Youngstown State and former Gannon men’s coach Jerry Slocum’s bid for a third straight winning season fell short as the Penguins lost their final four games, including a 96-92 overtime loss to Oakland in the Horizon Conference playoffs Tuesday, to finish 15-17.
The Penguins had excruciating losses all season, in the final four games they lost at Valparaiso 68-66, at Cleveland State 70-69 in overtime and to Oakland 87-81 in the regular season finale. YSU, which went 2-8 its final 10 games, lost four other games by 4 points or less. Youngstown went 16-15 in 2011-12 for its first winning season in 12 years, and 18-16 in 2012-13 and reached the second round of the CIT tournament.
Slocum, who in his 39th season is 688-493 for his career, is 92-152 at Youngstown, where he took over in 2005-06 after going 179-78 in 9 seasons at Gannon. He started his coaching career at Nyack (199-166), then Geneva College in Beaver Falls (203-80) before coming to Gannon in 1996.
The collegiate career for Mercyhurst Prep grad Josh Chojnacki came to an end. The 6-9 senior center played 27 games, started 1, and scored 8 points with 16 rebounds and 35 personal fouls in 172 minutes (6.4 per game). Chojnacki finished with 100 career points and 80 rebounds, a high of 42 and 31 in his sophomore year.
Erie’s Mike Wernicki and Brian DePaoli are members of Slocum’s staff.
– Bob Jarzomski