The Youngstown State women's basketball team scored 19 straight points in the second period to pull away for an 89-61 win over Lake Erie on Wednesday morning in the Third Annual School Field Trip Game presented by Chick-fil-A.
There were approximately 1,500 Youngstown area students and teachers in attendance to watch the Penguins improve to 9-1 on the season. YSU has won at least nine of its first 10 games for the second straight season and for the fifth time in program history.
The Penguins made 15 3-pointers, which was one shy of the school record and matched the record at Beeghly Center. YSU has now made at least 15 3s twice in the last three games and four times in the last six contests.
YSU's Kelsea Newman scored 17 points in just 12 minutes, going 4-for-4 from 3-point range and 5-for-6 on free throws. Nikki Arbanas added 15 points, and eight different Penguins scored at least eight points. Arbanas and Alison Smolinski both had three 3-pointers, Indiya Benjamin and Melinda Trimmer both had a pair, and Jenna Hirsch had one. Hirsch contributed game highs of six assists and four steals in 28 minutes off the bench.
Kayla Gabor led Lake Erie with 14 points, and Shelby Carpenter posted 10 points and five of the Storm's 12 steals.
YSU led 20-10 in the first half when Smolinski made a 3 with 53 seconds left in the first period, and a Sarah Cash basket put the Penguins up 27-17 at the 7:35 mark of the second period. Lake Erie kept hanging around and trailed just 27-22 with 4:28 left before halftime, but the Penguins outscored the Storm 22-3 over the remainder of the half.
Two Hirsch free throws started a 19-0 run, and Arbanas scored the next seven points to get the lead to 14. Newman then scored eight straight points, five of which came on free throws on one trip down the floor as Lake Erie was whistled for two fouls on rebounds. A steal and layup by Hirsch ended the 19-0 run, and she hit a 3 with less than five seconds left to put the Penguins ahead 49-25 at halftime.
YSU made five 3-pointers in the third period, and the Penguins' lead grew to 30 at 72-42 for the first time when Marissa Brown scored 45 seconds into the fourth. The largest lead came when Newman made her fourth 3 with 8:29 left to put Youngstown State ahead 75-42.
The Penguins shot 51.7 percent (30-for-58) overall, 46.9 percent from 3-point range (15-for-32) and 87.5 percent (14-for-16) from the free-throw line. The Penguins committed 19 turnovers, including 14 in the first half, which helped Lake Erie stay close for the first 16 minutes. The Storm shot 32.7 percent overall and made nine 3-pointers.
Youngstown State held a sizeable 43-20 edge in rebounding, which helped gain a 14-4 advantage in second-chance points.
Youngstown State's next game will be at Akron on Monday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO and iHeartRadio.