Mary Dunn scored a career-high 24 points, and the Youngstown State women's basketball team made 10 3-pointers to beat Oakland 86-76 on Thursday night at the Athletics Center O'rena.
Dunn came up huge after earning the starting nod with Sarah Cash out with an injury. The sophomore was 10-of-13 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line while adding eight rebounds, three blocks and a steal in 36 minutes. Kelley Wright came off the bench to score a season-high 13 points as another Penguin with a clutch performance.
Indiya Benjamin scored eight of her 13 points in the first period, and she added 10 assists. Chelsea Olson filled the stat sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists as the Penguins avenged a 58-48 loss to the Golden Grizzlies a month ago. Youngstown State had 43 points by halftime and scored at least 21 points in every quarter.
Leah Somerfield led four Oakland players in double figures with 21 points.
Oakland scored the first four points of the game, but Benjamin and Dunn each scored six points during a 12-2 Penguins run that put them ahead 12-6. YSU did not trail again. Oakland scored five points in the final seven minutes of the first period, and Benjamin's eighth point of the quarter came in the final seconds and put the Penguins up 21-11.
Oakland trimmed the deficit to 27-23 on a Sha'Keya Graves basket with 5:44 left, but the Penguins took the advantage back to double digits 90 seconds later and extended the lead to 43-29 at halftime. Wright's 3-pointer with 1:13 left was YSU's seventh of the half.
The Penguins led by 18 twice in the third period, the second time coming on a Dunn basket with 4:44 left that made the score 59-41. Oakland went on a 6-0 spurt to get within 59-47, but the Golden Grizzlies went 4-for-10 from the free-throw line in the quarter and trailed 64-51 heading into a frantic fourth.
The teams combined for 47 points in the final 10 minutes, and Oakland got as close as five before YSU held on. A Melinda Trimmer basket put the Penguins up 74-60 with 5:34 left, and that's when Oakland went on a 15-6 burst over the next three minutes to get within 80-75. Olson hit a bucket on Benjamin's 10th assist of the night to push the lead to seven, and that started a six-point Penguins run that put them up 11 with 37 seconds left.
Youngstown State shot 51.9 percent for the game and hit at least 50 percent in all four periods. The Penguins were 28-for-54 overall and 10-for-26 from 3-point range, and they were 20-for-24 from the free-throw line. YSU had 24 assists on 28 field goals, outrebounded the Golden Grizzlies 33-29 and was plus-nine in points off turnovers.
Oakland shot 50 percent overall, from 3-point range and from the free-throw line. While YSU was 20-for-24 from the line, the Golden Grizzlies were 10-for-20.
Youngstown State concludes its swing in the Detroit area with a contest at Detroit Mercy on Saturday. Tipoff against the Titans is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN and ESPN3.