The Youngstown State women's basketball team used key runs at the start of the contest and at the finish to outlast Oakland 79-64 on Saturday night at the Beeghly Center. YSU remains unbeaten in Horizon League play at 5-0 following the win.
The Penguins (9-9 overall and 5-0 in the Horizon League) scored 18 of the first 20 points and had a 9-2 run to finish out the game after Oakland (8-11 and 3-3) had pulled to within eight points with 2:18 remaining.
YSU played just seven players and all had at least four points. The starters combined for 70 of the 79 on the contest with Heidi Schlegel scoring 25 points to lead the Guins. Liz Hornberger finished with 18, Karen Flagg had 11 and Latisha Walker poured in 10. Monica Touvelle had five points while Melissa Thompson scored four coming off the bench.
The Penguins led 43-21 at halftime, but a scoreless span of six minutes in the second half allowed the Golden Grizzlies to make things interesting.
YSU led 50-26 at the 17:58 mark but Oakland kept chipping away and was able to get the deficit back to 50-35 with 13:46 remaining. The lead eventually shunk to six on two occasions, the last of which was 57-51 with 7:56 left. YSU scored the next seven points to push its lead back up to 64-51 at 6:06.
After the margin grew to 68-52, the Golden Grizzlies closed within 70-62 with 2:18 left. From that point YSU withered the storm again closing out the game on a 9-2 run.
For the contest, the Guins shot 41.3 percent (26-of-63) while Oakland shot 37.1 percent (23-of-63). Bethany Watterworth had a high of 21 points for the Golden Grizzlies.
Oakland started 1-for-21 from the field and missed 18 straight shots at one point that allowed YSU to build a 23-5 lead through the first 13-plus minutes of play.
The Penguins scored 21 of the contests first 24 points bolting out to a 21-3 lead. The Golden Grizzles went from the 18:08 mark of the half until 6:40 remained in the half without a field goal.
YSU scored the game's first four points, and Oakland briefly pulled within 4-2. However, the Penguins secored the next 16 points and never looked back. OU was able to close within 15 points on two occasions, but the lead ballooned to as high as 24 in the first half at 41-17 and 43-19.
The Guins shot 42.9 percent (15-of-35) from the field and drained 8-of-14 3-point attempts. Converserly, Oakland shot 20 percent making just six of 30 attempts. YSU had a 27-18 advantage on the boards and had 10 assists.
YSU concludes its four-game homestand with a Wednesday night game against Detroit. Tipoff at the Beeghly Center is set for 7:05 p.m.