YSU women rally, but fall to Oakland

Staff report

Rochester, Mich.

The Youngstown State women’s basketball team rallied from a 10-point, second-half deficit, but stumbled down the stretch in an 85-82 loss to Oakland at O’Rena on Saturday.

The Golden Grizzlies outscored the Penguins 8-2 over the game’s final 2:20 to win the Horizon League game.

YSU used an 11-0 run to erase a deficit and take a five-point lead with eight minutes to play. The Penguins (14-4, 3-2) didn’t trail again until the Golden Grizzlies hit back-to-back 3-pointers to go up 83-80 with 1:49 left.

The teams traded two free throws, and Heidi Schlegel’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.

Schlegel finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists. YSU’s Nikki Arbanas made six 3-pointers and scored 20 points.

Latisha Walker made seven of eight shots and finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in 16 minutes.

Indiya Benjamin added 10 points for the Penguins.

Olivia Nash led Oakland (9-9, 3-2) with 20 points, and all five Golden Grizzlies starters scored in double figures.

There were 14 ties and eight lead changes in the game.

Oakland led 44-38 at halftime.

Oakland’s largest lead of the afternoon came on a Nash 3-pointer at the 15:17 mark, but Arbanas answered with a 3-pointer 30 seconds later that started an 11-0 run for the Penguins. Oakland scored six points on its next two possessions to go up 61-56, and YSU answered with a 7-0 run to take a 63-61 lead with 10:23 remaining.

The Penguins held five-point leads at 69-64 and 71-66 with just over eight minutes left. YSU’s final lead came with under three minutes remaining when Schlegel drove in for a bucket, and the senior added a free throw at the 2:25 mark to put the Penguins up 80-77.

YSU will play two games at Beeghly Center next week. The Penguins host Detroit at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Milwaukee at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

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