YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Cleveland State women's basketball team started the final weekend of regular season play Friday afternoon, overcoming an 18-point deficit to earn a 76-73 victory at Youngstown State. With the win, the Vikings now stand at 9-7 overall and 8-7 in Horizon League play.
PDF BOX SCORE: Cleveland State 76, Youngstown State 73
· Four Vikings finished the game with double-digit points, led by Barbara Zieniewska with 19. Mariah White added 16 points, while Taylah Levy posted 14 and Aminata Ly chipped in 11 points.
· Aminata Ly grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, with Isabelle Gradwell recording six and Barbara Zieniewska posting five boards.
· As a team, the Vikings recorded 16 assists on the game, including eight from Mariah White.
· Barbara Zieniewska grabbed a team-high three steals, while Mariah White added two.
· Aminata Ly finished the game with five blocked shots.
· Cleveland State shot 47-percent from the field (30-for-63), including a .714 clip during the fourth quarter (10-for-14).
· Barbara Zieniewska recorded a season-high with her 19 points, while her four three-pointers also marked a season-high.
· Taylah Levy posted just her second double-digit game of the season with her 14 points, while her four three-pointers marked a career-high.
· Aminata Ly recorded her first double-double of the season with her 11 points and 10 rebounds, while her five blocked shots tied a career-high.
· During the final 6:22 the Vikings converted nine of their 10 field goal attempts.
· Cleveland State's 10 three-pointers tied a season-high for the Vikings.
· Friday's win extended Cleveland State current winstreak to seven straight games.
Despite YSU holding a 41-29 lead at the halftime break – and extending its lead to 18 points throughout the first part of the third quarter – the Vikings were able to chip away at the Penguin lead late in the frame, closing the gap to just 11 points following a 12-2 run that ended with back-to-back three-pointers from Taylah Levy and a Mariah White jumper late in the frame.
Entering the final quarter, YSU held a 62-49 advantage, with both teams trading baskets over the first four minutes. Midway through the frame, the Vikings were able to pick up back-to-back baskets with an Aminata Ly jumper and Barbara Zieniewska three-pointer to close the gap to single digits for the first time since late in the second quarter at the 68-61 mark.
Although YSU was able to convert a basket on its next possession, the Vikings responded with another Zieniewska three-pointer to put the score at 70-64 with 3:27 left on the clock. The Vikings then followed this up with a White layup and a Levy three-pointer to close the gap to just four points at 73-69, forcing a YSU timeout.
Cleveland State was able to put up a good defensive possession out of the timeout then, and converted this stop into yet another three-pointer from Zieniewska to come within one point at 73-72 with just under one minute left in the game.
On the ensuing possession, Zieniewska was able to force a YSU turnover, giving the ball back to the Vikings with just 31 seconds left on the clock. Out of another timeout, the Vikings were able to gain their first lead of the game, as Levy knocked down another three-pointer to put the Vikings up 75-73 with just 15 seconds left in the game.
After YSU wasn't able to convert its final shot of the game, Ly drew a foul on the defensive rebound as time was expiring and converted one of the two free throw attempts to clinch the 76-73 victory for the Vikings.
The Vikings will close out the regular season tomorrow (Saturday, February 20), facing Youngstown State in game two of the series at 2:00 p.m.