YSU looking to build on wins
Here's a trivia question for you YSU basketball fans.
When was the last time that the Youngstown State men's and women's basketball team both won games on the same day?
Well, if you guessed Jan. 5, 2002 you're right.
It has been over two years since both Penguin teams have won on the same day.
Saturday they both won again, although the women won at home, defeating non-conference opponent IPFW, while the men won at Cleveland State, beating the Vikings 61-59 in a Horizon League matchup.
Now, nobody is expecting to see IPFW or Cleveland State make a run at this year's Final Four, but it's a start for the Penguins and hopefully it leads to more wins.
For both YSU teams to win on the same day is one thing, but to have the men win on the road is even better, as the Penguins put an end to a 38-game regular season road losing streak at Cleveland.
"What losing streak?" joked Robic after the game. "You mean we had lost that many in a row? You're right, though, I got kids on the team who were sophomores in high school when that streak started."
Robic is hoping that Saturday's win turns into a big confidence builder for his Penguins.
"You know we've been playing well ever since the second half of the game in Green Bay," Robic said. "We beat Cleveland, played a great game in Milwaukee and should have beaten Butler.
"Now we play five of our next six games at home and if we continue to improve we're going to be tough to beat."
The Penguins will try for their second straight win Thursday night when they play host to Loyola of Chicago in a 7 p.m. tip-off at Beeghly Center. YSU dropped an 85-78 decision to the Ramblers back on Jan. 3 in Chicago.
It's been over a year since either YSU team has won two straight games.
The men won two straight twice last season, but both times came within the first six games of the year as the Penguins beat Slippery Rock and Toledo in games No. 2 and 3, then beat Buffalo and Shawnee State back-to-back in games No. 5 and 6.
The Penguins won only five more games the rest of the year to finish 9-20.
The YSU women haven't won two straight since the tail end of the 2001-02 season when the Penguins beat Cleveland State and Butler in back-to-back Horizon contests.
The women have to play four of their next six games on the road. First-year coach Tisha Hill has her work cut out if the Penguins are to win again.
One bright spot Saturday was the play of junior Jen Perugini, while junior Tara Fleming just continues to get better and better inside. Now they need some help out front.
Leading the men
The men are led by senior Adam Baumann and Doug Underwood.
The 6-foot-8 Baumann is the workhorse inside and has to be considered one of the best inside players in the league this season.
Underwood, when he's not in Robic's doghouse, is an excellent shooter and probably needs to shoot more if the coach will let him.
Robic's coaching strategy has been to get the ball inside and toward the hoop and make a shot or get fouled. That hasn't always worked, but then he hasn't always gotten the players to follow his plan either.
The Penguins realistically don't have a chance to finish among the top five teams in the Horizon League. Sixth is a possibility, but they've got to win at home and catch a break or two on the road down the stretch.
The Penguins could certainly use a little help Thursday with some good fan support at Beeghly.
XPete Mollica covers YSU athletics for The Vindicator. Write to him at email@example.com.