Ward's Buzzer-Beater Waved Off in 64-62 Loss to Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wis. -- The Youngstown State men's basketball team used a feverish rally in the last two-and-a-half minutes of the game to cut a 13-point deficit down to one but sophomore Ashen Ward's near game-winning 3-pointer was waved off as the Penguins dropped a 64-62 decision to Milwaukee on Monday evening at U.S. Cellular Arena.
The Penguins fall to 8-18 overall and 2-14 in the Horizon League while Milwaukee improves to 15-12 overall and 7-8 in the league.
The Penguins trailed 60-47 with 2:38 to go in the game after a three-point play by Milwaukee's Jason Averkamp.
After a Zack Rebillot tip-in, senior DeAndre Mays, who led the Penguins with 23 points, buried two consecutive 3-pointers and senior Kelvin Bright made a layup with 41 seconds to bring the Guins within three, 60-57.
Averkamp extended the Panthers' edge back to five, but Ward's offensive rebound on a Mays missed 3-pointer and subsequent layup put the Guins down 62-59 with 18 seconds remaining.
The Penguins forced an Averkamp turnover under Milwaukee's basket with 12.9 seconds remaining, but turned the ball back over to the Panthers with eight seconds left.
Milwaukee's Jerard Ajami made just one of two charity tosses and Mays responded with his third triple to bring the Guins within one, 63-62, with four seconds to go.
Ryan Haggerty converted only one free throw to extend the Panthers' lead to 64-62 and Ward's did not get his final 3-point off before the buzzer.
After owning a 31-28 halftime edge and extending that lead to four points, 39-35, with 14:34 to go, the Penguins went scoreless for more than six minutes and recorded just eight more points until Rebillot's put-back at the 2:20 mark.
In the first half, the Penguins and Panthers battled through four ties and 10 lead changes before the Penguins were able to score the six of the last seven points of the stanza to take a 31-28 lead into the lockerroom.
Mays' first 3-pointer of the game gave the Penguins a 28-27 advantage with 3:01 left and converted a free throw to put the Guins up two, 29-27, with 1:07 left.
After a free throw by Averkamp, freshman Eddie D'Haiti's layup with 39 seconds to go finished the scoring in the half.
Junior Vytas Sulskis also reach double figures for the Penguins with 12 points, including eight in the first half.
Youngstown State visits UC-Riverside, Saturday, Feb. 20, at 9 p.m. in the 2010 BracketBusters.