Penguins Never Get In Gear Falling to UIC 73-65

Latisha Walker
Latisha Walker

The Youngstown State women's basketball team never completely got on track committing 20 turnovers in a 73-65 loss to UIC on Thursday night at the Beeghly Center. The loss snaps an 11-game conference home winning streak for the Penguins.

Youngstown State (13-13) drops into a tie for second place in the Horizon League standings at 9-4 with Wright State while UIC (20-7) improves to 9-5 and moves up to sole possession of fourth.

Heidi Schlegel led YSU with 17 points and Latisha Walker came off the bench to score 14 points and grab seven boards.

Youngstown State led by 11 in the first half, but UIC rallied and led by two at halftime. UIC built its lead to 41-33 in the first five minutes of the second half, and YSU went on an 11-2 run to take its only lead of the second half at 44-43 with 12:34 remaining. Bender hit a 3-pointer on UIC's next possession, and the Flames never trailed again.

After falling behind at with 12:21 left, the closest the Guins could get was 48-46 after two Schleglel free throws with 10:55 remaining. The Flames scored six straight points pushing their advantage to 54-46 at the 9:15 mark. The Guins halted the run momentarily on a layup by Walker, but UIC scored seven of the next eight points to put the game out of reach at 65-51 at the 4:25 mark.

For the game, YSU shot 46.3 percent (25-of-54) from the field while UIC was 28-of-62 (45.2 percent). The Flames outrebounded YSU 39-27, including holding a 15-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

UIC ended the first half by outscoring the Penguins 21-8 over the final 8:30 to take a 33-31 lead at the break.

YSU led by four three times in the first six minutes, and Story tied the score for the third time at 12-12 with two free throws at the 13:38 mark. Walker hit two free throws on YSU's next possession, and the Penguins went on to score 11 straight points to go up 23-12. Jenna Hirsch followed Walker's free throws with a 3-pointer, but that was YSU's only triple in eight attempts in the period.

Schlegel capped the run with a jumper at the 8:45 mark, but YSU did not make another field goal for more than three minutes. Hannemann started and ended an 8-0 run that got the Flames within three with six minutes left, and UIC went on to score the final five points of the period.

YSU started by making nine of its first 14 attempts from the field but finished the half 13-for-29 for 44.8 percent.

Youngstown State will play its final road game of the regular season on Saturday at Detroit. Tipoff at Calihan Hall is set for 1 p.m.