Cash part of YSU women’s defense improving

YOUNGSTOWN — Sarah Cash looks at her dog Kyrie and knows he’ll never wear a Boston Celtics jersey.

She named it after former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving. Despite being a fan of the player, she won’t subject her dog to wearing a green and white jersey.

“No, I never looked for one,” Cash said.

She remains true to the Cavaliers, just as she’s done to her game.

The 6-foot-1 redshirt junior forward earned Horizon League Player of the Week honors for her 24-point performance in Youngstown State’s win over Northern Arizona.

She and Alison Smolinski each had four steals as the women’s basketball team racked up 13 in Saturday’s win.

The Penguins (3-7) worked on their defense the week leading up to Saturday’s game.

The high energy she saw hopes to transfer over to not only the Northern Arizona game, but going forward.

“We have to work hard like that every game,” Cash said.

YSU played a good first half defensively and made stops in the second half when the Penguins needed to stop the Lumberjacks.

“It was big lift knowing we can close out a game when we need to,” YSU coach John Barnes said.

Freshman guard McKenah Peters and Anne Secrest were instrumental in the win, which snapped a five-game losing streak.

“It’s nice to see them getting out there,” Barnes said.

Some seldom-used YSU players have a chance to see plenty of action in today’s game against Penn State-Beaver, which starts at 11 a.m. Beaver is 5-6 and racked up wins in five of the last six games.

Having depth should help the Penguins going into league play.

League play starts Dec. 28, the next YSU game after today’s contest. Today is the start of a five-game homestand for the Penguins.

“We didn’t go far into our bench against Northern Arizona,” Barnes said. “We’re going to need to going into conference play when we play two games in three days or three games in five days.”