WOMEN'S BASKETBALL YSU goes cold, loses lead, verdict to WIU
The Penguins shot 60 percent in the first half to lead, but they couldn't maintain that accuracy and lost 73-54.
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
MACOMB, Ill. -- The Youngstown State women's basketball team had to be feeling pretty good at halftime of Saturday's game against Western Illinois.
The Penguins had shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the field and led the Westerwinds 36-35.
But there was trouble looming.
The Penguins' shooting bottomed out in the second half -- shooting just 27 percent (6-of-22) -- and Western Illinois heated up, rolling to a 73-54 win over YSU at Western Hall.
YSU Leaders: Jen Perugini and Heather Harris each scored 18 points to lead the Penguins (2-4), who made just 1-for-10 3-point attempts in the second half.
Harris hit the Penguins' lone second half 3-pointer at the 14:32 mark to pull them even at 42. That was the closest YSU would get the rest of the way, as Western Illinois out-scored YSU 31-12 in the last 14 minutes.
"We played a great first half, but didn't show up for the second half," said coach Ed DiGregorio. "Our players need to understand you have to play two halves to win a ballgame. We failed to do that."
The Westerwinds buried YSU at the free throw line, hitting 11-for-12 from the stripe in the first half to keep the game close. And as YSU struggled to make shots from the perimeter, Western Illinois went inside, hitting 9-of-12 free throws in the second half and shooting 50 percent (14-for-28).
WIU leaders: Becky Tyo scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Western Illinois (4-4), and Tiffany Cornelius added 16 points and eight rebounds. The Westerwinds out-rebounded YSU 33-25 and forced 23 Penguin turnovers.
Barbora Fabianova had 10 assists and four steals for YSU. Jenny Horner added six rebounds.
Tugba Palazoglu scored 14 points for Western Illinois, and Erica Zielinski added nine points, five steals and five assists.
YSU has 13-2 run: The Westerwinds opened the game with a 10-9 lead, but YSU answered with a 13-2 run keyed by six points by Perugini and three steals by Fabianova. Western Illinois then followed with a 12-6 run to cut the lead to 28-24, and eventually regained the lead 33-32.
Fabianova hit a jumper to give YSU the lead, and Perugini added a steal and a layup to give the Penguins the 36-35 halftime lead.
Perugini had 16 of her points in the first half, and Harris scored nine points during that span. Fabianova had seven first half assists.
YSU held a 22-16 edge in points in the paint in the first half.
Cornelius scored 12 first half points for the Westerwinds.