YSU Moves Into Tie for First with 72-63 Win at Green Bay

Heidi Schlegel | Photo by Dustin Livesay
Heidi Schlegel | Photo by Dustin Livesay

Junior Heidi Schlegel scored a game-high 23 points, including the 1,000th of her career, and the Youngstown State women's basketball team created a three-way tie atop the Horizon League standings with a 72-63 win at Green Bay on Sunday at the Kress Events Center.

YSU, Green Bay and Wright State are all tied for first place with a 9-3 record, and Wright State plays both teams in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Youngstown State won for the first time ever at the Kress Events Center and swept Green Bay for the first time in school history.

YSU freshman guard Jenna Hirsch scored 16 points, and Liz Hornberger scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half. The senior hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the second half as the Penguins started the period on a 9-0 run. YSU did not trail for the final 19:02, and it led for the final 13:51.

Kaili Lukan and Sam Terry had 13 points apiece to lead four Phoenix players in double figures.

Green Bay hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first half to go up 34-31 at the break, but the 9-0 run to start the second half put YSU ahead 40-34. Lukan hit back-to-back buckets to cut the deficit to two, and her sixth point of the period tied the score at 42 with 13:51 remaining. Melissa Thompson scored on the next possession right before a timeout to give the Penguins the lead again at 44-42, and that eased Green Bay's momentum. YSU led for the rest of the game.

Thompson had a putback a minute later to push the lead to four, and Hirsch capped a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer at the 10:26 mark. Green Bay scored the next six points to get within 49-48 at the 7:53 mark, but that's as close as it would get. Flagg hit a jumper on the next possession, and Hornberger's 3-pointer at the 6:44 mark gave YSU a 54-48 advantage.

Megan Lukan and Mehryn Kraker both split two free throws to trim the lead to three with under six minutes left, but, after Lukan's make, the Penguins scored the next nine points to take their largest lead of the game at 66-54 with 2:09 remaining.

Sam Terry hit three 3s in 80 seconds to get the deficit down to five at 68-63 with 42 seconds left, but YSU was able to run off 17 seconds before being fouled on the next possession, and Schlegel made four free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

There were seven ties and six lead changes in the first half, and Green Bay needed a 3-pointer in the final seconds to take a 34-31 lead at the break.

Schlegel became the 18th member of the program's 1,000-points club with a bucket in the lane at the 19:02 mark of the first half. That tied the game for the first time at two, and the score was within three points for the first nine minutes.

YSU's largest lead in the opening period was two, and Green Bay led by as much as seven. YSU's last lead of the half came at 14-12 at the 12:25 mark after five straight points from Monica Touvelle. Green Bay answered with nine straight points to go up 21-14, but YSU weathered the storm and tied the score at 25 on a 3-pointer by Hirsch.

The score was tied again at 27, and Thompson's 3-pointer at the 1:09 mark locked the score at 31. YSU's 12th turnover of the first half led to Kraker's triple just before the buzzer.

Hirsch had nine points at halftime, and Schlegel and Touvelle both had eight. Tesha Buck had 11 to lead all scorers on 5-for-6 shooting.

Youngstown State will play three of its last four games of the regular season at home, starting with Thursday's contest against UIC. Tipoff against the Flames is set for 7:05 p.m., and the YSU Student Government Association is sponsoring Beach Night Funfest in conjunction with the game.