Seven Score in Double Figures, Penguins Have Best Shooting Day in 21 Years in Win Over Detroit Mercy

Alison Smolinski (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Alison Smolinski (Photo by Rob Hayes)

Alison Smolinski made five 3-pointers during a 19-0 run to start the game, and the Youngstown State women's basketball team had seven players score in double figures in a 91-45 victory over Detroit Mercy on Saturday at Beeghly Center.

The win finished off a perfect 5-0 homestand for the Penguins, who improved to 17-5 overall, 9-2 in Horizon League play and 13-1 on Rosselli Court.

YSU wore pink jerseys for the first time in program history to raise awareness for breast cancer, and it went on to have its best shooting day in 21 years. The Penguins were 34-for-56 from the field for 60.7 percent, which was the third-best mark in program history. It was the team's first time over 60 percent since shooting a school record 68.8 percent against Western Illinois on Feb. 23, 1998.

Smolinski scored 17 of her 20 points in the first period, and six teammates joined her in double figures. Mary Dunn scored 14 points, Chelsea Olson had 13 on 5-for-5 shooting, Sarah Cash and Melinda Trimmer both had 12, and Amara Chikwe and McKenah Peters added 10 apiece. It was the first time that seven Penguins reached double figures in the same game since Dec. 19, 1991, in a game that was also against the Titans.

As a team, YSU set season highs in points, field-goal percentage, 3-pointers (13), 3-point field-goal percentage (.565), assists (26) and steals (10).

Smolinski and Sarah Cash combined to score the first 19 points of the game, and the Penguins led the Titans 25-2 less than seven minutes into the contest. Smolinski made her first five attempts from beyond the arc and finished 6-for-12.

Detroit closed the first period on an 11-2 spurt to get within 14, but the Penguins got the lead back to above 20 when a Dunn basket made the score 38-17 at the 5:30 mark of the second quarter. YSU extended the advantage to 50-24 at halftime.

The Penguins shot 70.4 percent (19-of-27) from the field in the first half, which was their best shooting performance in a half since Feb. 11, 2015, at Oakland.

Youngstown State then scored the first 14 points of the second half to widen its advantage to 64-24. The Penguins led 73-37 through three periods, and the lead grew to 48 twice in the fourth.

Youngstown State will head to IUPUI on Friday in a key Horizon League road matchup. Tipoff at The Jungle is set for 7 p.m., and the game against the Jaguars will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.