Mallory scores 15 as YSU crushes Carlow
By GREG GULAS
After beating a Power Five team for the first time in six years on Tuesday, the last thing Youngstown State head coach John Barnes wanted was a letdown by his team against NAIA foe Carlow University.
It took 10 minutes to settle in, but five players eventually scored in double figures as the Penguins defeated the Celtics 90-31 for their fourth consecutive win to start the season.
Freshman Madison Mallory led all scorers with 15 points, Alison Smolinski added 14 points while Mary Dunn, Deleah Gibson and McKenah Peters each added 11 as YSU won for the 20th consecutive time over a non-Division I foe dating to the 1990-91 campaign.
Mallory’s points were the first of her college career after logging just eight minutes and attempting one shot in two previous games.
“I think this was just a big confidence-booster for me personally. Coach Barnes has been telling me that everyone is important, so I’ve just been trying to do my best with the minutes that I play,” Mallory said. “I think tonight showed me that I can do it and I’m ready to get in other games and show him what I’ve got.”
Six points by Sarah Cash helped YSU (4-0) to the early 6-2 advantage, but the Penguins were sluggish the rest of the quarter as they canned just six of 19 shots and missed all eight of their 3-point attempts despite opening a 13-4 lead after the first 10 minutes.
If the Penguins were sluggish, then the Celtics (0-3) were left looking for some rhythm offensively as they made just two of 13 buckets from the field, missing all seven of their 3-pointers.
A 23-4 run by YSU at the outset of the second period broke the game wide open as they turned a nine-point lead into a 36-7 rout. The Penguins made 10 of 18 shots. Carlow was just two of 15 from the field and just four of 28 from the floor in the first half half
“I think the biggest thing is we got a lot of people minutes. It was a huge game for Deleah [Gibson], Madison and also Amara [Chikwe],” Barnes said. “They need minutes, court time minutes and sometimes it’s not always available in other games so for them to play a lot, and do well, builds their confidence and that’s big for us.”
Other than Cash, who scored six points in six minutes of action, none of the other eight players that dressed played less than 13 minutes with Chikwe’s 32 minutes and 31 by Gibson leading the way.
Smolinski, the Horizon League leader in triples heading into the game, had just one in the opening half but finished with four for the game. She made six 3s in a 64-55 win at Pitt on Tuesday night.
“We weren’t as sharp as coach Barnes would have liked to start the game,” Smolinski said. “We did have fun out there and played as a team. We weren’t going to take them lightly and prepared for them like we would any other team.
“It’s always our defense we focus on. Coach recruits a lot of shooters so we don’t really focus on that, it just kind of comes with our defense. We take a lot of pride in our defense.”
Carlow’s 31-point output tied for the third-fewest points ever allowed by the Penguins and the fewest at home since a 109-25 win over Malone on Dec. 29, 1990.
The Penguins held a 57-27 rebound advantage with Chikwe grabbing 11.
Kayla Brownlee, Reanna Turner and Megan Ost each had six points for Carlow.