Freshman Jen Perugini recorded her eighth double-double of the year, but YSU fell to 5-9.
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
CHICAGO, Ill. -- The Youngstown State women's basketball team fell short in its bid for a third straight Horizon League victory.
The Penguins fell behind quickly and eventually lost to Loyola of Chicago 81-68 Sunday at the Gentile Center.
YSU (5-9, 2-2 Horizon League) was coming off back-to-back conference victories over Butler and Detroit, both at home, but couldn't get any consistency against the Ramblers.
"We played a horrible first half and a great second half," said YSU coach Ed DiGregorio. "We're still not playing a full 40 minutes and that's been really hurting us."
Leading the way: The Penguins had four players score in double figures, led by junior point guard Maggie Johnston with 20. She added five rebounds and five assists.
Freshman Jen Perugini recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. She scored 13 points in the second half.
Senior Jen Horner added 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots, while freshman Barbora Fabianova came off the bench to add 13 points and seven assists.
"I'm proud of the way our players came back in the second half," DiGregorio added. "But we were not any where near competitive in the first half."
The Penguins quickly fell behind 9-0.
Senior Lauren Sirus, who scored a team-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting, scored 13 straight points for the Ramblers as they took an 18-8 lead with 14 minutes, 39 seconds remaining in the first half.
By the midway point of the half Loyola led 28-17 before a 10-3 run extended its lead to 18 points, 38-20, with 5:55 remaining on a 3-point goal by Ramona Aguado. The Penguins trailed 48-27 at halftime.
YSU fell behind 54-27 early in the second half, but a 20-9 run, sparked by eight points by Perugini, closed the margin to 16 points, 63-47, with nine minutes to go.
Final run: The Penguins made another run, this time, 17-9, to get within nine points, 73-64, as sophomore Devin Novak came off the bench and hit five quick points, including a 3-pointer at the 2:18 mark, but that was as close as YSU would get.
YSU shot 39.7 percent (29-for-73), including 30.8 percent on 3-pointers (8-of-26). The Penguins out-rebounded Loyola 45-39 and after committing 13 turnovers in the first half had just four in the second half.
Loyola out-scored the Penguins 26-2 in the paint and 22-4 off turnovers.
Ciara Henderson finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Loyola, while Maggie Toczylowski added 10 points and five rebounds. The Ramblers were 21-of-32 at the foul line to YSU's 2-for-3.
Youngstown State has two more road games ahead of them before returning home. The Penguins play at Illinois-Chicago Thursday and UW-Green Bay on Jan. 21.
Their next home game will be Jan. 24 against Wright State.