Perry Pushes Penguins Past Cleveland State in 67-66 Thriller
Senior Kendrick Perry scored YSU's final 12 points to carry the Penguins to a 67-66 victory over Cleveland State on Monday night at the Beeghly Center. Perry's basket and free throw with 26.4 seconds left was the winner.
Perry finished the contest with 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting. He had 19 in the first half, before Cleveland State clamped down on him for nearly 14 points in the second half. When Perry caught fire he took over. He made baskets at 6:07, 3:07, 1:50, two free throws at 38.3 seconds and had the game winner at 26.4 seconds.
YSU (11-8 overall and 2-2 in the Horizon League) still had to keep the Vikings (10-8, 2-2) at bay during the final seconds. Anton Grady's shot missed and Bobby Hain grabbed the rebound. However, Hain tumbled to the floor and was called for traveling. Perry used strong defense on Bryn Forbes on the game's last play. Forbes was pressed to the corner and lost the ball. He recovered and flipped up a desparation shot but it was well short.
The Penguins took a 52-48 lead on a 3-pointer by Ryan Weber with 11:41 left. But the Vikings seemed to seize momentum at the 8:26 mark when Forbes converted an and-one giving them a 57-55 lead.
YSU trailed 66-62 with 1:32 left following Trey Lewis' fifth three on the contest. Perry made a pair of free throws at 38.3 to cut the deficit in half. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Perry forced Forbes to step on the baseline for a turnover at the 36.2 mark. The Guins took advantage 10 seconds later as Perry converted the game-winning three-point play.
Lewis finished with 15 while Forbes had a team-high 17. CSU shot 51.1 percent (23-of-45) from the field while the Guins made 23-of-50 (46 percent). YSU was 16-of-19 from the free-throw line (84.2 percent).
Perry went off for 19 points in a first half that featured three ties and three lead changes.
YSU trailed for the first 7:40 before two Cole free throws put the Penguins ahead 14-13. With the game deadlocked at 16, the Vikings scored the next six points and took their biggest lead at 28-19 with 9:16 left in the half following Lewis's third 3-pointer of the period.
The Guins knotted things up at 30 going on an 11-2 spurt. Highlighting the run was a four-point play by Perry at the 6:19 mark. YSU pushed the run up to 14-2 when Perry connected on a 3-pointer at 4:42 of the half.
The Vikes trimmed the deficit to one on three occasions, the last coming at 2:51. YSU closed the half on a 5-0 run on the heels of a Perry 3-pointer and a layup by Shawn Amiker.
In the first half, YSU shot 56 percent from the field making 14-of-25 shots while the Vikings made 13-of-24 shots (54.2 percent). YSU connected on 4-of-8 3-point tries while CSU made 5-of-8. Five players scored for the Guins as Perry, Weber, Hain, Cole and Amiker had all 43 points. All eight Vikings to see action had at least two points in the opening half.
YSU continues its homestand on Saturday evening against Detroit. Tipoff for the contest against the Titans is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center following the YSU women's game vs. Milwaukee.