Colonials go ice cold in second half, fall to Youngstown State

Ashya+Klopfenstein

Robert Morris center Ashya Klopfenstein pulls up for a mid-range jumper at the end of the third quarter. Photo credit: Ethan Morrison

By Michael Deemer, Copy Editor

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO– Thursday night’s loss was the first half of the home-and-home as the Colonials (7-10, 5-7 Horizon) traveled to Youngstown to finish the season series between the Penguins (17-2, 11-1).

A Megan Callahan three was more than the difference between Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, falling by a score of 61-44.

This is the third time this season the Colonials have scored a season-low 44 points.

Colonials got out of the gates early, starting on a 5-0 run. A 12-2 run by the Penguins extinguished the early hot start, taking a four-point lead of their own by the end of the 1st.

“We seemed to struggle to make the easy ones, getting to the basket, and those opportunities we earned we didn’t seem to capitalize on,” interim head coach Scott Schneider said. “Youngstown, they make you pay every time that you have mistakes, so credit to them.”

Nobody seemed to have gained an edge in the 2nd. However, with about three minutes to go, Youngstown State took their largest lead by a Lexi Wagner bucket to put them up by eight. The Penguins held a six-point lead at the half.

In the third, it was a standstill. Towards the latter half, it was going all YSU’s way. Turnovers were the difference for the Colonials as they could never get a shot up before the ball went back into the hands of the Penguins.

Ashya Klopfenstein’s two turnovers in a minute had Lily Ritz go to the other end to have a 4-0 run of her own, extending the lead to 10 at the end of 30 minutes.

“They buried us,” Schneider said. “We didn’t seem to respond in that second-half run, and [the game] was put away at that point…They turned us from a team to a group of individuals, and it showed our style of play when that adversity hit, and we couldn’t overcome it.”

Youngstown State kept pouring it on, and the Colonials got outplayed. No shots were falling, and YSU’s shots were. The Colonials shot a putrid 3-15 in the fourth quarter alone and 9-for 25 in the second half, including 4-15 from behind the arc. If it wasn’t already, the rebounding differential was evident—a -20 differential for the game.

The Colonials were outscored in all four quarters, but a bright side we saw was Sol Castro was finally getting on the scoresheet. Opponents held her to a total of 3 points in the last two games entering Saturday.

Castro had double-figures once again; seeing the duo of Castro and Castedo getting into double figures was an incredible sight to see from Coach Schneider.

“She came out today ready to play and ready to compete. She’s continuing to improve and develop, and that’s what we’re looking for. She’s been doing things not just game-by-game but day-by-day in practice continuing to be a better player.”

After playing the best team in the conference twice in three days, Coach Schneider told us how this team would improve moving forward.

“This team will rebound well. They care about each other. They are already talking to each other about how they can get better,” he said “The thing I love about this group is that they don’t talk about what they did well at; they talk about how they can improve day by day.”

Next Friday, the Colonials will face another challenging task in the Oakland Golden Grizzlies back home at the UPMC Events Center, the first of two in a row in Moon Township.