CLEVELAND, Ohio – Behind four players in double-figures and a total team effort, the Cleveland State women's basketball team picked up its first Horizon League victory of the season Saturday afternoon, defeating Youngstown State, 75-68. The Vikings now stand at 4-11 overall this season and 1-4 in league play.
· Four Vikings finished with double-figure points, led by Ashanti Abshaw with 23 on an 8-for-15 performance from the floor.
· Olivia Voskuhl finished with 16 points, while Nicolete Newman added 11 and Khayla Livingston posted 10.
· Ashanti Abshaw also had a team-best 10 rebounds, while Olivia Voskuhl grabbed nine boards, and Khayla Livingston posted six.
· Khayla Livingston handed out a team-high six assists, while she also posted a team-best three steals along with Ashanti Abshaw.
· As a team, Cleveland State grabbed 42 rebounds, holding YSU to just 32 boards.
· The Vikings tallied 10 steals, and forced YSU into 18 turnovers which CSU turned into 20 points.
· Ashanti Abshaw marked a career-high with her 23-point effort Saturday, while she also notched her fifth double-double of the season.
· Nicolete Newman also posted a career-high – recording double-digit points for the first time this season with her 11-point performance.
· This marked the 11th time that the Vikings tallied double-digit steals against an opponent this season.
· Cleveland State is just the fourth team to defeat Youngstown State this season, and just the second Horizon League team to do so.
·The Vikings snapped a six-game losing skid with Saturday's victory, posting their first win during the month of January.
From the very beginning this was a back-and-forth game, with 13 lead changes and six tied scores throughout the 40 minutes of play. The Vikings were able to hold a slight 18-17 advantage after the first 10 minutes, and then the two teams went into the halftime break knotted at 31-31.
To start the third quarter, both teams traded baskets over the opening minutes, until Youngstown State went on a 10-1 run, giving the Penguins a 45-37 advantage with 4:38 left on the clock. Despite being held to just one point over a span of 3:39, the Vikings slowly worked their way back into the contest, closing the gap to just two points at 54-52 by the end of the third frame.
During the opening minutes of the fourth quarter Cleveland State was able to regain the lead on an Ashanti Abshaw three-pointer, but YSU responded with an 8-2 run of its own to put the score at 64-59 YSU with 4:53 left to play. The Viking defense was able to hold the Penguins scoreless over the next 2:31 then, as CSU gained a 65-64 advantage on an Alexis Eckles jumper at the 2:41 mark.
The Vikings were then able to extend their lead to four points at 70-66 with just over one minute remaining, and went on to hold the lead for the final 1:17 of play. YSU was forced to foul over the final minute of the contest, putting Abshaw and Nicolete Newman to the line, with both players combining for five points from the free throw line over the final minute, giving Cleveland State the 75-68 victory.
· Cleveland State @ Valparaiso – Thursday, Jan. 21 – 8:00 p.m. EST – Valparaiso, Ind.