Akron outscored the Youngstown State women's basketball team 21-5 in the second period and made 13 3-pointers to beat the Penguins 75-58 on Tuesday at James A. Rhodes Arena.
Indiya Benjamin scored 14 of her career-high 25 points in the first period to give the Penguins a 24-17 lead after 10 minutes. Akron scored the first 14 points of the second period and held the lead the rest of the night.
Akron shot 47.4 percent from the field for the game and was 13-for-27 from 3-point range. The Zips pressured the perimeter to hold YSU to 7-of-23 from 3-point range, and the Penguins held a 32-20 edge in the paint.
Megan Sefcik led Akron with 20 points, and Shaunay Edmonds had 19 points and seven assists. Both of them had four 3-pointers.
YSU made five of its first six shots of the game, and back-to-back baskets by Cash put the Penguins ahead 11-7 four minutes into the game. Akron hit back-to-back 3-pointers to go up 13-11, and a Mary Dunn basket tied the score at 13. Benjamin then scored YSU's final 11 points of the period, including a buzzer-beating 3 that gave the Penguins a 24-17 lead.
After going 10-for-16 in the opening period, YSU made just two buckets in the second period and didn't score until a Dunn basket with 3:08 left. By that time, Akron had built a 31-24 lead. Dunn's make got the score within five, and the Penguins would get no closer the rest of the night. The Zips extended the lead to 38-29 lead at halftime as YSU was 2-for-11 with six turnovers in the second period.
YSU had a quick five-point burst early in the third period when Cash scored and Smolinski followed with a 3 to cut the deficit to 41-34. Akron got a 3-pointer from Sefcik to push the lead back to 10, and another by Edmonds, Akron's ninth in its first 14 attempts, made the score 47-34 with 6:14 left in the third.
The score remained double digits until Smolinski hit a triple on the first possession of the fourth period to get the Penguins with 55-47. After Akron went up 60-47, YSU held the Zips scoreless for more than three minutes but was only able to get within 60-52. Akron scored seven straight points out of a timeout, and the Zips also scored the final seven points of the game.
Youngstown State will conclude its four-game road swing at Saint Francis U on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on sportsanimal1390.com, iHeartRadio and NEC Front Row.