YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Youngstown State men’s basketball team dropped a tough 74-71 contest to Valparaiso on Thursday night at the Beeghly Center.
YSU had four players score in double figures, but came up short against the Crusaders.
The loss drops the Penguins to 12-9 on the campaign and 3-3 in the Horizon League. Valparaiso moves to 12-9 and 4-2.
YSU led 67-66 with 1:19 following two free throws by Kamren Belin. The Penguins had the lead in the final minute but Valpo’s LaVonte Dority knocked down two free throws with 55.8 seconds remaining to make the score 68-67 in favor of the Crusaders.
YSU called timeout with 36.4 seconds left to set up a play. With 27 seconds left Kendrick Perry launched a three that was short. Valparaiso’s Moussa Gueye grabbed the rebound and converted two free throws with 24.3 seconds remaining after being fouled by Belin.
On the Guins’ ensuing possession, Ryan Weber was fouled, but split the free throws to keep the Penguins behind 70-68. With 7.1 seconds on the clock, Dority made his two free throws to push the advantage up to 72-68.
Perry was able to drill an off-balance 3-pointer to pull the Guins within 72-71 with 1.8 seconds left. Marcus Keene fouled Keith Carter before the inbounds pass and Carter sank both free throws for the final margin.
Bobby Hain had a team-high 16 points while Perry had 15, Weber finished with 14 and DJ Cole had 12. Dority finished with 27 points going 8-of-12 from the field and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.
For the game, the Penguins shot 43.5 percent (20-of-46) while Valpo made 24-of-52 attempts (46.2 percent). The Crusaders had 12 offensive rebounds which led to a 14-2 margin in second chance points. From the free-throw line, the Penguins made 25-of-32 shots (78.1 percent).
In the first half, YSU’s biggest lead was 34-23 with 1:04 left after Weber converted a four-point play. Weber knocked down a 3-pointer from the side and was fouled by Bobby Capobianco. Weber swished the free-throw to convert the four-point play.
The Guins shot 47.8 percent (11-of-23) while Valpo made just nine of 26 shots (34.6 percent). Eleven Crusader turnovers were key in the Penguins taking their nine-point advantage to the locker room.
Valpo came out and scored 20 of the first 26 points in the second half to go on top 47-42 at the 13:08 mark. YSU answered by scoring eight straight points to grab a 50-47 advantage with 9:28 left on a Perry free throw.
The Penguins held the lead until 3:28 was left in the contest. The game featured 12 ties and 12 lead changes, the last of which came in the final minute.
The Penguins wrap up a four-game homestand against Wright State on Saturday night. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m. following the YSU women’s basketball game against Oakland.
Courtesy: YSU Sports Information