By Dan Hiner
Things didn’t go well for the Youngstown State University women’s basketball team during the second round of the Horizon League tournament. Wright State University beat YSU 81-54 and eliminated the Penguins from the Horizon League tournament.
The Raiders completely controlled the game from the opening tip. Wright State went on two long runs in the first quarter, a 9-2 run and a 12-3 run. YSU started the game 2-17 in the first quarter, which allowed Wright State to take a commanding 25-5 lead heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter wasn’t much better for the Penguins. Following a layup by YSU point guard Indiya Benjamin to cut the lead to 25-7, the Raiders went on another 9-0 run to push their lead to 33-7. YSU was scoreless for almost four minutes to start the second quarter. Wright State outscored YSU 22-11 in the second quarter and took a 47-16 lead into halftime.
YSU (19-12, 9-9 in the Horizon League) became more aggressive in the second half, and began to work the ball into the paint to Sarah Cash more in the third quarter. Cash did most of her scoring in the third. She scored 10 points, four coming from the free throw line. But the Penguins were unable to stop the Raiders’ offense. The Penguins found themselves trading baskets for much of the third and made a comeback unlikely.
Wright State (24-9, 12-6 in the Horizon League) had a 68-38 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, and the Raiders didn’t have to worry about giving up the lead. YSU shot the ball well in the fourth quarter but both teams emptied their bench and the game was never really in doubt.
All five members of the Wright State starting lineup scored double digits. Starting forward Richie Van Der Keijl and backup guard Symone Simmons came off the bench to lead the Raiders — both scored15 points
Cash led the Penguins in scoring with 17 points, all coming in the second half. YSU forward Janae Jackson had another quality performance to end her career—11 points and five rebounds. Nikki Arbanas was third on the team with 10 points including two 3-pointers, moving her to 10th all time on YSU 3-point field goals list.
YSU 54, Wright State 81
YSU (19-12, 9-9) — Sarah Cash 5-7-17, Janae Jackson 5-0-11, Nikki Arbanas 3-2-10, Indiya Benjamin 3-2-9, Melinda Trimmer 1-1-3, Jenna Hirsch 1-0-2, Kelley Wright 1-0-2. Totals: 19-12-54.
WSU (24-9, 12-6) — Symone Simmons 7-0-15, Richie Van Der Keijl 6-3-15, Kim Demmings 5-2-13, Symone Denham 5-3-13, Lexi Smith 5-3-13, Mackenzie Taylor 4-0-10, Alexyse Thomas 1-0-2. Totals: 33-11-81.
YSU 5 11 22 16 — 54
WSU 25 22 21 13 — 81
3-point field goals: YSU 4 (Arbanas 2, Benjamin, Jackson); WSU 4 (Taylor 2, Demmings, Simmons).
Rebounds: YSU 28 (Cash 5, Jackson 5, Arbanas 4, Wright 3, Hirsch 2, Trimmer 2, Benjamin, Kelsea Newman, Alison Smolinski, Marissa Brown, Team 3); WSU 54 (Denham 11, Smith 11, Demmings 9, Simmons 8, Van Der Keijl 6, Taylor 4, Thomas, Vogelpohl, Team 3).
Assists: YSU 11 (Benjamin 4, Arbanas 2, Hirsch 2, Brown, Jackson, Smolinski); WSU 13 (Denham 5, Demmings 3, Taylor 2, Smith, Van Der Keijl, Vogelpohl).