Penguins Drop First Contest of Season at Pittsburgh

Latisha Walker (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Latisha Walker (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Pittsburgh, Pa. - The Youngstown State women's basketball team couldn't find the mark against Pittsburgh on Sunday at the Petersen Events Center as the Penguins lost 78-52 to the Panthers. It was the first loss of the season for YSU.

The defeat for the Penguins ends the second-best start to a season in school history. YSU (10-1) began the season with its best Division I start in school history and best overall start to a campaign since 1978-79 by winning 10 consecutive games.

On Sunday, it wasn't meant to be as the Panthers (8-3) used a big first-half run to seize control while the Guins kept battling but could not get back into the contest. Pittsburgh has now won seven straight home games.

Latisha Walker led the Guins with 15 points and 12 rebounds, which marked the ninth double-double of her career and fifth of the season. Heidi Schlegel was the only Penguin to reach double digits with 10. Pittsburgh had five players score in double figures, with three scoring 12 in the contest.

Entering the contest the most points YSU had allowed all year was 65 before the Panthers had their 78.

For the game, YSU made 17-of-66 shots from the field for a season-low 25.8 shooting percentage. From behind the 3-point arc, the Guins made 7-of-27 shots. Pittsburgh finished the game making 30-of-71 attempts (42.3 percent). Pitt had 24 assists on 30 baskets.

In the first half, the Penguins had some good looks at the basket, but just couldn't convert.

YSU made 7-of-33 attempts (21.2 percent) while Pittsburgh hit at a 45.5 percent (15-of-33) clip. The Penguins held a 23-21 edge on the boards at the break, including 10 offensive rebounds.

The Guins trailed just 17-13 at the 12:42 mark following a Walker turnaround in the lane. However from that point, the Panthers went on a 13-0 run to push the lead out to 30-13.

Jenna Hirsch eneded the 5:53 YSU scoring drought by knocking down a 3-pointer and Schlegel answered with another from the top of the key to get the Guins within 30-19 with 5:28 left in the first half.

But Pitt scored eight of the final 10 points of the half to take a 38-21 lead at the break.

The Penguins return to the court on Monday, Dec. 29 when they take on Akron. Tipoff at the Beeghly Center is set for 7 p.m.