YSU Gets Win Against Valpo On Senior Night

YSU Gets Win Against Valpo On Senior Night

 

 

By Dan Hiner

 

 

It was a special night for Youngstown State University forward Janae Jackson. As the only senior on the roster, she was honored before the game. And if that wasn’t enough attention, it was also Jackson’s birthday.

 

Her teammates gave her one heck of a birthday present, an 87-66 win over Valparaiso University on Friday night. The game was one of the Penguins’ best performances since the start of Horizon League play.

 

“It just felt really good to get out and play how we played in the first half of the season. It felt really good,” Jackson said.

 

The Penguins jumped out to a 20-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, highlighted by a 13-2 run in the middle of the quarter, and never looked back. YSU head coach John Barnes said he believed the team wanted to get a win over Valpo for Jackson.

 

“I think the team came out really ready to play,” Barnes said. “I think, down deep, they really wanted to win it for Janae [Jackson] and they knew we needed a good start to get that win. I thought that was a big motivation for them.”

 

Unfortunately, Jackson wasn’t a factor in the first half. She picked up two early fouls and only played one minute, but she made a difference in the second half. After sitting on the bench for the majority of the first half, Jackson scored all of her 15 points, grabbed four of her five rebounds and recorded two assists in the second half.

 

“… For her to bounce back like she did, I thought she was really aggressive offensively and going to the foul line eight times and going 8-8 … as a senior on senior night, her birthday, it couldn’t

Youngstown State University guard Jenna Hirsch (32) gets fouled and makes the layup.

Youngstown State University guard Jenna Hirsch (32) gets fouled and makes the layup.

have gone any better,” Barnes said.

 

YSU (17-9, 8-7 in the Horizon League) was able to control the post early in the game. The Penguins outscored Valpo 34-24 in the paint and outrebounded the Crusaders 38-28.

 

Jackson said the YSU offense was successful because the team was more aggressive then it has been in recent weeks. The Penguins shot 52.6 percent from the field, including 37.5 percent from behind the 3-point line.

 

“I felt like this was the first game in however many that we put two halves together, and we came out from the beginning and kept pushing until the end,” Jackson said. “I felt like this game was a really good bounce back to get on a roll.”

 

This was the second game in a row the Penguins defense stepped up. YSU held Valpo (8-19, 4-12 in the Horizon League) to 25 percent shooting in the first half and 35.6 percent for the game.

 

“I thought it was a really good showing for us. That team could score in bunches, so we needed to be sharp all the way through the game,” Barnes said. “We didn’t want to give them confidence or get them going. I thought Nikki (Arbanas) did a great job and Indiya (Benjamin) was pressuring pretty much the whole game to try to take them out of their rhythm a little bit.”

 

For YSU forward Sarah Cash, it was just another day at the office. Cash led the team with 21 points and 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Arbanas scored 15 points and Benjamin contributed 12 points and seven assists.

 

“I felt like this was the first game in however many that we put two halves together, and we came out from the beginning and kept pushing until the end,” Jackson said. “I felt like this game was a really good bounce back to get on a roll.”

 

Box Score

YSU 87, Valpo 66

 

Valpo (8-19, 4-12) — Meredith Hamlet 4-2-13, Jasmyn Walker 3-4-10, Imani Scott-Thompson 3-2-9, Haylee Thompson 2-4-8, Amber Lindfors 3-0-6, Hannah Schaub 2-2-6, Lexi Miller 1-3-5, Georgi Donchetz 1-2-4, Allison Schofield 1-0-3, Abby Dean 1-0-2. Totals: 21-19-66.

 

YSU (17-9, 8-7) — Sarah Cash 9-3-21, Janae Jackson 3-8-15, Nikki Arbanas 6-0-15, Indiya Benjamin 4-2-12, Jenna Hirsch 3-0-8, Marissa Brown 2-1-5, Jill Blacksten 1-2-4, Alison Smolinski 1-0-3, Kelsea Newman 1-1-3, Melinda Trimmer 0-1-1. Totals: 30-18-87.

 

Valpo  10       14       14       28       —        66

YSU     20       19       21       27       —        87

 

3-point field goals: Valpo 5 (Hamlet 3, Schofield, Scott-Thompson); YSU 9 (Arbanas 3, Benjamin 2, Hirsch 2, Jackson, Smolinski).

 

Rebounds: Valpo 28 (Thompson 6, Walker 6, Lindfors 5, Miller 3, Hamlet 2, Dani Franklin, Team 5); YSU 38 (Cash 10, Jackson 5, Brown 4, Hirsch 4, Benjamin 3, Newman 3, Arbanas 2, Smolinski 2, Blacksten, Kelley Wright, Team 3).

 

Assists: Valpo 13 (Schaub 4, Dean 2, Donchetz 2, Franklin 2, Hamlet, Miller, Scott-Thompson); YSU 15 (Benjamin 7, Hirsch 2, Jackson 2, Smolinski 2, Arbanas, Cash).

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