The Lady Vikings edge Penguins 71-68

It was Ashanti Abshaw to the rescue. Abshaw scored 19 of her game-high of 27 points in the second-half and the Cleveland State Lady Vikings fished out a 71-68 victory over Youngstown State Penguins.

Abshaw, who also is the second leading scorer in the Horizon League, grabbed nine rebounds.

Her teammate Jade Ely had her second straight double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds.

The Lady Vikings had a tough time shaking off their state-rival. The Penguins were seeking their first road win of the season. They were led by their low-post player Mary Dunn. Dunn, a 6-foot-3 freshman gave them fits. She had a team-high of 16 points and six rebounds. Kelly Wright had 12 points all of them on three-pointers. But she had no points in the second-half. Alison Smolinski, from North Royalton, had 13 points.

The Penguins sank 11 three-pointers, (which tied their team-high) but only two in the second-half.

The Penguins had a 38-32 halftime lead.

The Vikings took their first lead in the third quarter at 52-51 on a Khayla Livingston jumper. But they trailed 56-52 after three. Abshaw, (who is averaging 18.6 points per game) from Cleveland Heights, had 10 of the Viking’s 20-point third quarter.

Ely’s three-pointer gave the Vikings a 61-58 lead with 7:47 left. However, the Penguins would re-capture the lead at 64-63 on Indiya Benjamin’s three-pointer. The Vikings led for good at 67-66 on a layup by Abshaw.

Livingston finished with 11 points and a team-high six assists.

The Vikings, who improve their record to 6-6, will go on the road for two straight. The first game will be on January 5 at Northern Kentucky. The Vikings will return home on Jan. 12 where they will face Valparaiso.







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