The Youngstown State women’s basketball team battled back from its largest Horizon League deficit of the season to defeat Detroit 80-71 on Wednesday night at the Beeghly Center. Karen Flagg had a career-high 26 points to lead the comeback.
The Penguins trailed 36-22 in the first half and for the first 14 minutes of the second half before going on top for good with 5:43 left in the game at 65-64 on a layup by Heidi Schlegel.
With the win, YSU improves to 6-0 in Horizon League play for the first time in school history. The Penguins are now over .500 on the campaign at 10-9. Detroit falls to 3-17 overall and 0-7 in the conference.
Flagg’s previous high was 17 points and she nearly had that in the first half scoring 16 points. She finished the contest making 8-of-14 shots from the field, including 5-of-6 from behind the 3-point line. She was also 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
The Guins fought an up-hill battle for most of the contest. Detroit led for or had part of the lead for all but 27 seconds of the first half. In the second half, the Titans held on 14:17 before the Penguins eventually caught them and never trailed again.
Following Schlegel’s layup at 5:43, Jenna Hirsch had a steal and layup to forge ahead 67-64 and on the next possession, Flaag’s spin-o-rama layup pushed the advantage up to 69-64.
In the final 2:59, the Guins outscored the Titans 8-2 after a bank-shot by Senee Shearer cut the deficit to 72-69. Hirsch made 3-of-4 free throws in the final stretch while Flagg and had a 3-pointer and Schlegel converted a layup.
Schlegel came on strong in the second half to score 14 of her 16 points. She also grabbed 14 rebounds. Hirsch had 16 points with six assists and six rebounds while Kelsea Newman came off the bench to finish with 11. Shearer had 17 points for the Titans.
For the game, YSU shot 33.8 percent making 26-of-77 attempts. The Penguins were 12-of-29 from behind the 3-point arc. The Guins also went 16-of-19 from the free-throw line.
YSU tied the game on just three occasions in the first half – 3-3, 6-6 and eventually 36-all.
After the contest was tied at six, the Titans scored the next 12 points to go in front 18-6 by the 13:34 mark. The Guins finally ended a scoring drought when Flagg made her third straight 3-pointer en route to scoring YSU’s first nine points.
Newman came in to provide a spark by making three consecutive 3-pointers as the Penguins were able to close within 28-22 with 8:05 left.
The Titans pushed their lead back to 14 at 36-22 on the heels of an 8-0.
But YSU found its way scoring the next 14 points over a span of 4:42 and eventually caught Detroit at 36. Flagg had seven points, Hirsch had five and Schlegel’s free throws tied the contest at 36 with 1:30 remaining in the opening half.
However, Detroit scored the final four points of half to grab a 40-36 advantage at the break.
YSU attempted 42 shots in the first half, making 12 (28.6 percent). Detroit shot 48.4 percent in the first half and 38.9 percent for the game (28-of-72).
The Penguins head back on the road for a contest at Cleveland State on Saturday. Tipoff at the Wolstein Center is set for 2 p.m.
COURTESY: YSU SPORTS INFORMATION