Penguins Drop Back-And-Forth Battle With Kent State, 85-78
The Youngstown State men's basketball team suffered a disappointing 85-78 overtime loss to Kent State on Wednesday night at the Beeghly Center. The game featured 19 ties and 17 lead changes, the last of which was in favor of the Golden Flashes.
The Penguins drop to 3-4 on the season while Kent State improves to 5-2 on the campaign.
Both teams had opportunities late in regulation to win the game, but could not capitalize.
YSU had a chance to go on top with 1:14 left, but Kamren Belin missed the second of two free-throw attempts. KSU had the first chance to go in front, but Chris Evans' layup rimmed out and was rebounded by Damian Eargle.
The Penguins called timeout with 33 seconds to set up a play that had D.J. Cole find a driving Kendrick Perry, but Perry's four-footer in the lane rimmed out and Kent State's Mark Henninger grabbed the board.
Eargle's long reach helped force overtime as Randal Holt switched on a screen but Eargle stayed in his face and his shot at the buzzer glanced off the rim.
In overtime, the Penguins had two two-point leads, but Kent State went on a mini four-point run to lead 78-74 on an old-fashioned three-point play by Darren Goodson at the 2:21 mark. Two Perry free throws cut the deficit to 78-76, but four straight free throws by the Golden Flashes extended the lead to 82-76 with 22.5 seconds remaining.
For the game, YSU shot 42.2 percent making 27-of-64 attempts while Kent State converted at a 42 percent clip connecting on 29-of-69 shots. In overtime, KSU made 4-of-6 attempts and was 8-of-9 from the free-throw line while YSU was 4-of-9 and 2-of-4.
Perry led all scorers with 26 points and went 10-of-11 from the free-throw line. Eargle had 18 points and 10 rebounds while Blake Allen added 12 points. For Kent State, Chris Evans had 24 points and 10 rebounds while Holt had 21. Melvin Tabb had 15 points off the bench.
YSU led by two following a fast-paced first half. The opening 20 minutes featured eight ties and six lead changes.
The Penguins shot an impressive 48.3 percent from the field making 14-of-29 shots, but were just 1-of-10 from behind the arc. From inside the arc, YSU was 13-of-19 (68.4 percent). Kent State made just 12 of 34 shots, but connected on 5-of-10 3-point attempts.
The Golden Flashes led by four on two occasions, the last time at 26-22 with 6:31 remaining in the stanza.
YSU used an 8-0 run to forge its biggest lead of the opening half. Perry made two free throws, Eargle followed with a 15-footer, Perry converted an old-fashioned three-point play and Bobby Hain's tip back of his own miss put the Guins on top 36-29 with 2:10 remaining.
However, the Golden Flashes scored the final five points on a 3-pointer by Evans and a jumper by Tabb to get within 36-34 at the break.
The Penguins play their second consecutive contest against a Mid-American Conference opponent on Saturday when they visit Bowling Green. Tipoff at the Stroh Center is set for 2 p.m. The contest will air live on 570 WKBN.