Youngstown — Senior Melissa Thompson’s three-point play with 36 seconds left in regulation broke a 64-64 tie and lifted the Youngstown State women’s basketball team to a 68-64 win over Oakland in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Horizon League Championship on Wednesday evening at the Beeghly Center.
The Penguins forced two missed 3-pointers by Oakland and senior Heidi Schlegel came down with a defensive rebound sealed the victory with a free throw with seven seconds remaining.
Youngstown State improves to 15-15 overall and will play No. 2 seed Wright State on Friday, March 14, in Green Bay, Wis. at 6 p.m. Eastern. Oakland finished the season with an overall record of 13-17.
Schlegel led the Penguins with her 10th double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds. She also dished out five assists. Thompson scored 15 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds.
Senior Liz Hornberger, who tied the YSU all-time 3-pointers made record with 198, added 11 points.
Hornberger hit her career-tying 3-pointer to give the Penguins a 38-31 lead with 17:14 to go. Then Penguins surrendered 16-7 run as the Golden Grizzlies to a 47-45 lead midway through the second half. It marked Oakland’s first lead since 10-9 at the 12:57 mark of the first half.
The Penguins used their own 10-2 run over the next two minutes to regain a 55-49 lead after two free throws by Hornberger, a jumper and two free throws by Latisha Walker and a layup by Schlegel.
Oakland knotted the game at 61-61 after a 3-pointer by Victoria Lipscomb and took a 64-62 lead after a Bethany Watterworth layup.
Schlegel made a pair of free throws with 1:25 left to tie the game and Thompson came down with a defensive rebound off a Lipscomb miss to set up her game-winning shot.
Neither team got off to a crisp starter but the Golden Grizzlies managed to jump out to a 10-7 lead nearly seven minutes into the game. The Golden Grizzlies missed nine of their first 10 shots, while the Penguins committed four turnovers in the first four minutes of the game.
The Penguins used a 9-0 run on a jumper by Flagg, a 3-pointer by Hornberger and two jumpers by Schlegel to take a 16-10 lead midway through the half.
After Oakland cut the deficit to three, 20-17, with 5:31 left, Thompson made two straight layups and another by Schlegel pushed the lead to nine, 26-17, at the 3:16 mark.
Hornberger nailed her second 3-pointer of the half to give the Penguns a 10-point lead and another layup by Thompson pushed the advantage to a first-half high, 12 points, 31-19, with 1:43 left.
Oakland scored the final four points of the half as the Penguins took an 31-23 lead into the lockerroom at the half.
For the half, Youngstown State shot 45.2 percent, but committed eight turnovers. Oakland made just 23.1 percent from the floor before halftime.
COURTESY OF THE YOUNGSTOWN STATE UNIVERISTY ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT