Penguins Lose Heartbreaker to NKU at Buzzer

Sarah Cash (Photo by Dr. Daryl Mincey)
Sarah Cash (Photo by Dr. Daryl Mincey)

Northern Kentucky's Molly Glick hit a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer to help the Norse win 65-62 and spoil a comeback bid by the Youngstown State women's basketball team on Friday at BB&T Arena.

The Penguins trailed by 13 points with 11 minutes to go, and they rallied to tie the score three times in the fourth period. Sarah Cash's basket tied the score at 62 with 41.5 seconds on YSU's last possession, and NKU got two offensive rebounds before Glick hit the game-winner.

NKU's Ally Niece missed the first shot, and the possession arrow kept the ball with the Norse after a tie-up. The Penguins got another stop with another Niece miss, but the rebound out of bounds was ruled to go off Cash with 0.8 seconds left. After an officials review kept possession with the Norse and put an extra two-tenths on the clock, Glick hit a 3 several feet from beyond the arc to snap the Penguins' three-game winning streak and severely hurt their chances at a Horizon League regular-season title.

With the loss, Youngstown State drops to 20-7 overall and 12-4 in Horizon League play, and the Penguins slide back to third place in the conference standings. NKU improved to 8-17 overall and 7-8 in league play, including 6-2 at home.

Cash tied her season high with 25 points, going 11-of-14 from the field and 3-of-5 from the free-throw line. Melinda Trimmer scored nine of her 12 points in the fourth period to lead the comeback effort.

Glick finished with 16 points, and Taylor Clos and Niece both had 14 points for NKU, which was 8-for-15 from 3-point range. YSU was just 6-for-28 from beyond the arc after making 11-of-21 in its last game against Milwaukee. One of those makes was by Alison Smolinski, who set the program record for 3-pointers in a season with 90.

NKU led for almost 30 minutes, and it held a 14-8 advantage when Niece hit a 3 at the 4:25 mark of the first period. YSU's first lead didn't come until Cash's bucket made the score 23-22 with 6:55 left in the second, and the Penguins extended the lead to 28-22 on a McKenah Peters layup at the 4:13 mark. That capped a 9-0 run for YSU, but the Penguins didn't score the rest of the half.

Northern Kentucky scored the final seven points of the first half to take a 29-28 lead into the locker room, and Clos hit two 3s in the first 40 seconds of the second half to extend NKU's run to 13-0. YSU hung tough and trailed 40-36 with 4:36 left in the third quarter before the Norse went on a 12-3 spurt that finished with a Glick 3-pointer at the 1:04 mark.

With the Penguins down 52-39, Cash scored the final four points of the third period, and YSU quickly got back to within a basket of the Norse at 54-52 at the 6:30 mark when Peters hit back-to-back 3s. YSU caught the Norse at 58-58 with 3:40 remaining on a Trimmer 3, and Cash tied the score at 60 and 62 before Glick's heartbreaker.

Youngstown State will play at Horizon League-leading Wright State on Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN+ and WatchESPN.