Feisty Penguins Hold On for 58-53 Triumph Over Detroit
Karen Flagg scored a career-best 17 points as the Youngstown State women's basketball team hung on for a 58-53 win over Detroit in a scrappy contest on Thursday night at the Beeghly Center.
The Penguins (16-5 overall and 6-2 in the Horizon League) moved into sole possession of second place in the league standings behind Green Bay with the victory. YSU has now won five straight after starting league play 1-2. Detroit is now 12-8 overall and 5-3 in suffering its first defeat in its last six games.
With 4:56 left the Penguins led by 11 points at 56-45, but Detroit turned up the defensive pressure and YSU could not knock down some open shots. The Titans scored the next eight points and pulled within three with 53.8 seconds remaining following a 3-pointer by Senee Shearer.
Neither team would make a field goal after that point, but each had their opportunities, including many by the Titans to possibly tie.
With 43.9 seconds, the Penguins turned the ball over to give the Titans a chance to tie. Shearer missed a 3-pointer, but Audrey Matteson grabbed the rebound and her shot was blocked out of bounds. Still in possession, Rosanna Reynolds and Demeisha Fambro missed 3-pointers and a jump ball with nine seconds left allowed the ball to stay in Detroit's possession.
After a YSU timeout, Matteson took an arrant 3-point shot that landed in the arms of Monica Touvelle with 3.9 seconds left. Touvelle stepped to the line and drained the first of a one-an-one to all but seal the game. She made the last for the final outcome.
Flagg was 7-of-15 for the contest and had six assists and five rebounds. Brandi Brown posted her 16th double-double with 18 rebounds and 12 points.
The Penguins trailed 39-38 before a jumper in the lane by Flagg with 10:53 put them on top 40-39. On its next possession, Brown converted a layup off a pass from Flagg to extend the lead to 42-39.
With 9:55 left, Shar'Rae Davis fouled out, but without their starting point guard, the Penguins rallied. Flagg was left wide open for a 3-pointer and Heidi Schlegel followed with a wide open 3-pointer of her own to push the advantage to 48-39 at the 8:25 mark.
Brown's putback of her own miss at the 4:56 mark was the final field goal of the game for the Penguins.
On the night, YSU shot 35 percent making 21-of-60 shots, including an 8-of-37 performance from behind the 3-point arc. YSU was outrebounded by 10 (48-38), but the rebounds were even in the second half. The Titans had 17 turnovers and while the Guins finished with 15 assists on 21 buckets. Detroit was 16-of-58 from the field (27.6 percent) and went 18-for-27 from the free-throw line. Fambro led the Titans with 16 points while Shareta Brown had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
In a spirited first half, the Penguins eventually took a four-point lead into the locker room after falling behind by six at the game's outset.
Detriot built its 6-0 advantage while the Penguins were held scoreless for the first 3:04 of the game before two Flagg free throws.
The Titans took their biggest lead of the half at 9-2, but the Guins answered with a 10-1 run taking their first lead of the ballgame on a 3-pointer by Davis. With the game eventually tied at 23, YSU reeled off six straight points as Brown, Flagg and Melissa Thompson all knocked down shots for a 29-23 advantage with 44 seconds left in the first half. Two free throws by UDM's Brown cut the deficit to 29-25, which was the score at the break.
In the opening half, YSU shot 33.3 percent making 11-of-33 shots, including a 7-of-13 performance from inside the 3-point line. The Guins were 4-of-20 from behind the arc while the Titans made just one-of-six attempts. Detroit had 10 turnovers and shot just 24.1 percent (7-of-29) in the stanza. The Titans shot 10 more free throws than the Penguins.
The Penguins have a week before returning to action when they visit Milwaukee on Valentine's Day. Tipoff at the Klotsche Center is set for 8 p.m. Eastern time.