The Youngstown State men’s basketball played another road thriller, but came up just short falling to Cleveland State 70-69 in overtime on Tuesday night at the Wolstein Center.
YSU had chances at the end of regulation and overtime to upset the Vikings, but couldn’t convert. At the end of regulation, Kamren Belin just missed a layup and Bobb Hain’s putback glanced off the rim. In overtime, a tremendous defensive play gave the Guins the ball with 4.0 seconds left. But Kendrick Perry’s 16-footer was blocked by Anton Grady and Perry’s final attempt was off the mark.
With the loss, YSU falls to 15-15 overall and 6-9 in the Horizon League. Cleveland State improves to 20-10 and 11-4 in league play. With the win, the Vikings wrapped up the No. 2 seed in next week’s Horizon League Tournament and will first play in the semifinals.
In a tremendous basketball game, neither team wanted to back down.
The Penguins built a six-point second-half lead at 44-38 following a 3-pointer by Ryan Weber with 14:23 left in regulation. CSU answered with an 8-2 run tying the contest at 46 on a Bryn Forbes 3-pointer at the 10:40 mark.
From that point it was back-and-forth and eventually the Vikings went ahead 57-52 at the 5:50 mark following another Forbes trey. But DJ Cole’s first 3-pointer of the night and a putback layup by Hain tied the contest at 57.
The last CSU field goal came at the 3:22 mark and put the Guins behind 60-57. But on the next YSU possession, Weber drained a 3-pointer from the corner tying the game at 60-all.
Neither team scored the final 2:55 of regulation and the Guins held the Vikings off the scoreboard for the final 3:22.
With 3.7 seconds left, the Guins had two cracks to pull out the win. Cole found Belin under the hoop, but he just missed and Hain’s putback was just off the mark.
In overtime, YSU trailed 70-67 following two free throws by Charlie Lee with 9.2 seconds left. Perry then drove up the court and was fouled before attempting a shot. He made both free throws. On the inbounds play, Perry forced a turnover knocking the ball off Trey Lewis that went out of bounds with four seconds left.
However, Perry’s final shots were off the mark.
Perry finished with 17 points as did Weber. Hain had 10 points and 17 rebounds and Belin had 16 points and eight boards. YSU shot 37.1 percent (26-of-70) for the game and 11-of-25 from behin the 3-point arc.
Cleveland State was led by Forbes who had 15 points to pace four players in double figures. The Vikings were 23-of-59 from the field (39 percent) and 19-of-22 from the free-throw line.
YSU trailed by 10 seven minutes into the game and 17-7 at the 12:20 mark before slowing reeling in the Vikings. Weber sparked a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer and Perry converted floaters in the lane on two straight possessions to cut the deficit to 17-14 with 9:05 left.
After a Grady layup pushed the CSU lead to 19-14, Belin drilled a 3-pointer to get the Guins within a pair. Grady scored again to push the lead to 21-17 but a 3-pointer back-to-back 3-pointers by Perry and Belin gave the Guins a 23-21 lead.
During the nearly eight-minute stretch, YSU outscored Cleveland State 16-3 to take its first lead since the 17-minute mark.
The Vikings tied the game at 23 with 5:09 left in the half and grabbed the lead with 3:40 left. The Guins pulled within one point on three occasions in the final 3:17, but the Vikings led 30-29 at halftime following a layup by Shawn Amiker.
The Guins shot 36.7 percent in the first half making 11-of-30 shots, but were 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from behind the 3-point arc. CSU shot 44.8 percent (13-of-29) but made just 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. Twenty two of the Vikings’ 30 points came in the paint while YSU scored 15 of 29 from downtown.
The Penguins conclude the regular season on Saturday against Oakland. Tipoff at the Beeghly Center is set for 7 p.m. Prior to the game, YSU will honor seniors Perry, Josh Chojnacki, Michael Podolsky and Belin.