Cash Scores 23, Penguins Make 10 3s in 69-64 Win at UIC

Sarah Cash
Sarah Cash

Sarah Cash scored 23 points, and the Youngstown State women's basketball team led for more than 36 minutes in a 69-64 victory at UIC on Thursday evening at the UIC Pavilion.

The Penguins snapped a brief two-game skid with the victory and improved to 13-4 overall and 4-2 in Horizon League play. UIC fell to 9-9 and 0-7 in the conference.

Indiya Benjamin added 11 points, and she had seven of YSU's 21 assists. Nikki Arbanas added 10 points, and she made three of the Penguins' 10 3-pointers.

Ruvanna Campbell had 16 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Flames, who were plus-19 in rebounding margin and converted 24 offensive re bounds into 26 second-chance points.

The only time the Penguins trailed in the game was 2-0, and they scored the next seven points to go up 7-2 four minutes into the game. YSU led by five on five other occasions in the first period, and the Penguins extended their lead to nine, 32-23, on a Kelsea Newman 3-pointer with four minutes left before halftime. The YSU advantage was at least five the rest of the half, and the Penguins led 35-29 at halftime.

Cash scored 11 points in the first half, and YSU had 11 assists on 14 field goals. Campbell had nine points for UIC, which scored 20 of its 29 first-half points in the paint.

UIC scored the first points of the third period to get within four, but Arbanas hit the first of four Penguin triples in the period to push the lead back to seven. YSU's first double-digit of the game lead came when a Cash basket made the score 45-35, and the largest lead, 53-38, came on another Cash bucket with 4:13 left in the period.

However, YSU didn't score for more than six minutes, and UIC scored the next 10 points to get within 56-48 with 9:30 left. Alison Smolinski stopped the spurt with a 3-pointer, YSU's 10th of the night, with 8:18 left to put the Penguins up 56-48. YSU led by 10 twice more, the final time at 62-52 with 6:33 remaining, before another scoring lull allowed UIC to close the gap. The Flames trailed just 63-59 after a Cate Soane bucket with 1:40 left, but they got no closer.

Cash made two free throws to push the lead to six, and her bucket from Benjamin with 54 seconds remaining put YSU up 67-60. The Penguins led by seven again after an Arbanas free throw with 26.9 seconds left, and Imani Moore made two charity tosses with 8.9 seconds left accounted for the final points of the night.

Youngstown State will conclude its three-game road stretch at Valparaiso on Saturday. Tipoff at the Athletics-Recreation Center is set for 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

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