Seniors Lead Penguins to 94-81 Win Over Cleveland State, Clinch Third Seed

YSU Women's Basketball vs. Cleveland State
YSU Women's Basketball vs. Cleveland State

Youngstown -- Five players scored in double figures, and the Youngstown State women's basketball team made a season-high 14 3-pointers in a 94-81 win over Cleveland State on Saturday afternoon at the Beeghly Center.

With the victory, the Penguins improve to 14-15 overall and 10-6 in the Horizon League while clinching the third seed in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament. The Penguins will host the sixth-seeded Oakland Golden Grizzlies, Wednesday, March 12, at 7:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.

Senior Liz Hornberger scored a game-high 22 points with six 3-pointers while senior Karen Flagg had 18 and Melissa Thompson added 11 points. Senior Monica Touvelle added six points and four rebounds.

Junior Heidi Schlegel just missed a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, and freshman Jenna Hirsch scored 12 points.

Five different players made a 3-pointer for the Penguins, who scored a season-high 94 points. The 94 points are the most in a game since 97 against IPFW on Jan. 18, 2005. Along with Hornberger's six, Hirsch nailed three 3-pointers, Touvelle had two and Schlegel added one.

Cleveland State, which falls to 14-15 overall and 9-7 in the Horizon League, was led by Cori Colemen's 22 points and Kiersten Green's 19 points. Haley Schmidt had 16 points and nine rebounds while Olivia Voskuhl added 11 points.

The Penguins, who shot 52.4 percent in the second half, led by 10 at the intermission and 13, 54-41, after a 3-pointer by Schlegel at the 17:52 mark.

The Vikings chipped the lead down to seven three times over the next 11 minutes before Hirsch drilled a 3-pointer at the 5:35 mark to push the advantage back to 10, 75-65. 

A 3-pointer by Coleman with two minutes left sliced the deficit to six, 83-77, but a free throw by Schlegel, two by Thompson and two by Flagg pushed the Penguins' lead to 11, 88-77, with 1:13 left.

Cleveland State would not get any closer than eight, 89-81, and Schlegel and Flagg each made a pair of charity tosses with under 20 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

After a tightly contested five minutes, the Penguins went on a 21-6 run over the next five minutes to turn an 11-11 tie into a 32-18 advantage.

During that stretch, the Penguins made five 3-pointers, including two from Hornberger, two from Hirsch and one from Kelsea Newman.

Cleveland State chipped the lead down to seven, 35-28, with 4:47 left, but a 3-pointer by Touvelle and two more by Hornberger extended the Penguins' lead back to 14, 44-30, with 1:27 to go.

Coleman and Touvelle traded 3-pointers, and CSU made three free throws to close out the first half scoring with the Penguins owning a 47-37 halftime lead.

The Penguins shot 52.9 percent in the first half making 18-of-34 from the floor, including 11 from 3-point range. Hornberger connected on 5-of-7 from behind the arc for 17 first-half points.