two 3s in the first period as the Phoenix led 15-6 at the end of the first period, and the margin extended to 23-6 as Green Bay scored the first eight points of the second quarter.

Smolinski's putback at the 6:20 mark ended YSU's drought, and the Penguins got to within 28-16 on a McKenah Peters 3-pointer with 1:31 left in the half. James scored the next five points to extend the lead to 17, and Melinda Trimmer's layup before the buzzer made the score 33-18 at the break.

YSU held Green Bay to two points through almost the first five minutes of the second half, but it was only able to shave two points off the lead. After Mary Dunn's basket made the score 35-22 at the 5:33 mark, Green Bay scored eight straight points in just over 90 seconds to go up 43-22.

Olson's third 3 made the score 43-27, but Green Bay scored the next six points to take its largest lead at 49-27 on the opening possession of the fourth period. The Penguins battled to get within 54-39 with 6:37 left, but they scored just three points the rest of the contest.

Green Bay shot 41.8 percent from the field and scored 25 points off turnovers. The Phoenix also doubled up the Penguins in the paint with a 28-14 scoring edge.

Youngstown State will look to bounce back as it hosts league-leading Wright State on Friday at 7 p.m. The contest against the Raiders, who are 5-0 in conference play, will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN and ESPN+.