Penguins Grind Out 58-56 Win at Milwaukee
Milwaukee -- Heidi Schlegel made five free throws in the final 26 seconds, and Amanda Barger drew a big charge to help the Youngstown State women's basketball team hold on for a 58-56 win at Milwaukee on Thursday at the Klotsche Center.
The Penguins led for just 15 second in the first 28 minutes, but a 14-3 run in the second half turned the game in favor of YSU. They led 52-45 with just over four minutes left, but Milwaukee trimmed the lead to 53-52 with 39 seconds left.
YSU's Karen Flagg was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one, bsut Melissa Thompson grabbed her 10th rebound of the evening to help the Penguins maintain possession. Schlegel was fouled with 25.5 second left and proceeded to make five straight free-throw attempts to help YSU close out the win.
Brandi Brown finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Schlegel added 15 points off the bench. Thompson finished with a career-high 11 rebounds.
Emily Decorah finished with a game-high 20 points on six 3-pointers to lead Milwaukee.
The win improved the Penguins to 17-5 overall and 7-2 in Horizon League play while the Panthers dropped to 5-16 and 1-8.
Youngstown State overcame 11 first-half turnovers, and made three of its final four field goal attempts to find itself down just 27-24 at the half.
Milwaukee led 9-3 at the 14:52 mark when Decorah hit the first of her three first-half 3-pointers, but YSU hit the next two buckets to cut the margin to two. Decorah hit another trey to push the lead to 12-7, and Monica Touvelle hit a trey for the Penguins at the 10:02 mark to make the score 12-10. YSU would not hit another field goal for more than eight minutes but stayed in the game because of some solid defense.
The Penguins actually took the lead during their drought as Schlegel's two free throws put them up 15-14 with 7:13 remaining. Jessica Prince scored on UWM's next possession, and the Panthers led until Schlegel tied the game at 21-21 with a lay-up with 1:09 remaining.
Tucker and Decorah hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to push Milwaukee's lead to 27-21, but Shar'Rae Davis hit a 3-pointer right before the buzzer to get the Penguins within three.
The Penguins shot 38.9 percent with the help of hitting three of its final four field-goal attempts in the first half, but they committed 11 turnovers. Milwaukee shot 37.5 percent overall and 28.6 percent from 3-point range in the opening period. Brown led YSU with seven points, five of which came from the free-throw line. Tucker and Decorah had nine apiece for the Panthers.
Milwaukee scored the first bucket of the second half to go up by five points, and it led 37-33 when leading scorer Angela Rodriguez hit her first bucket of the game with 12:50 remaining. Touvelle nailed a triple on YSU's next possession to spark a 14-3 run, and the Penguins took the lead on a Brown putback with 12 minutes left. Brown scored again to put YSU up 40-37, and Decorah tied it with 10 minutes left with a trey. YSU then scored seven straight points to go up 47-40 with 6:55 left on a Flagg lay-up.
A Liz Hornberger triple gave YSU a 52-47 edge that it would hold until there was just over four minutes left. Milwaukee scored five of the next six points to get within one at 53-52 on a Rodriguez 3-pointer with 38 seconds left.
Flagg was fouled with 31 seconds left, and Thompson grabbed the offensive rebound. YSU called timeout to draw a play up to get the ball in Schlegel's hands, and she hit both ends of the one-and-one to put YSU up 55-52. Barger then drew a charge on Rodriguez with 16 seconds left, and Schlegel made two more free throws to make the score 57-52.
Kimee Chandler scored with eight seconds left for UWM, and Schlegel was fouled again with YSU up 57-54. She made the first free throw but missed the second, and Chandler scored again with 0.3 seconds left for the final tally. Flagg hit Hornberger on the inbounds pass to run the clock out.
Youngstown State will play at league-leading Green Bay on Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern.