The Youngstown State women's basketball team missed its final 10 shots of the first period and never recovered in an 80-58 loss to Oakland on Thursday evening at Beeghly Center.
The Penguins (9-19 overall and 5-12 in the Horizon League) struggled all night from 3-point range shooting 14.8 percent by making 4-of-27 attempts. The Guins misfired on their first 16 tries from beyond the arc against the Golden Grizzlies. YSU came into the game shooting 36.1 percent from beyond the arc and averaging 9.9 3s in league play.
Oakland (17-11 and 11-6) made 4-of-5 shots from 3-point range in the first quarter and knocked down 10 triples on the evening.
As YSU missed its final 10 field-goal attempts of the first period, Oakland scored the final 13 of the period and took a 22-8 lead. The Penguins started 4-for-8 from the field and trailed just 9-8 on a Mary Dunn basket at the 5:06 mark.
Kelley Wright hit a jumper on YSU's first possession of the second half to end the drought, and Smolinski's two free throws at the 6:11 mark made the score 28-14. The Golden Grizzlies scored 13 of the next 16 points to take its largest lead of the first half at 41-27 with 2:55 left.
YSU had an 11-point burst to chip away and trailed 41-28 following a Dunn basket with seven seconds left in the half. Dunn missed the following free throw, and Nola Anderson got the rebound and drove the length of the floor to give Oakland a 43-28 advantage at the break.
Dunn and Melinda Trimmer scored in the first two minutes of the third period to trim the deficit to 11, and the Penguins had two empty possessions on opportunities to get within single digits. Anderson hit a basket and free throw at the 7:05 mark to get Oakland on the board in the second half, and the Golden Grizzlies proceeded to score 12 straight points and go up 55-32.
The closest the Penguins got the rest of the way was 15 when Wright made a triple a minute into the fourth period.
Leading the way offensively for the Penguins was Dunn, who scored 14 points. Trimmer had nine points and dished out four assists, and Wright added nine. Taylor Jones came off the bench to score a game-high 26 points for Oakland.
For the night, YSU shot 30.8 percent from the field making 20-of-65 shots while Oakland was 27-of-64 for 42.2 percent.
Youngstown State will conclude the regular season on Saturday by hosting Detroit Mercy. Tipoff against the Titans is set for noon.