Strong second-half effort lifts YSU women’s basketball Past Pitt - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

YSU Press Release

Strong second-half effort lifts YSU women’s basketball Past Pitt, 64-50

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PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania - In the seventh game of Brandi Brown's freshman year, Pittsburgh beat the Youngstown State women's basketball team 89-37. In the opener of her senior season, Brown led a second-half charge that saw the Penguins outscore the Panthers 43-17 in the final 20 minutes and win 64-50 on Friday at the Petersen Events Center. 

It was YSU's first win over a team currently in a BCS conference since 1997 and its first victory over a current Big East team since 1991. 

Brown scored 11 of her game-high 16 points in the second half, and she was joined in double figures by Melissa Thompson and Monica Touvelle. Thompson scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half and drained three of the Penguins' eight second-half 3-pointers. Brown added 11 rebounds as the Penguins matched the much taller Panthers with 35 rebounds apiece. 

Freshman Shar'Rae Davis had nine assists in her Penguins debut, and fellow newcomer Karen Flagg scored nine points in 13 minutes before fouling out. 

Cora McManus scored 16 points to lead Pitt, which shot 22.2 percent in the second half. 

Pitt outscored YSU 21-10 over the final 9:09 of the first half and led 33-21 at halftime. The Panthers shot 54.2 percent while YSU shot 29.6 percent and was 4-for-18 from 3-point range. The second half was a complete change as the Penguins shot 42.9 percent and made 8-of-15 from 3-point range. 

YSU scored the first five points of the second half and started the period on a 13-5 run to cut Pitt's lead to 38-34 on a Brown bucket with 15:35 left. Pitt, which started the second half in man-to-man defense, switched back to the zone that YSU struggled against in the first half with 14 minutes left. That kept the Penguins scoreless for two minutes, but Amanda Barger hit a 3 from straight away with the shot clock winding down to make the score 40-37. 

McManus hit back-to-back buckets, the second of which came as she was falling to the floor, to put Pitt back up 44-37 with 12:24 left. The Panthers did not score again until there was 4:45 remaining. 

Two possessions later, Flagg hit two free throws at the 11:31 mark to start a 15-0 run for the Penguins. Brown hit a bucket at the end of the shot clock to get YSU within one possession, and Liz Hornberger hit a 3-pointer at the 7:56 mark to tie the contest at 44. YSU's first lead of the contest came when Brown converted an old-fashioned 3-point play, and two Thompson free throws and a Touvelle triple gave the Penguins a 52-44 advantage with 5:09 remaining. 

Ashlee Anderson hit two free throws with 4:45 left to end the scoring drought for Pitt, and McManus followed with a bucket that cut YSU's advantage to 55-42 with 3:11 left. Thompson hit a 3-pointer in the right corner to push YSU's lead to 55-48, and, after Asia Logan hit a bucket for Pitt, the Penguins scored the final nine points of the contest. 

Touvelle hit a 3-pointer in the left corner to put the Penguins back on top by eight, and the Penguins made 6-of-8 from the free-throw line over the final 1:10. 

Pitt led 7-2 early before YSU scored five straight points to knot the game at 7-7. Pitt scored the next four points, and Brown split a pair of free throws at the 12:16 mark to cut the Panthers' lead to 12-11. That's when the Panthers switched to a 2-3 zone and inserted the 6-foot McManus into the line-up, and they proceeded to outscore the Penguins 21-10 over the final 9:08 of the half. 

McManus hit a layup on her first possession to stop a field goal drought of nearly five minutes, and Thompson answered with a bucket to stop a drought of more than four minutes for the Penguins as Pitt led 14-13. The Panthers then scored five straight points over the next minute and extended the run to 11-2 to go up 25-15 with 4:22 remaining. 

A Hornberger triple got the Penguins within 25-18, and a Touvelle trey made the score 29-21 with 1:38 left. Pitt scored the final four points of the period to take a 33-21 lead at halftime. 

Youngstown State's next game is at Buffalo on Tuesday at noon.

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