Schlegel Delivers Encore Performance in YSU's 87-69 Win at Valpo

Heidi Schlegel | Photo by Dustin Livesay
Heidi Schlegel | Photo by Dustin Livesay

Valparaiso, Ind. – Heidi Schlegel scored 38 points for the second consecutive game, and the Youngstown State women's basketball team pulled away in the second half to beat Valparaiso 87-69 on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Schlegel, who also had 38 Thursday night at Milwaukee, set a new school record for points scored in back-to-back road games. The fifth-year senior from Wapakoneta, Ohio, finished the game going 16-for-24 from the field, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range, and 3-for-5 from the free-throw line. She added a game-high 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Penguins, who won for the fourth straight game.

Youngstown State is now 19-7 overall and 8-5 in Horizon League play, which is third in the standings by a half game.

YSU led for all but 57 seconds in the game, and a 14-2 run midway through the second half allowed the Penguins to pull away in a game that was within single digits for most of the first 30 minutes.

YSU had a nine-point lead four times in the first half, the first of which came at 24-15 after a Schlegel 3 at the 9:24 mark. Schlegel was 5-for-5 from the field for 11 points at that point, and she finished the period with 19 points.

The Penguins went on to lead by nine three other times in the first half at 27-18, 29-20 and 31-22. Valparaiso got within four at 34-30, but YSU outscored the Crusaders 6-2 in the final 1:06, with all six points coming from Schlegel, to go up 40-32 at halftime.

The Penguins went up by double digits for the first time on a Latisha Walker basket less than a minute into the second half, and YSU led by 11 three times before Valpo made a run. The Crusaders went on an 8-2 spurt to get within 57-52, but Kelsea Newman hit a 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock to spark a 14-2 run that put the Penguins up 71-54 with 7:47 left. Valpo got no closer than 15 the rest of the way. Newman had eight points during that stretch and finished with a career-high 19 for the game.

YSU's largest was 20, and it came twice on 3-pointer from Indiya Benjamin. The final 20-point lead came at 85-65 with 1:52 remaining.

Newman made five of YSU's 12 3-pointers in the contest, and Schelgel and Benjamin both made three. Benjamin finished with 14 points and seven assists, and Walker added eight points and 10 rebounds.

Abby Dean led Valparaiso with 15 points.

Schlegel is the second Penguin in the last three years to score at least 30 points in back-to-back games. Brandi Brown did it in 2013 with 39 points against UIC and 42 versus Wright State on March 2. Schlegel made her first five buckets, and she closed the game making 11 of her final 14 attempts.

Youngstown State will have a week to prepare for its next game against the Horizon League-leading Green Bay Phoenix. Tipoff at the Beeghly Center is set for 4:30 p.m., and the game will be part of a doubleheader with the Penguins' men's team.