Belin, Big Runs Help Penguins to 73-59 Win Over Cleveland State
Youngstown -- Kamren Belin scored a game and career-high 24 points, and the Youngstown State men's basketball team used runs at key moments in each half to defeat Cleveland State 73-59 on Saturday afternoon in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Beeghly Center.
For the game, Belin was 7-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-9 from behind the 3-point line and made all six of his free-throw attempts en route to 24 points. Kendrick Perry had 17 points, going 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. Damian Eargle contributed 14 points and had four blocks. Leading the way for Cleveland State was Bryn Forbes who had 19 while Charlie Lee finished with 12 and Tim Kamczyc had 10.
The Penguins made 21-of-24 free-throw attempts (87.5 percent) while the Vikings had just seven attempts. YSU shot 37.9 percent overall for the contest making 22-of-58 shots while CSU ended up shooting better at 40.4 percent (23-of-57).
Nine of Belin's points came during an 18-0 run in the first half that turned a one-point deficit into a 17-point lead with a minute left before halftime. The Penguins also went on a 16-4 run in the second half once the Vikings trimmed the margin to six points. YSU led for all but 39 seconds in improving to 12-8 overall and 4-3 in Horizon League play. Cleveland State dropped to 10-12 and 2-6 in league play.
YSU jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first four minutes and built a 21-11 advantage on Belin's 3-pointer with 12:19 left. Cleveland State scored 10 straight points in just under four minutes to take a 25-24 lead with 6:44 remaining, but that's when Belin sparked the Penguins.
D.J. Cole started the run with two free throws, and Damian Eargle's three-point play put YSU up 29-25 with 5:39 to play.
Belin then scored nine straight points, three on a bucket and free throw and six on back-to-back triples, and Josh Chojnacki and Eargle finished the run with jumpers. Cleveland State ended the run on its final possession of the half to make the score 42-27. CSU had one field goal in the final 6:44.
In the first half, YSU shot 43.8 percent (14-of-29) while CSU hit at a 42.3 percent clip (11-of-26). The Guins connected on six 3-pointers and were a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. YSU's starters scored 40 of its 42 points while Forbes and Lee combined to score 21 points.
In the second half, Cleveland State pulled within 56-50 on a three-point play by Bryn Forbes with 9:19 remaining. Cole answered with a 3-pointer, Perry added a fast-break layup and then with a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 64-50 with 7:17 left. YSU's biggest lead was 72-54 at the 4:05 mark of the second half following two Perry free throws.
It was the largest margin of victory for the Penguins in the series since 1983.
Youngstown State will look to go 3-0 on its three-game homestand when it hosts Valparaiso on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.com as well as 570 WKBN.