The Penguins got ready for Horizon League tournament play with an 87-66 win over Wright State.
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
DAYTON -- The Youngstown State women's basketball team might have saved its best for last, as the Penguins closed out the regular season with an 87-66 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Nutter Center.
The Penguins (12-15, 8-8 Horizon) ended a three-game losing streak heading into the league tournament which gets underway on Wednesday night.
YSU, the No. 5 seed in the tournament, will open play on Thursday night against the host team, No. 4-seed Loyola University at the Gentile Center in Chicago at 9:30 p.m.
Hot shooting: The Penguins shot 58.3 percent from the field on Sunday, making 25 of 60 shots. They shot 61 percent in the first half and they had an easy time with the Raiders.
Sophomore Heather Harris led the Penguins with 20 points, while freshman Jen Perugini added 17 and junior Maggie Johnston contributed 16 points.
Perugini, senior Jen Horner and freshman Tara Fleming all had six rebounds each to lead the way.
YSU shot 44.4 percent from the 3-point line, making 8-of-18 shots, as Johnston led the way with four and Harris added two.
"I was very proud of our young ladies today because they came ready to play," said YSU coach Ed DiGregorio.
"We played great defense in the first half and our defense sparked our offense," he added.
"If we all come ready to play at the same time we can compete with anyone," he said. "That's what we did today."
Wright State (6-21, 4-12 Horizon) led only one time in the contest and that was 4-2 in the early going.
YSU, which made 16 of its first 19 shots from the field, took a commanding 33-13 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half.
In command early: The Penguins, who made 7-of-12 3-point shots in the first half, led by as many as 27 points, 51-24, with 2:57 remaining. However they failed to score the remainder of the half and took a 51-30 lead at the intermission.
In the second half YSU's biggest lead was 29 points, 61-32, with 17:15 remaining. DiGregorio began using his reserves early in the half.
Wright State was led by Angie Ott with 24 points, while Tiffany Webb added 16.
The Penguins forced the Raiders into 21 turnovers and scored 27 points off those mistakes. YSU finished with 18 turnovers in the game.