Misses in Final Seconds The Difference in 59-56 Loss at CSU
Cleveland, Ohio -- The Youngstown State women's basketball had three tries to force overtime in the final seconds, but could not connect on any dropping a hard-fought 59-56 decision to Cleveland State in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament on Monday night at the Wolstein Center.
With 8.9 seconds left, the Penguins setup Monica Touvelle for the first try from straight on, but her shot glanced off the left side of the rim. Brandi Brown grabbed the board, but her off-balance 3-pointer from the wing bounced out. Heidi Schlegel grabbed the second rebound and alertly dribbled out to the 3-point line, but her shot at the buzzer didn't fall as the Vikings advanced to play at Detroit on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals.
The Penguins finish the season 10-20 while Cleveland State improves to 12-18.
YSU turned up the defensive pressure to have a chance to force overtime. The Guins tied the game early in the second half on two occasions, before the Vikings went on top 27-25 with 17:55 remaining.
At the 8:42 mark, the Vikings went ahead 52-45 on a 3-pointer by Shalonda Winton. YSU pulled within 52-47 on a couple of free throws by Kelsea Fickiesen. However, the Vikes pushed their advantage back to seven at the 7:08 mark on two free throws by Honesty King.
From that point, the team's struggled offensively down the stretch. Touvelle broke the scoring drought for both teams with a base-line jumper at the 3:03 mark. Brown answered over a minute later driving to the bucket and converted a layup with 1:49 remaining cutting the deficit to 54-51.
CSU made its first field goal in 7:04 when Cori Coleman connected on a 15-footer with 1:28 remaining.
With 24.4 ticks left, Janelle Adams sank a pair of free throws to push the CSU lead up to 58-54.
Fickiesen quickly drove to the hoop scoring with exactly 18 seconds left.
With 16.6 seconds left, Thompson fouled Honesty King who made the first, but missed the second free throw.
The Penguins quickly moved the ball up the court, but Fickiesen was whistled for a charging foul with 9.8 seconds remaining. The YSU pressure then forced Adams to travel setting up the final 8.9 seconds.
For the game, YSU shot 30.4 percent making 21-of-69 shots, but went just 3-of-22 (13.6 percent) from behind the 3-point arc. All three 3-pointers came in a five-minute span of the second half. CSU shot 36.5 percent from the field converting 23-of-63 attempts.
Fickiesen led the Penguins with 11 points while Middlebrooks and Touvelle each finished with 10. Coleman had game-high honors with 17 points while Shalonda Winton had 15 and King added 13.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, shooting a combined 27 percent and committing 26 turnovers, and Cleveland State held a 23-21 lead at halftime. YSU's defense forced 10 steals as a catalyst to Cleveland State's 15 first-half turnovers, but the Penguins were 7-for-34 overall from the floor and 0-for-9 from 3-point range offensively.
YSU scored the first four points of the game, but Cleveland State scored six straight points for the first of three lead changes in the opening period. Middlebrooks put the Guins back up 9-8, and her steal and lay-up gave them a 16-12 lead with 6:10 left.
Schlegel's bucket put YSU up 18-14 with 5:22 remaining, but YSU did not score for nearly five minutes as Cleveland State scored the next nine points to go ahead 23-18. Schlegel made a free-throw with 30.9 seconds left to end the drought, and Fickiesen made a lay-up with less than three seconds left to make the score 23-21 at halftime.