Mad March: Hoops teams post historic seasons

Brandi Brown

Brandi Brown

Rare is it that the first day of spring football drills at YSU is overshadowed by basketball, but that was the case this year.

Both the men’s and women’s teams turned in successful and historic seasons, with the men posting its best record in 13 years and the women netting its best mark in 15 years. And both teams shared the success on the home Beeghly Center court into late March.

The men’s team, under head coach Jerry Slocum, finished 18-16 and was invited to its first postseason tournament since joining the Division I ranks in 1981-82. The men, with its first back-to-back winning seasons in nearly 30 years, knocked off Oakland in the first round of the Tournament before a heart-breaking, overtime loss in the second round to Canisius, both games at Beeghly.

The women, with a 23-10 record, reached the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament for the first time since joining the conference 12 years ago. The Penguins, under third-year head coach Bob Boldon, were invited to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, its first postseason berth in 13 years, and beat Indiana State in the first round at Beeghly before bowing to Toledo in the second round. Just three years ago, the women’s team finished the season 0-30. Boldon was named Horizon League Coach of the Year.

Individually, senior Brandi Brown was named Horizon League Player of the Year and first-team all-conference. For the men, junior Kendrick Perry earned first-team all-conference honors, while senior Damian Eargle was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year.