Olson scores 26 to lead YSU to win in Cleveland


Staff re[prt

CLEVELAND

Chelsea Olson scored the most points by a Youngstown State freshman in 23 years and the Penguins used a big second half to beat Cleveland State 66-52 on Saturday at the Wolstein Center.

Olson had 20 of her game and career-high 26 points in the second half as YSU outscored the Vikings 44-29 over the final 20 minutes.

She was 5-for-5 from the field, 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 7-for-9 from the free-throw line in the second half. Her 26 points were the most by a YSU freshman since Anne Marie Martin scored 26 against UMKC on Jan. 23, 1995.

Sarah Cash added 16 points, and Morgan Brunner scored eight second-half points for YSU, which snapped a four-game losing streak this season and a four-game skid in Cleveland.

Khayla Livingston scored 13 points to lead Cleveland State.

Both teams lacked significant pieces to their starting lineups in the game. YSU was without starting guards Nikki Arbanas and Alison Smolinski, and Cleveland State leading scorer Ashanti Abshaw was also out with an injury.

In addition to Olson and Brunner stepping up in the second half, Natalie Myers scored six points in the game, which was four above her average.

The score was within five points for the first 25 minutes of the game before Olson helped the Penguins pull away.

YSU’s largest lead in the first half was at 6-2 when Cash scored with 6:11 left in the opening quarter.

The Penguins’ first lead of the second half came when Brunner’s 3-pointer at the 7:35 mark put them ahead 26-25, and they did not trail again.

Brunner’s 3 was part of a 14-3 run, which ended with Olson scoring seven straight points that gave the Penguins a 36-28 lead with 4:00 left in the third. Indiya Benjamin’s long 3-pointer at the end of the quarter extended the advantage to 44-35.

Olson’s 3 less than a minute into the fourth gave the Penguins their first double-digit lead of the game at 47-37, and the margin grew to 15 on a Myers triple at the 7:42 mark.

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