Janae Jackson hit the game-winning basket with 2.2 seconds left to cap a career night and lift the Youngstown State women's basketball team to a 65-63 win against Oakland in the opening round of the Horizon League Tournament on Thursday evening.
Jackson posted career highs of 24 points and 15 rebounds, and she had 22 points and 10 rebounds in the second half alone.
With the victory, Youngstown State advances to the quarterfinals and will play No. 3 seed Wright State on Friday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.
Jackson's basket broke the fifth tie of the fourth period, and it ended a frantic second half. Youngstown State led by as much as 12 in the first half, and it led in the second half until Oakland scored 10 straight points late in the third period.
The largest lead by either team in the fourth period was four, a 51-47 lead by the Golden Grizzlies. Jackson scored YSU's first 10 points of the period, and she gave YSU a 57-54 lead with 5:33 left. Oakland didn't have the upper hand again until Elena Popkey's jumper with 2:56 left. That was the Golden Grizzlies' final points of the night.
Jackson scored on YSU's next possession to tie the score at 63-63 with 2:27 left, and her putback with 2.2 seconds left came after an Indiya Benjamin miss.
Jackson finished 11-of-19 from the field, including 10-of-15 in the second half. She helped the Penguins overcome a generally cold night offensively that saw them go 5-for-24 from the 3-point line. Oakland was 6-for-18 from the free-throw line.
Youngstown State used a 16-1 run in the first period to take a 20-8 lead, and the Penguins held a 29-21 advantage at halftime.
Oakland led 7-4 after five straight points from Popkey, but the Golden Grizzlies didn't score for the next five minutes and didn't hit a field goal for the next six. YSU tied the score at 7-7 on a Nikki Arbanas 3, and YSU's first lead came on a Sarah Cash bucket at the 5:20 mark. Cash's 10th point of the first period gave the Penguins their largest lead at 20-8 with 1:52 remaining.
After Oakland scored the final four points of the second period to get within eight, neither team scored for the first three minutes of what turned out to be an 18-point second period. The Penguin made just one field goal in the period, a Kelley Wright jumper at the 6:44 mark that put YSU up 22-14. The Penguins went back on top by double digits, 27-16, on a free throw by Wright, and the final field goal by either team in the half was an Oakland 3-pointer on the next possession.
Oakland scored the first six points of the second half to get within 29-27, and the lead was down to one at 32-31 with seven minutes remaining. YSU scored the next five points on two Jackson free throws and an Arbanas triple to go up by five, and four straight points by Jackson later in the period gave the Penguins a 41-33 lead with 3:38 left. The lead was eight again at 46-38 after an Indiya Benjamin triple, but Oakland scored the next 10 points to take its first lead since the first three minutes of the game.