Cleveland State Uses Late Run to Beat YSU, 75-68

Kelley Wright (Photo by Jory Baniecki)
Kelley Wright (Photo by Jory Baniecki)

Cleveland, Ohio – Cleveland State outscored the Youngstown State women's basketball team 16-4 over the final four-and-a-half minutes to beat the Penguins 75-68 on Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.

YSU led by as many as eight in the third period and held a 64-59 advantage after back-to-back 3-pointers by Kelsea Newman with 4:52 remaining in the game. Cleveland State scored the next six points to go up 65-64, and Sarah Cash's basket with 2:22 left gave YSU its final lead at 66-65. Khayla Livingston hit a 3 off an offensive rebound on Cleveland State's next trip down the floor, and the Vikings went on to score the next eight points to go up 73-66.

Cash finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, both of which were team highs, and she was 7-of-8 from the field. Indiya Benjamin scored 16 points and added four assists, and Kelley Wright came off the bench to score 11 for the Penguins, who dropped to 12-4 overall and 3-2 in Horizon League play.

Benjamin and Newman were both 2-for-5 from 3-point range, but the Penguins were 7-of-25 from beyond the arc for the game and 3-for-15 in the second half.

Ashanti Abshaw had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Cleveland State, which won its first conference game and improved to 4-11 overall.

Youngstown State was the early aggressor and jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first two minutes of the game. The Penguins had just two points over nearly the next five minutes, and that allowed Cleveland State to go on an 8-2 run to get within 12-10. Olivia Voskuhl tied the score at 15-15 with 2:27 left in the first period, and the Vikings' first lead came when Nicolete Newman hit a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left.

YSU regained the lead at 21-20 on a Cash basket from Benjamin with 7:36 left in the second, but that was the Penguins' final lead of the half. Cleveland State scored the next five points to go up 25-21, and Youngstown State tied the score at 28 and 31 before halftime.

Two Cash free throws at the 7:19 mark of the second period gave YSU a 37-36 lead, its first in 10 minutes, and the Penguins went on a 12-1 to go up 45-37 with 4:38 left. Wright had six of her points during that stretch, and Cash capped it with a free throw. Cleveland State scored the next six points, and the Vikings tied the score at 52-52 on an Abshaw basket. Two Nikki Arbanas free throws put YSU back on top before the period ended.

There were seven lead changes in the fourth period before Cleveland State held it over the final two minutes. After Livingston's triple put the Vikings up 68-66, Voskuhl hit a jumper near the end of the shot clock following a YSU turnover. The Penguins missed a 3 on their next possession, and Cleveland State's final five points came at the free-throw line.

YSU outshot the Vikings 43.4 percent to 39.7 percent, but Cleveland State had 16 offensive rebounds that led to 10 more field-goal attempts. The Vikings also forced YSU into 18 turnovers, which they converted into a slight 20-17 edge in points off turnovers. YSU outscored Cleveland State 34-24 in the paint.

Youngstown State continues its three-game road trip at UIC on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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