Youngstown -- The Youngstown State women's basketball suffered a tough 61-60 loss to Butler on Thursday at the Beeghly Center.
The Penguins, who trailed 53-47 with seven minutes left in the second half, clawed back to tie the game three times down the stretch but was never able to wrestle the lead from the Bulldogs.
YSU (12-14 overall and 7-8 in the Horizon League) last tied the game at 57 on a basket by Velissa Vaughn. From there, Butler's Susan Lester made a driving basket to give the Bulldogs a 59-57 lead.
Ashley Pendleton's free throw cut the deficit to 59-58 but Butler's Tara Miller drilled two free throws to push lead to 61-60.
Vaughn made two free throws to get the Guins within one with 59 seconds remaining. The Penguins defense held when Lade Akande's driving shot missed.
YSU called time out to set up a final play with 24 seconds remaining. However, Butler's defense harassed the Penguins into a turnover with two seconds left.
For the game Youngstown State shot 45.1
percent (23-of-51) while Butler was 20-of-46 (43.5 percent).
Vaughn scored a game-high 21 points while Heather Karner had 13. Akande had 12 for Butler.
The first half featured five lead changes and three ties, but the Guins scored six of the final eight points grabbing a 33-30 halftime advantage.
Vaughn scored 12 points to lead the way for the Penguins, including a 3-pointer at the 13:37 mark giving YSU a 15-8 lead during a 7-0 run.
After Butler (18-9 and 8-8) scored six straight points to get within 15-14, the Guins were able to hold a onto the lead until the Bulldogs went in front 23-22 on a Lade Akande basket with 4:35 left. YSU quickly answered scoring the next five points to regain the lead before Butler went in front 28-27 on a Melanie Thornton basket.
Buckets by Ashley Pendleton, Vaughn and Nikita LaFleur helped give the Penguins a three-point advantage at the break.
Saturday the Penguins close out the regular-season portion of their home schedule against Valparaiso. Tipoff at the Beeghly Center is set for 4:35 p.m.