Nikki Arbanas and Indiya Benjamin took turns breaking Youngstown State's career 3-pointers record, and the Penguins celebrated Senior Day with a 76-69 victory over Cleveland State on Saturday at Beeghly Center.
Arbanas scored a season-high 24 points and made six 3-pointers, and she made the 200th triple of her career in the third period to break Liz Hornberger's previous record. Benjamin then made two 3s in the fourth period to jump Arbanas with 201 in her career.
Youngstown State finishes the regular season with a 15-14 overall mark and an 11-7 record in Horizon League play. The Penguins finished February with seven wins for the first time since 1998, and they will enter next week's Little Caesars Horizon League Tournament as winners of nine of their last 11 games.
Benjamin finished with a double-double of 14 points and 12 assists, and McKenah Peters scored 12 points off the bench for YSU. Ashanti Abshaw led the Vikings with 21 points and five steals.
Youngstown State made six 3-pointers in the first period as it took a 22-15 lead, and the Penguins finished 12-for-37 from long distance for the game. YSU also had a big 46-26 edge in rebounding as it swept its nearest rival this season.
Cleveland State scored the first four points of the game, and Benjamin hit a 3 at the 7:05 mark to give YSU its first lead at 5-4. That triple gave Benjamin 199 in her career, which tied Hornberger's record that had stood since 2014. Abshaw scored the next basket to give Cleveland State a 6-5 lead, which was its final advantage of the contest.
Arbanas' first of six triples on the day put YSU ahead 8-6 at the 5:32 mark, and Chelsea Olson and Peters followed with 3s for a 9-0 Penguins run that made the score 14-6. Cleveland State got within three at 14-11, but YSU led 22-15 at the end of the period and took its first double-digit lead at 29-18 with 7:18 left in the second.
The Penguins extended their advantage to 36-23 on Mary Dunn's three-point play at the 2:50 mark, and Cleveland State was able to get within 40-34 at halftime. Arbanas made three 3s in the third period, and her record-breaking one gave the Penguins a 61-47 lead with 21 seconds left.
Benjamin hit two 3-pointers in a span of 80 seconds early in the fourth period to pass Arbanas' total, and the 201st of her career gave YSU a 71-55 lead. The Penguins went on to go up 75-55 at the 4:03 mark before Cleveland State outscored YSU 14-1 over the final 2:28 for the final tally.
Youngstown State's opponent and start time in the Little Caesars Horizon League Tournament will be announced on Sunday.