Vindicator Logo

YSU women off to best start in 13 seasons

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Staff report


The Youngstown State women’s basketball team is 2-0 for the first time since 1999-2000.

Brandi Brown’s double-double of 24 points and 15 rebounds, combined with suffocating defense, powered the Penguins to a 60-50 victory over winless Buffalo on Tuesday at Alumni Arena.

Freshman Shar’Rae Davis added a career-high 19 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Liz Hornberger matched her career high with 12 points for YSU. The Penguins began the season with a 64-50 victory at Pitt on Friday.

They will meet Bryant in their home opener at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday at Beeghly Center.

YSU held Buffalo scoreless for more than five minutes on three different occasions in the game. That helped the Penguins overcome a slugging ending to the game in which they went without a field goal for nine minutes.

Hornberger hit three 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the second half, and her third gave the Penguins a 45-30 lead with 12:17 left. Two free throws by Brown at the 8:49 mark gave YSU its largest lead at 50-32, but Buffalo (0-2) went on a 15-3 run to get within 53-47 with 3:10 remaining. YSU scored the next five points on four Davis free throws and one by Brown to go up 58-47, and Brown answered a Buffalo 3-pointer with a breakaway bucket for the game’s final points.

YSU’s 10-point victory avenged a 54-point loss at Buffalo three years ago. It follows YSU’s 66-point turnaround against Pittsburgh when it beat the Panthers by 14 on Friday after losing by 52 three seasons ago.

Brown and Davis scored the first 25 points for YSU in helping the Penguins build a 30-20 lead at halftime. The Penguins kept Buffalo scoreless for spells of 5:50 and 5:37 in the period.

Buffalo opened the game by scoring nine of the first 12 points to take a 9-3 lead at the 17:04 mark, but Brown hit a 3-pointer to end the run and get the Penguins to the first media timeout down 9-6. YSU turned up the defensive pressure, and the Bulls scored eight points over the next 14 minutes.

Rachel Gregory had 17 points to lead Buffalo.