YSU Men drop home opener to Toledo

Nathan Boothe scored a game-high 26 points to lead Toledo past YSU 100-78.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Toledo shot 56.3 percent and made 10 3-pointers to earn a 100-78 win over the Youngstown State men’s basketball team on Wednesday evening at the Beeghly Center.

Cameron Morse scored 23 points, nearly double his previous career high of 12, and Matt Donlan scored 18 points in his first home game as a Penguin. Francisco Santiago added 11 for the Penguins.

Toledo’s Nathan Boothe led all scorers with 26 points, and Jonathan Williams added 20 for the Rockets.

Toledo made nine of its first 12 shots, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range, to take a 23-10 lead less than seven minutes into the game. Morse scored the next five points to spark an 8-0 run for the Penguins that cut the deficit to five at 23-18, and the difference was five again after a Santiago layup with 10 minutes left.

A field goal drought of 3:40 for the Penguins allowed Toledo to go up 36-23, and the Rockets’ lead grew to as much as 40-26 when Nate Navigato made two free throws at the 4:18 mark.

Two 3-pointers by Jordan Andrews in a three-possession span got YSU back within single digits at 42-34 with 3:07 left, but Navigato’s third 3-pointer of the half – and Toledo’s eighth of the first 20 minutes – put Toledo up 47-37, and the Rockets led by double digits for the final 22 minutes.

Toledo’s lead reached 20 points for the first time at the 13:40 mark on a Jordan Lauf bucket, and it grew to 22 three times before YSU started to cut into it.

Morse made two free throws with 7:08 remaining to cap a 12-3 run that got the Penguins within 81-68, but that’s as close as they would get. Toledo led 89-74 with 4:10 left before outscoring the Penguins 11-4 down the stretch for the final tally.

Toledo was 36-for-64 from the field and 10-for-24 from 3-point range, and the Rockets added 18 points in 23 attempts from the free-throw line. YSU was 27-for-69 overall and 9-for-25 from beyond the arc. The Rockets outscored YSU 42-22 in the paint, and YSU held a 15-2 edge in fast break points.

Youngstown State will play Florida Gulf Coast University on Saturday in its first of four games in the FGCU Tournament. Tipoff between the Penguins and Eagles is set for 7 p.m.at Alico Arena.

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