Smolinski Makes Seven 3s in YSU's 77-73 Overtime Win Over NKU

Alison Smolinski
Alison Smolinski

Alison Smolinski's seventh 3-pointer sparked an 8-0 run in overtime, and the Youngstown State women's basketball team beat Northern Kentucky 77-73 on Thursday evening at Beeghly Center.

Smolinski tied her career with 30 points, and Melinda Trimmer scored a career-high 14 in her first home start. Mary Dunn added 18 points with a career-best eight rebounds.

With the victory, Youngstown State split the season series with NKU and moved a half game ahead of the Norse in the Horizon League standings. YSU improved to 9-17 overall and 5-10 in conference play, and NKU dropped to 8-18 and 4-10.

Smolinski was 7-for-14 from 3-point range, and she scored 11 of YSU's 17 points in the third period. She helped the Penguins take a nine-point lead into the fourth period, and YSU led by as many as 12 with just over six minutes left in regulation.

Trimmer's layup in transition gave the Penguins a 57-47 lead at the 4:03 mark of the fourth, and YSU's lead was 59-50 following her two free throws with 2:43 remaining. NKU forced two YSU turnovers in a 6-0 run to get within three, and Rebecca Lyttle tied the score at 61 with 51 seconds left.

Indiya Benjamin hit a jumper with 40.4 seconds left to give the Penguins a 63-61 lead, but Taryn Taugher grabbed an NKU miss and scored on a putback to tie the score with 32 seconds remaining. Benjamin came up short on a runner on a go-ahead attempt in the final seconds.

Mikayla Terry made two free throws on Northern Kentucky's first possession of overtime to put the Norse up 65-63. That was NKU's only lead in the extra session as Smolinski's 3-pointer that started the 8-0 came 17 seconds later. Trimmer scored the next five points on two free throws and a big 3-pointer near the end of the shot clock to put the Penguins up 71-65. The margin was at least three the rest of the game.

Lyttle finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and she had 18 of those points in the second half. Taugher added 20 points for the Norse.

Natalie Myers hit a 3 on YSU's first possession to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead, which was their largest until midway through the second period. YSU's final lead of the opening period came when a Smolinski layup made the score 7-6 at the 5:27 mark. Northern Kentucky went on a 9-2 run to take a 15-9 lead with 1:53 remaining, but the Penguins scored the next seven points to go up 16-15 early in the second period.

NKU led 19-16 before a 10-2 Penguins run that ended on a three-point play by Trimmer gave the Red and White a 26-21 advantage. NKU scored the next four points to cut the deficit to one, and the Penguins scored the final five points of the first half on a Smolinski 3 and a Dunn basket.

YSU scored 12 second-chance points on five offensive rebounds in the first half. NKU held a 9-0 edge in second-chance points in the second half.

Youngstown State will continue its four-game home stand on Saturday against Horizon League-leading Wright State. Tipoff against the Raiders is set for 4:30 p.m.