Akron controlled the paint and held the Youngstown State women's basketball team under 30 percent shooting in a 74-49 victory over the Penguins on Monday evening at the James A. Rhodes Arena.
The Zips held a 46-22 scoring edge in the paint, and they outrebounded the Penguins 58-27. Akron improves to 6-5, and YSU enters an eight-day holiday break with a 9-2 record.
Sarah Cash led the Penguins with 15 points, but she was whistled for two fouls in the first eight minutes and had to sit out the entire second period. That contributed to Akron scoring its first 22 points of the game in the paint, holding a 29-10 rebounding advantage in the first half and taking a 36-21 lead at halftime. Alison Smolinski had 10 points, and Janae Jackson finished with nine for Youngstown State.
Anita Brown had game highs with 19 points and 14 rebounds, and DiAndra Gibson posted 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Zips. Hannah Plybon added 17 points for Akron, which shot 41.9 percent.
Cash scored the first four points of the game, but Akron scored 16 of the final 18 points of the period to go up 16-6 at the end of the first period. The Penguins missed 11 consecutive field goal attempts during that stretch, and Cash was whistled for her second foul at the 2:24 mark of the first period.
Two free throws by Melinda Trimmer stopped a 14-0 run by the Zips, and a 3-pointer by Smolinski a minute in to the second half stopped YSU's field goal drought of nine minutes. She made another triple on the Penguins' next possession to cut Akron's lead to 20-12, but the Zips scored the next eight points to take its first of four 15-point leads in the first half. The Zips led 36-21 at halftime.
YSU scored the first four points of the third period to get the deficit down to 11, 36-25, but the Penguins go no closer. Gibson banked in a 3 from the wing on Akron's next possession to start a 17-4 run that put the Zips up 53-29, and the lead was 59-37 entering the fourth period.
YSU scored 12 of the first 16 points of the fourth period to get the difference within 14 at 63-49 at the 3:42 mark. Lilli Piper hit a 3 for Akron on its next possession, and the Zips went on to score the final 11 points of the game.
Youngstown State's next game will be on Dec. 30 against Tennessee State at Beeghly Center. Tipoff against the Tigers will be at 7 p.m.