Penguins Fall Short in Comeback Bid Against IUPUI

Liz Hornberger | Photo by Ron Stevens
Liz Hornberger | Photo by Ron Stevens

The Youngstown State women's basketball kept fighting to catch IUPUI, but the Penguins could never catch the Jaguars falling 66-57 on Saturday afternoon at the Beeghly Center.

YSU fell behind early in the contest and on two occasions trimmed the deficit to one in the first half and rallied to within two points with 6:39 remaining in the game, but could never get over the hump.

The defeat drops the Penguins to 4-9 on the year while IUPUI is 10-5. 

Leading the way for the Penguins was Heidi Schlegel who scored a game-high 22 points. Liz Hornberger scored 19 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Latisha Walker had 10 points and six rebounds for YSU.

After trailing by seven at halftime, YSU was down by nine, but never closed the deficit under three until Hornberger canned a 3-pointer with 6:39 left to pull the Guins within 47-45. But IUPUI answered with four straight points and had seven of the next eight to build a 55-46 cushinon with just under five minutes remaining. 

From that point the Guins were never able to get the deficit under seven the rest of the way. IUPUI used solid free-throw shooting makind seven-of-eight chances in the final 1:27.

For the game, YSU shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53), which included a 3-of-16 performance from behind the 3-point arc. IUPUI shot 43.4 percent, including just 34.5 percent in the second half. The Jaguars were 17-of-19 from the free-throw line in the contest while the Guins missed seven of 13 attempts.

Leading the way for IUPUI was DeAirra Gross who had 17 points while Akilah Sims and Nevena Markovich each finished with 16.

IUPUI grabbed the lead at the 18:01 mark of the first half and didn't trail the remainder of the period or the game. The Jaguars led 17-8 with 12:50 left before Schlegel went to work scoring seven straight YSU points in a 50-second span to trim the deficit to 17-14. Schlegel knocked down a 3-pointer and then had two straight steals-to-layups to pull the Guins within three points.

From that point the Penguins were able to pull as close as one on two separate occasions.

At the 7:56 mark, Latisha's Walker pulled YSU to within 22-21 following a layup and nice spin move to the hoop by Ashley Lawson made the score 28-27 with 4:51 left.

However that was the Guins' final points of the opening half as IUPUI scored the last six points to lead 34-27 at the break.

Up to the four-minute mark, YSU was connecting at a 56.5 percent clip from the field and settled for 50 percent shooting in the opening half making 13-of-26 shots. The Guins were 12-of-18 from inside the 3-point arc. IUPUI shot 54.2 percent (13-of-24) in the opening half and had a six-point advantage from the free-throw line.

Schlegel, Walker and Hornberger had 23 of the Penguins' 27 points while going 11-of-14 from the floor. 

YSU opens Horizon League play on Thursday at Valparaiso. Tipoff at the ARC is set for 8 p.m. Eastern time.