YSU Wins Third Game in Five Days Beating Valpo, 72-50
The Youngstown State women's basketball team capped a key three-game homestand winning for the third consecutive time, beating Valparaiso 72-50 on Monday night at the Beeghly Center.
The victory clinches no worse than a second-place tie for the Penguins who improve to 21-7 for the year and 11-4 in the Horizon League. A YSU win at Detroit on Thursday or a Loyola loss in either of its final two games clinches a second-place finish for the Guins, who were picked eighth in the preseason league poll. Valpo drops to 9-19 and 4-11.
Highlighting "Senior Night" were numerous players, but the one the fans enjoyed the most was at the 16:00 mark of the second half when Brandi Brown's spinning layup gave her more than 2,000 points for her YSU career. She finished the contest with 18 points after averaging 40.5 the previous two contests.
Monica Touvelle and Shar'Rae Davis both made sure Brown and fellow senior Devan Matkinwent out seniors for the final regular-season home game. Touvelle finished with 20 points while Davis had 18. The two combined to knock down nine 3-pointers, including a career-high six treys by Touvelle.
The Crusaders threatened to make a game of it in the second half cutting their eight-point deficit to 38-34 in the opening minute of the second half. But the Guins responded with a 12-1 run over a four-minute span to push the lead back up to 46-31.
Valpo was able to get back within 10 points at 46-36 with 12:44 left and the was the closest it could get the remainder of the night.
Leading 50-38, the Guins put the contest away by scoring 13 consecutive points from the 8:52 mark to 6:20. Thompson started the run with a basket, Ashley Lawson knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner, Davis followed with a three, Brown scored a bucket and Touvelle rounded out the run canning a 3-pointer. YSU's biggest lead was 63-38 with 6:20 left in the game.
For the Penguins, seven players scored and they shot 44.1 percent making 26-of-59 shots. Valpo made 19-of-44 shots (43.2) and was led by Shaquira Scott who had 14 points.
In the first half, YSU relied on its guards to build a lead. Davis and Touvelle each scored 12 in the first half. Touvelle connected on four 3-pointers.
The Crusaders did a good job to stymie Brown allowing just six points. But the Guins connected on six 3-pointers while Valpo missed on all six attempts form beyond the arc.
YSU's biggest cushion of the first half was 27-12 following a Touvelle 3-pointer at the 7:43 mark. Touvelle's triple capped a 10-0 spurt by the Guins that extended the lead from 17-12 to 27-12 in a span of 4:21.
The Crusaders answered by scoring six straight points to get the lead back into single figures. Valpo pulled within 34-26 at halftime.
Valpo shot 48 percent making 12-of-25 shots and held a 16-9 advantage on the boards. YSU made 12-of-27 attempts, for a percentage of 44.4.
The Penguins close out the regular season with a contest at Detroit on Thursday. Tipoff at Calihan Hall in the Motor City is set for 7 p.m.