YSU drops tournament heartbreaker

Senior Kendrick Perry tied a career-scoring high with 35 points with seven assists, but Oakland’s Travis Bader’s two free-throws with 0.6 seconds left in regulation forced overtime as the Youngstown State men’s basketball team dropped 96-92 decision to the Golden Grizzlies in the first round of the Horizon League Championship on Tuesday evening.

After Oakland used a 10-0 run to tie the game at 75-75 with 1:03 to go, Perry made two free throws to put the Penguins up four, 80-76, with eight seconds left.

Bader, who scored 39 points with six 3-pointers and 18-of-18 from the free-throw line, answered with a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining to get within, one, 80-79.

YSU sophomore Ryan Weber, who had 22 points, split a pair of free throws to put the Penguins back up two, but Bader was fouled setting a screen on the ensuing inbounds and forced the extra period.

In overtime, the Penguins led by four, 87-83, with 3:38 left, but Bader sparked an 8-0 Oakland run that gave the Golden Grizzlies a 91-87 edge with 21 seconds left.

Perry’s three-point play and dunk got the Penguins within one, 91-90, and 93-92, but Bader made two free throws and Ralph Hill added another to seal the victory.

Youngstown State finishes the season with an overall record of 15-17, while Oakland improves to 13-19 and advances to play Wright State, Friday, March 7, in the second round of the Horizon League Tournament.

The Penguins, who shot 58.1 percent in the second half, used a 10-0 run early in the second half to erase a six-point deficit and take a four-point advantage, 35-31, with 15:11 left.

After Oakland’s Corey Petros scored the half’s first basket to put Oakland up 31-25, Weber and senior Kamren Belin nailed consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game and Perry hit a jumper to give YSU its first lead since 2-0 with 19:33 left in the first half.

Over the next seven minutes, the Penguins made nine of their next 12 field-goal attempts, but Oakland made seven 3-pointers during the same stretch to keep the YSU lead at three, 58-55, with 8:11 remaining.

A jumper by Perry and a 3-pointer by Weber extended the lead to eight, and after a basket by Oakland Duke Mondy, Belin hit another 3-pointer to give the Penguins a nine-point edge, 66-57, with 6:58 left.

The Penguins twice led by as many as to, 67-57, and 75-65, before Oakland’s 10-0 run over the final 3:10 of regulation.

Layups by Kahlil Felder and Mondy and a 3-pointer by Mondy cut the lead down to three, and Bader made three free throws with 1:03 left to tie the game at 75-75.

The first half was an uncharacteristically low-scoring half for both teams with Oakland holding a 29-25 edge. Neither team found its shooting rhythm. Youngstown State shot just 29.2 percent from the field while Oakland connected on just 36 percent.




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