Valparaiso, Ind. – Sophomore Ryan Weber scored a career-high 24 points with four 3-pointers, but a late run by Valparaiso handed the Youngstown State men’s basketball team a 68-66 defeat at the Athletics and Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.
Weber connected on 9-of-16 shooting from the field and led four Penguins, who fell to 15-14 overall and 6-8 in the Horizon League, scoring in double figures. Senior Kamren Belin scored 14 points while senior Kendrick Perry had 12, and sophomore Bobby Hainposted his sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Valparaiso, which improves to 17-12 overall and 9-5 in the league, made eight second half 3-pointers and was led by Alec Peters’ 22 points and LaVonte Dority’s 15. Peters made four of the Crusaders’ eight 3-pointers after halftime.
The Crusaders’ Bobby Capobianco’s 3-pointer with 59 seconds left gave Valpo a 68-66 lead, and after the team’s traded turnovers, Perry’s game-winning 3-point attempt was just off.
The Penguins owned a 57-50 lead after a 3-pointer and two free throws by Perry and a jumper by Belin with 9:14 to go.
Valparaiso, who made 10 3-pointers, went on an 11-2 run, keyed by two 3-pointers by Peters and Capobianco’s first trey of the night, to take a 61-59 lead at the 5:06 mark.
Cole knotted the game with a pair of free-throws, and after a dunk by VU’s Vashil Fernandez, Weber buried his fourth 3-pointer of the game to put the Penguins ahead, 64-63, with 2:22 remaining.
Bobby Hain’s layup regained the lead for the Penguins with 1:16 to go before Capobianco’s eventual game-winning 3-pointer.
Three times in the first half the Penguins led by as many as nine points. The Penguins first used an 11-2 run to break a 6-6 tie and took a 17-8 lead 10 minutes before the half. Hain, Weber and Belin each hit jumpers, the Perry added two free throws and a 3-pointer to force a Crusaders timeout with 10:11 to go.
The Crusaders trimmed the lead down to two, before a layup by Hain, a 3-pointer by Weber and a dunk by Hain extended the YSU advantage back to nine, 24-15, with 5:24 left. After a Keith Carter jumper, two free throws by Weber restored the nine-point edge, 26-17, at the 5:01 mark.
Valpo used a 13-4 run to tie the game at 30-30 with 21 seconds left, but Shawn Amilker’s baseline jumper with one second remaining to give the Penguins a 32-30 halftime lead.
The Penguins play their final regular-season road game of the year when they visit Cleveland State, Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
COURTESY: YSU SPORTS INFORMATION