Green Bay, Wis. – The Youngstown State women's basketball team couldn't slow down Wright State's high-powered offense, and the Penguins saw their season come to a close in a 98-70 loss in the semifinals of the 2014 Horizon League Tournament.
The Penguins finish the season 15-16 overall while Wright State moves on to play in the tournament championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Heidi Schlegel finished with a team-high 20 points, and Melissa Thompson added 13 for the Penguins. Liz Hornberger broke Youngstown State's career record for 3-pointers by making her 199th in the second half.
While the Penguins came up short of their ultimate goal of winning the tournament, they were overachievers throughout the conference season to earn third place in the final standings. YSU finished conference play at 10-6, which was their second-best record in their 13 seasons in the league. They advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament for the second straight season after winning one game in their first 11 league tournaments combined.
The loss also marks the career end for YSU seniors Hornberger, Thompson, Karen Flagg, and Monica Touvelle. Thompson is a fifth-year senior, and Flagg joined the program as a junior college transfer. The class was part of 54 victories, including 28 during league play, over the last four years. Those are the most for a YSU class since 2001-02.
"I told the team that they should be very proud of themselves for what they accomplished this season," YSU first-year head coach John Barnes said. "We faced a lot of adversity early, and it's a huge credit to our seniors for pulling everyone together, buying in and battling every night. From starting the season 1-6 to being in first place with four games left says a lot about how far we came. Their leadership and drive was a good lesson to our younger players, and it gives us a bright future."
All five of Wright State's starters reached double figures with Kim Demmings and Tay'ler Mingo finishing with 26 points apiece. The Raiders scored 62 points in the paint and 28 on the fast break. The Penguins were 0-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half and finished 4-for-25 for the game.
Flagg scored the first points of the game, but Wright State scored the next 12 points to go up 12-2. YSU scored the next six points to make it 12-8 on another Flagg bucket, but the Raiders scored the next eight points to go ahead 20-8.
Jenna Hirsch and Ashley Lawson scored on back-to-back possessions to get the Penguins back within single digits at 22-14, but YSU did not have another field goal for more than four minutes. The Raiders scored 10 straight points to take a 32-14 advantage with 7:30 remaining, and they held YSU without a field goal for the final 6:25 of the period to go up 53-25 at the break. The Raiders did not allow the Penguins to get closer than 24 in the second half.