Robert Morris shot 57.9 percent from the field and dominated in the paint to beat the Youngstown State women's basketball team 84-52 on Wednesday evening at the North Athletic Complex.
The Penguins kept the game close by making 11 3-pointers, and they trailed 59-49 with eight minutes left in the fourth. Robert Morris outscored YSU 25-3 from that point to the end of the game.
RMU was 33-for-57 from the field, and it got offensive rebounds on 11 of those 24 misses. That led to a 15-4 edge in second-chance points as well as a 40-12 scoring advantage in the paint. Robert Morris also turned YSU's 17 turnovers into 21 points.
Alison Smolinski tied for game-high honors with 15 points on five 3-pointers to lead the Penguins, and Indiya Benjamin scored 10 points. Jocelynne Jones led four Robert Morris players in double figures with 15 points, and she added eight rebounds and four steals. All nine Colonials who played scored at least six points, and none of them shot worse than 42 percent from the field.
Both teams scored on their first three possessions of the game, and a 3-pointer by YSU's Natalie Myers tied the score at 7-7 at the 8:13 mark. YSU did not score until Smolinski's first 3 of the day more than three minutes later, and Benjamin followed with a triple to give the Penguins their first lead at 13-11. YSU's final lead came at 19-18 when Morgan Brunner hit a 3 with 1:46 left, but the Penguins didn't score again until a Smolinski triple almost three minutes into the second period. By that time, Robert Morris had built a 26-19 lead.
After a Benjamin 3-pointer made the score 28-25 with 6:23 remaining, YSU did not make another field goal the rest of the half. The Penguins were 2-for-12 from the field and missed their last eight attempts in the period. That allowed RMU to score the final eight points of the half to go up 38-27, and the Colonials held that double-digit lead for all but two minutes the rest of the game.
YSU scored seven of the first nine points of the fourth period to get within 59-49 on a Sarah Cash basket with 8:06 left. Robert Morris scored the next six points, and a Smolinski 3-pointer at the 6:47 mark accounted for YSU's final points of the night.
Youngstown State will head to the nation's capital to play at American on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 1390 WNIO and the iHeartRadio app.