YSU Rallies From 15 Down To Force Overtime, But Wright State Gets Win, 71-66


An integral part of any athletic program turning around for the better depends on consistency.  Granted, the Youngstown State Lady Penguins have taken steps in the right direction all season.  Second-year coach, Bob Boldon and staff have initiated a strong offense where the three-point shot has been a source of good things.  Wright State needed overtime to claim a 71-66 win after the Penguins roared back late to tie things up, once down 15.

“I thought we gave a good effort”, said Coach Boldon.  “That was a good team sitting all alone in second place.  The energy was real good and I was happy our kids had a chance to play in that kind of atmosphere.”

In the first half, the Penguins struggled in the latter portion with their shooting.  Seemed like every shot hoisted was clanging and the Guins had trouble even getting shots off a couple of times turning the ball over on shot clock violations.  Brandi Brown was the leading scorer for YSU at the break, that comes as no surprise.  What does jump out was that as her teams leading scorer she only had four points and no one was tied with her.  Kim Demmings paced Wright State with five points and the Raiders were ahead 26-22 at the break.


In the second half, the Penguins showed signs of life on threes by Monica Touvelle and Kenya Middlebrooks to cut into a lead that grew to twelve after the break.  With 11:57 left to go in the game, the Raiders were comfortably ahead, 47-36.  Molly Fox started to establish inside dominance after being hit with an offensive foul and three traveling calls in the first half.  Fox completed a traditional three-point play to lengthen the margin to twelve points at 48-36.

Middlebrooks, shaking off a sluggish first half that consisted of going 0-4 from the floor and five turnovers,  collected her second three-pointer of the second half to make it 51-39.  Kelsea Fickiesen snared a rebound on offense and and was fouled making the putback, completing a three-point play that made it 51-41 with 8:45 to play.  Fickiesen would hit another three that made it a 53-47 game after a good defensive effort.  Demmings responded with a 15-foot jumper to give Wright State back a 55-47 lead with 6:45 remaining.

Heidi Schlegel did her best to keep the Penguins alive converting a three-point play with 2:27 to go that made it 57-54 in favor of Wright State.  Brown got a rebound with 27 seconds left but the Penguins could not convert trailing 59-57.  The Raiders inbounded and Demmings was fouled immediately.  Macey Nortey started a drive at the opposing baseline and in 7.9 of the 8.3 seconds that remained, got to the other end and hit a layup to tie the game and force overtime.

“We would have thrown up the white flag in the past”, commented Nortey.  “We don’t do that anymore.  We learn something each game, win or lose, and if we guard the way we know how, we can compete.”

In the overtime, Demmings took over hitting two quick baskets to put Wright State ahead, 63-59.  With 3:339 left in the extra session, Middlebrooks was fouled and hit a pair of charity tosses to make it 63-61.  Nortey again went the length of the court on a fastbreak to tie the game.  Demmings, however, responded with a three to untie the game.  Fox was whistled for fouling Brown with 1:39 left, sending her to the line, where she hit both free throws to tie the game at 66 apiece.  Not to be outdone, Demmings converted another old-fashioned three-point play to give the Raiders a 69-66 lead with 38.5 seconds remaining.


Brown (above) finished the game with 11 points and 8 rebounds for YSU (9-11, 3-6).  Melissa Thompson followed up a career-effort with another decent start for Boldon, finishing with 8 points.  Schlegel came to life late to finish with 10.  Middlebrooks ended up with 10 points and did well to put aside her shaky first half, showing good composure to mentally regroup at halftime and produce in the second half.  The Penguins went 12-46 from three-point land, second all-time in attempts.

Wright State got 14 points and 10 rebounds from Fox and 25 big points from Demmings.  The Raiders improved to 14-7 overall and 7-2 in the Horizon League.

Next up for the Lady Penguins is a February 2 game against Valparaiso at the Beeghly Center.  Tipoff is set for 7:05.

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