The Youngstown State women's basketball team shook off a sluggish first period to shoot 49 percent and beat UIC 76-63 on Thursday evening at Beeghly Center.
The Penguins committed eight turnovers and scored just six points in the first period as they trailed 13-6, but a hot stretch to close the second and a pair of buzzer-beaters helped them win for the fourth time in the last five games. YSU is now 6-8 overall and 2-1 in Horizon League play, and UIC is 7-6 and 1-1.
YSU scored 19 points in the final 4:09 of the first half, and it scored 65 of its 76 points in the final 24-plus minutes of the game. Chelsea Olson hit a 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer and give YSU a 30-23 lead, and Melinda Trimmer's running 30-footer at the end of the third period came when UIC had trimmed the deficit to one.
McKenah Peters hit a 3 on YSU's first possession of the fourth period, and YSU went on to outscore UIC 26-17 in the quarter.
Sarah Cash scored a game-high 17 points, going 5-of-9 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Peters added 14 points off the bench, and the freshman guard did not miss from the field. She was 4-for-4 overall and 3-for-3 from beyond the 3-point arc. Indiya Benjamin added 13 points and eight assists.
YSU finished the game making 28-of-37 attempts from the free-throw line. The Penguins came into the game averaging 12.4 free-throw attempts over their first 13 games. YSU made 20-of-41 from the field and 8-of-17 from beyond the arc. The Penguins also held a 31-26 rebounding edge.
Brittany Byrd and Taylor Toney had 13 points apiece for UIC.
Youngstown State concludes its six-game homestand on Saturday as it hosts IUPUI. Tipoff against the Jaguars is at 4:15 p.m., and the game will be part of another doubleheader with the men's program.