YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Sophomore post Sarah Cash scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Youngstown State women’s basketball team to a 55-46 win over Robert Morris on Tuesday night at the Beeghly Center. YSU remains unbeaten at 4-0 on the season.
Cash was 9-of-11 from the field and grabbed four rebounds in just 24 minutes of play. Three Penguins added nine points apeice – Kelsea Newman, Alison Smolinski and Nikki Arbanas – in the contest.
YSU shot 41.7 percent making 20-of-48 shots and overcame a 9-of-21 performance from the free-throw to win by nine points. YSU made six 3-pointers while RMU (3-2) connected on just one of 14 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc. For the game the Colonials were 20-of-59 from field (33.9 percent). YSU outrebounded RMU as well, 39-31.
Robert Morris came into the game averaging 83.2 points per game, and YSU held them 37 below that average.
Youngstown State’s first three baskets were from 3-point range, two from Newman and one from Arbanas, and a Cash bucket put the Penguins ahead 11-2 with 5:33 left in the first period. The lead stayed at least seven until a jumper by Morgan Olson pushed it to 19-8 with a minute left.
Alison Smolinski’s layup at the 7:45 mark extended the lead to 26-14, but the Penguins didn’t make a field goal the remainder of the half. That allowed Robert Morris to creep within 27-21 at halftime, and Melinda Trimmer’s free throw at the 2:08 mark accounting for YSU’s only other points of the half.
The shooting drought extended into the second half, and an Arbanas 3 with 4:11 left in the third period ended it at 13:24. More importantly, it gave YSU a 30-25 lead, and the Penguins escaped the period with a 38-31 lead.
An Olson jumper followed by a Smolinski 3 pushed the lead back to double digits at 43-33 with 8:16 left in the fourth period. Robert Morris pounded the ball inside and scored the next eight points to get within 43-41 three minutes later. YSU responed by scoring the next five points to increase its advantage to 48-41. RMU briefly pulled within four following a 3-pointer, but a three-point play by Cash pushed the lead back up to 51-44.
Cash made the final three field goals of the contest for the Guins, and her layup on a beautiful feed from Indiya Benjamin gave her 20 for the night. Her previous career best was 19 points in this year’s season opener against Canisius.
Olson had nine rebounds for the Guins while Benjamin finished with nine of YSU’s 12 assists for the evening.
Youngstown State will begin Horizon League play on Saturday at Oakland. Tipoff against the Golden Grizzlies is set for 3 p.m.
COURTESY: YSU SPORTS INFORMATION