Penguins Continue Homestand Winning Streak

By Dom Joseph

The Youngstown State University women’s basketball team hosted the Cleveland State University Vikings in the third of a five-game homestand, and cruised to another Horizon League victory with a final score of 73-55.

“I’m very happy and proud of those guys,” Penguins coach John Barnes said, after a great team victory, which included a powerful performance by junior Mary Dunn and senior Sarah Cash. “I thought [Mary Dunn] and Sarah did a great job of posting up, working to get in position, and the guards did a great job getting them the ball, good all around game.”

After a come-from-behind win against the Northern Kentucky University Norse, Barnes was happy with how his team performed against Cleveland State.

“We came out right away and played well from the start,” Barnes said. “They were sharp-focused, jumped out to a 10 to nothing lead and kept executing through the first half.”

The senior center Cash scored a team-high 24 points, to go along with four rebounds and two steals.

“I hadn’t been finishing well the last couple games, so I stayed after practice to work on finishing around the basket, I think that helped,” Cash said.

Barnes was very pleased with how Cash played.

“She knows exactly what to do out there, she knows where to go, she knows how to set a player up,” he said.

Her teammate in the paint, Dunn, had another big game, producing 22 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Dunn explained the secret to the team’s success has been extra effort.

“Altogether, we have so many people that stay after practice,” she said.

Senior guard Alison Smolinski scored 14 points, nine of those points came from three-point territory. In total, Smolinski was 5-11 from the field.

Sophomore guard Chelsea Olson continued to spread the wealth amongst her team, dishing out a team-high eight assists.

She may not be a post player, but sophomore guard McKenah Peters led the team in rebounds with 10.

The Penguins now stand at 15-5 overall, and 7-2 in the Horizon League. Cleveland State drops to 7-13 overall, and 4-5 in the Horizon League.

The Penguins are seated second in the conference standings, a near 0.5 games behind the Wright State University Raiders. Wright State has only one loss in conference, which happens to be against the Penguins last weekend at Beeghly Center.

The Penguins will continue their homestand and conference play this Thursday, as they take on the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.

In their previous matchup in Oakland, Youngstown State took home the victory. Cash, Olson and Dunn were all in double digits in points in that contest.

Oakland is 1-7 in the Horizon League, and are placed at eighth, six games back. In their last ten matchups with Oakland, the Penguins have won six games.

With only one home loss on the season, the Penguins will seek to continue their home winning streak. A win against Oakland will extend the streak to nine games.