By Joseph Frattaroli
Youngstown State University’s women’s basketball team has been on a five-game winning streak since they defeated the University of Akron on Monday Nov. 5 at Beeghly Center.
At Oakland Univeristy’s Athletics Center O’rena, the Penguins defeated the Golden Grizzlies in the Horizon League opener with a score of 79-68, in what was the first Horizon League match for both teams. The win put the Penguins 3-0 overall, continuing their undefeated streak. Senior forward Lilly Ritz led the team with 24 points and 9 rebounds, a career high. Junior forward Paige Shy also scored a career-high of 18 points and had eight rebounds. The team shot 56.3% from the field, dominating the Grizzlies at 39.4%. Youngstown State was 27-of-48 from the field, 12-of-23 from 3-point range, and 13-of-20 from the free-throw line.
On Nov. 20 at Calihan Hall, the Penguins took down the University of Detroit Mercy 64-56. Ritz again led the Penguins, scoring 25 points and beating her previous career-high by one point. Senior Chelsea Olson was another contributing factor to the victory as she achieved 14 points with 8 rebounds and 7 assists. The win left the Penguins to advance 4-0 again, saving their undefeated status. Youngstown State shot 46.3% from the field while Detroit Mercy trailed with 35.6%. The team shot 25-of-54 from the field and 4-of-18 from three point range — three of which were scored by Paige Shy — and 10-of-11 at the free throw line.
At Beeghly Center on Nov. 26, the Penguins overcame Long Island University with a score of 70-55. This win solidified Youngstown State’s first 5-0 start since the 2015-2016 season. Again, Ritz was dominant as she scored 20 points this game with 10 rebounds and one assist to lead the team. This was her third game in a row where she scored 20 points and her second double-double. She was followed by Olson who scored 12 points, had 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Junior guard Mady Aulbach led the team in assists with 7 in total, scoring 2 points herself and 4 rebounds. LIU shot 34.5% from the field, severely trailing YSU with an even 50%. The game was settled in the paint with YSU scoring 40 points from under the basket. YSU shot 26-of-52 from the field, 5-of-18 from 3-point range, and 13-22 from the free-throw line.
The Youngstown State women’s basketball team will continue its season in conference play as it travels to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Dec. 2.