Women’s record dips to 1-7 after 78-50 loss at Central Michigan

The Penguins committed 19 second-half turnovers to help the Chippewas breeze.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Central Michigan’s defense held Youngstown State to 17 second-half points to turn a four-point halftime lead into a 78-50 victory in a women’s basketball game Sunday at Rose Arena.

The Penguins trailed just 37-33 at halftime but were out-scored 41-17 in the final 20 minutes as they were forced into 19 second-half turnovers.

Nikita LaFleur finished with her second double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for YSU. Tiara Scott added 10 points, all of which came in the first half.

Britni Houghton scored 21 points to lead three Chippewas in double figures.

YSU (1-7) outshot CMU 40.4 percent to 39.5 percent but were out-scored 46-26 in the paint and 32-7 off turnovers. Central Michigan held a 46-35 rebounding advantage, including a 26-10 edge on the offensive glass.

The Chippewas scored eight straight points in a two minute-span to go up 49-38 with 15:16 left. Kenya Middlebrooks hit a jumper at the 10:45 mark to get the Penguins within eight at 53-44, but CMU closed out the contest on a 25-6 run.

The Chippewas (6-2) have already matched their win total from last season’s 6-23 record.

CMU led 11-7 before the Penguins went on a 9-3 run to take a 16-14 lead at the 12:06 mark of the first half. The Chippewas scored eight of the next 10 points and hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to go up 22-18 with 9:05 remaining.

YSU then kept the Chippewas scoreless for nearly 21‚Ñ2 minutes as it scored the next seven points. Camisha Alexander’s trey at the 7:13 mark put YSU ahead 23-22, and Scott’s lay-up made the score 25-22.

Scott’s two free throws with 5:40 remaining gave YSU a 27-26 lead, but the Chippewas hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions again to take a 32-27 lead.

YSU tied the score at 33-33 with 2:24 left on Ashley Pendleton’s free throws, but the Chippewas scored the final four points of the half to take a 37-33 lead into the locker room.

YSU made six of its first 10 shots but finished the half 6-for-16. The Penguins still outshot the Chippewas 46.5 percent to 36.4 percent in the first half. YSU, however, committed 15 turnovers that CMU converted into 12 points.

Youngstown State was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line in the first half while Central Michigan was just 2-for-8.

Scott scored 10 points in the first half while LaFleur had seven points and seven rebounds. Baker had 11 to lead the Chippewas in the first 20 minutes.

The Chippewas came into the game averaging 82.4 points per game, which ranked eighth nationally.

The Penguins will play at Canisius on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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