Impressive Offensive Performances Lifts Penguins Past Panthers

Kendrick Perry
Kendrick Perry

The Youngstown State men's basketball team had four players score in double figures en route to scoring a season high in points in a 94-80 victory over Milwaukee on Friday night at the Beeghly Center.

Kendrick Perry had a game-high 28, DJ Cole scored a career-best 18, Blake Allen had 17 and Kamren Belin added 15. As a team, the Guins shot 56.9 percent making 33-of-58 shots from the field. YSU made a season-high-tying 13 3-pointers for the second consecutive game.

With the win, YSU improves to 15-11 overall and 7-6 in the Horizon League. Milwaukee falls to 6-21 and 2-11.

Perry was 11-of-16 from the field, 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc and 3-of-5 from the free-throw line while Cole was 7-of-10 from the field.

The Penguins scored 48 points in the first half and followed that up with 46 in the second half. YSU's shooting percentage went down in the second half despite connecting on 50 percent from the field.

In the second half, the closet UWM would get was nine at the 16:34 mark. After closing to within 54-45, Cole scored the Guins' next 11 points, the final three of which touched off a 9-0 that put the contest out of reach.

Cole drained a three at 14:33, Perry followed with a fast-break layup, Allen converted a layup of his own and Fletcher Larson sank a basket to extend the lead to 71-51. YSU's biggest lead of the night was at 80-55 which came on the heels of an 8-0 spurt at Perry slammed one home following a steal, Bobby Hain connected on a 3-pointer and Kamren Belin knocked a triple down as well for the 80-55 advantage.

UWM outscored the Penguins 25-14 the rest of the way. The Panthers also had four players score in double figures led by Paris Gulley's 18 points.

In the first half, YSU shot 66.7 percent from the field making 16-of-24 shots, 50 percent from behind the 3-point arc (6-of-12) and went 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) from the free-throw line.

All three of those added up to a 48-point performance and a 12-point halftime advantage.

Allen and Perry were the ring leaders combining to go 9-of-16 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.

The Penguins led just 19-17 at the 9:42 mark of the half before an 11-3 spurt put them ahead 30-20 at the 7:27 mark. But the Panthers clawed to within 33-30 at the 4:37 mark before another YSU run gave it a big lead at the break. Allen provided some separation with a 3-pointer while Cole followed with one of his own to push the lead back out to nine. 

After Jordan Aaron responded with a 3-pointer, Larson drained a base-line jumper, Allen made two free throws and Shawn Amiker added a free throw to push the advantage to 44-33. Larson and Allen made baskets for the Penguins to close out the half as the Guins took a 48-36 lead into the locker room.

YSU plays its final home regular-season Horizon League game of the season on Sunday against Green Bay. Tipoff at the Beeghly Center is set for 2:05 p.m.