Penguins Fall to Detroit Mercy in Regular-Season Finale

YSU Women's Basketball 2016-17 Senior Day
YSU Women's Basketball 2016-17 Senior Day

Detroit Mercy had six players score at least seven points and never allowed the Youngstown State women's basketball team to catch up in an 83-67 victory over the Penguins on Saturday at Beeghly Center. It was the regular season finale for both teams, and YSU was celebrating Senior Day for Tamira Ford, Jenna Hirsch and Kelsea Newman.

The Titans led for more than 36 minutes, but the Penguins remained within striking distance until the final four minutes. The Penguins trailed by three at halftime and by five with 7:47 left in the fourth. The margin was 69-61 with 4:30 left before Detroit Mercy scored eight straight points to pull away.

Youngstown State finishes the regular season 9-20 overall and 5-13 in Horizon League play, and Detroit Mercy improved to 16-13 overall and 12-6 in conference play.

Indiya Benjamin had one of the best games of her career with 22 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in 32 minutes. She was one of four Penguins to finish in double figures. Alison Smolinski scored all of her 11 points in the first half, and Kelley Wright scored all of her 11 in the second half. Mary Dunn added 10 points.

Rosanna Reynolds had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Brianne Cohen scored 17 points to lead Detroit Mercy. Haleigh Ristovski scored all 10 of her points in the fourth period as the Titans went 11-for-13 from the field and outscored YSU 31-23.

Gracie Roberts scored the first five points of the game for Detroit Mercy, but YSU went on a 9-2 run to take its first lead of the game with 4:40 remaining. A Smolinski layup gave the Penguins their final advantage at 11-9 at the 3:39 mark. Brittney Jackson hit a 3-pointer on Detroit Mercy's next possession, and Anja Marinkovic hit a triple for the Titans at the end of the first period to put UDM up 17-14.

The Titans went on a 10-0 run in the first four minutes of the second period to take a 27-16 lead, but the Penguins closed out the half on a 12-4 spurt to get within 31-28 at halftime. Smolinski hit a 3 with 49 seconds left to get the score within a possession at 29-26, and Dunn scored in the final five seconds to answer a Detroit Mercy basket.

The margin was within two three times in the third period, the final time coming on a Melinda Trimmer 3-pointer with 3:02 remaining. Detroit Mercy closed out the third on a 10-4 spurt to go up 52-44 heading into the final period.

A Benjamin triple got the Penguins back within four at 53-49, and Ford's basket with 7:47 left made the score 58-53. Nicole Urbanick and Ristovski hit back-to-back triples for the Titans to get the lead to 11, and Ristovski hit another 3-pointer at the 4:14 mark that sparked an 8-0 run that increased the lead to 77-61 with 2:59 left.

Youngstown State will play in the first round of the Little Caesar's Horizon League Tournament on Friday at Joe Louis Arena. YSU's opponent and start time will be announced soon.