Women finish vs. CSU

YOUNGSTOWN — Sarah Cash knows Saturday’s game against Cleveland State isn’t going to be like the last time — almost a month ago when the Penguins women’s basketball team upended the Vikings.

Youngstown State (14-14, 10-7 Horizon League) is sixth in the league standings and has secured a path to the quarterfinals of the league tournament in Detroit starting on March 4. YSU could finish as high as third, but still would be playing in the quarterfinals.

Missing the last time around for Cleveland State (19-9, 11-6) was one of the best in the Horizon League — Ashanti Abshaw, who averages more than 19 points per game.

Then, there’s Khayla Livingston, who puts in about 18 points a contest and is prolific from 3-point range.

The Vikings are third in the conference standings.

“We have to make sure we play good defense on her, pay attention to her as well as stop the other players on Cleveland State,” said Cash, a YSU redshirt junior and Lordstown native.

The game and league standings aren’t the only two things of note on Saturday.

YSU’s 1997-98 women’s team, which won the program’s first NCAA Tournament game and went 28-3, will be honored at halftime.

YSU coach John Barnes said his team is slated to meet and greet those former players after Saturday’s game.

Before the game, seniors Indiya Benjamin, Morgan Olson and Kelley Wright will be honored.

Benjamin is the school’s career record-holder for assists with 596 and has tied the record for career starts. She is one shy of tying the career record for games played and is two off the 3-point mark.

These Penguins have won eight of their last 10 games. Cash said her team will stay in a rhythm this week and keep playing hard like they’ve been doing during this recent stretch.

“We have to be mentally tough to hold off teams,” Cash said.

That goes for her as well.

She took a knock to her knee during the Green Bay loss last Saturday, but came back two minutes later.

“I’m doing OK,” Cash said. “I’m a little sore, but I’m good.”

So far, this Penguins team is doing more than just OK.