Bethlehem, Pa. – The Youngstown State women's basketball team mounted a big rally in the first half but never got going in the second half in a 69-48 loss to Delaware at the Lehigh Christmas City Classic on Friday evening.
The Penguins trailed by as many as 16 early in the first half but trimmed the deficit down to five at halftime. They were down just five with 13 minutes left before a field-goal drought of eight minutes allowed the Blue Hens to pull away.
YSU turned the ball over 21 times in the game, 13 of which came in the second half. The Blue Hens outscored the Penguins 25-0 off turnovers in the final 20 minutes.
YSU's Heidi Schlegel tied for game-high honors with 17 points, but she was held scoreless over the final 12 minutes. Monica Touvelle and Jenna Hirsch both finished with eight points, and Hirsch added a career-high seven rebounds.
Youngstown State (3-7) will play Vermont in the tournament's consolation game at 2 p.m. on Saturday while Delaware (7-2) will play Lehigh at 4:30 p.m.
YSU started 1-for-10 from the field with Schlegel's bucket at the 18:45 mark being the only field goal in the first five minutes. That allowed Delaware to go up 12-3 in the first five minutes, and the Blue Hens ended up taking a 20-6 lead with 13:12 remaining in the first half. YSU switched to a zone defense, and the Blue Hens scored just 12 points the rest of the period.
YSU held the Blue Hens to two points over a span of nearly six minutes and slowly started to chip away at the deficit. A Schlegel 3-pointer with three minutes left in the first half capped a 10-2 run and got the Penguins within 22-16, and a Hirsch triple with 1:21 remaining made it a one-possession game at 30-27. Buchanan scored on the next possession to put the Blue Hens up five at the break.
Delaware scored the first six points of the second half to go up 38-27, but YSU scored six of the next seven points to get within 38-33 at the 15:47 mark. Hirsch's 3-pointer two minutes later got the Penguins within 43-38, but they didn't have another field goal until Ashley Lawson's jumper with 5:51 remaining. By that time, Delaware had taken a 59-42 lead.
After Lawson's bucket made the margin 15, Delaware outscored YSU 10-4 the rest of the way.
Youngstown State shot 37.5 percent from 3-point range but just 25 percent inside the arc and 28.8 percent overall. Delaware shot 38.5 percent.