Liz Hornberger and Heidi Schlegel combined for 51 points, and the Youngstown State women’s basketball team never trailed in an 81-69 victory at Milwaukee on Friday evening at the Klotsche Center.
The pair started hot by scoring YSU’s first 18 points, and they finished 19-for-26 from the field for the game. Hornberger scored a career-high 26 points behind five 3-pointers, and Schlegel finished with 25. Latisha Walker added 11 points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.
The Penguins improve to 12-12 overall and 8-3 in Horizon League play while Milwaukee dropped to 7-18 and 3-9. The YSU victory sets up an opportunity for the Penguins to have a showdown with first-place Green Bay on Sunday. The Phoenix is 9-2, one game ahead of the Penguins and Wright State.
Ashley Green led Milwaukee with 17 points, and she scored the 1,000th point of her career with 5:20 left. Avyanna Young had 15 points and 16 rebounds, and Angela Rodriguez finished with 14 points.
Schlegel and Hornberger started the game on fire, and they helped YSU get early leads of 11-2 and 18-5. Schlegel made her first seven field-goal attempts, her last of which gave the Penguins their 13-point advantage six minutes into the game.
Milwaukee went on a 16-5 run to get within a bucket at the 10:19 mark, but two points was as close as it would get the rest of the contest. The teams traded field goals to make the score 25-23, and Karen Flagg’s three-point play ended a 5-0 run that put YSU ahead by seven. YSU’s last field goal of the half came on another “and one” by Flagg at the 4:35 mark, but the Penguins were 9-for-9 from the free-throw line the remainder of the period and held a 41-33 lead at the break.
YSU slowed down significantly in the first half after the hot start by Hornberger and Schlegel and ended up shooting 35 percent in the period. UWM shot 46.7 percent, but YSU committed just two turnovers in the first two minutes. The Panthers also hurt themselves at the free-throw line, going 3-for-7 and missing three straight one-and-one attempts.
Milwaukee scored the first four points of the second half to get within four, but Hornberger hit two 3s as part of an 8-0 run that stretched the lead to 12. Hornberger countered a Rodriguez 3-pointer to make the score 52-40 at the 16:21 mark, and YSU led by double digits for all but 18 seconds over the next 15 minutes.
YSU’s largest lead was 17 at 72-55 when Green hit a 3-pointer to get her 1,000th point. Kimee Chandler then hit a triple at the 3:42 mark to start an 8-0 run that cut the deficit to 76-69 with a minute left. YSU missed three straight one-and-one attempts from the free-throw line to allow the Panthers to close the gap, but Schlegel made five of her last six free throws to finish the game.
The Penguins shot 60 percent in the second half and finished at 44.6 percent for the game. They were 23-for-44 inside the arc and posted 42 points in the paint. Milwaukee shot 44.4 percent from the game but was 4-for-12 from the free-throw line.
Sunday’s game at Green Bay will tip at 2 p.m. Eastern. Live coverage will be available on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio and the Horizon League Network.
COURTESY: YSU SPORTS INFORMATION