YSU women rally but fall short against WSU
but fall short
By Dan Hiner
The Youngstown State women’s basketball team suffered an ugly 73-50 loss to Wright State on Jan. 15.
Saturday’s 69-59 loss to the Raiders was just as ugly through the first two and a half quarters. But the Penguins fought back and had a chance to win in the final three minutes.
YSU cut an 18-point deficit to 51-45 to end the third quarter and a Sarah Cash layup later cut the Raiders’ lead to 53-52 with 5:49 remaining
McKenah Peters’ layup with 3:24 left gave YSU a 56-54 lead. It was the first time the Penguins led since midway through the first quarter.
But Wright State went ahead 58-56 on a jumper by Chelsea Welsh with 2:43 left and never gave up the lead.
YSU guard Melinda Trimmer said the team started to find its rhythm in the third quarter and the Penguins’ confidence grew.
“We got running up and down,” Trimmer said. “I know when we’re running fast and quick and pushing the ball up the court, we tend to get some momentum going. Once we knocked down a few shots people started getting confident.”
Much like in the first meeting, Wright State took advantage of turnovers and second-chance opportunities.
The Raiders scored 23 points on 19 YSU turnovers. Wright State also scored 13 second-chance points on 12 offensive rebounds.
YSU head coach John Barnes said the team knew Wright State was “going to be extremely difficult.” He said the coaching staff and team emphasized limiting turnovers in the game plan, but poor decisions and mistakes eventually cost the Penguins the game.
“They bottom line is it came down to turnovers,” Barnes said. “Our guards just threw the ball away pretty much all game. That’s what cost us the game ultimately. You can’t have turnovers against a good team.”
Cash recorded her first double-double of the season, leading the Penguins with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Cash left the game briefly with an ankle injury in the closing minutes. She returned to the game for a couple possessions but soon was pulled for good.
Before leaving to deal with her ankle, Cash was the only productive player in the Penguins’ offense.
The rest of the team shot 14 of 40 (35 percent) from the field while Nikki Arbanas scored 10 points. YSU guard Indiya Benjamin only scored seven points and Chelsea Olson scored six.
Barnes said the Penguins should have opened the game with the same intensity the players showed in the second half.
“The problem was we dug ourselves into a hole,” Barnes said. “We showed some toughness and some grit to get ourselves out of it. But why did we wait until midway through the third quarter to start playing with a lot of passion and aggressiveness? Wright State’s very long, athletic, physical, tough and they took it to us.
“You spend so much energy crawling back into it, it’s hard to finish it at the end.”
YSU’s next four games are on the road.