Cameron Morse scored a game-high 18 points, but the Youngstown State men's basketball team fell 78-62 to Valparaiso on Thursday evening at Beeghly Center.
Valparaiso scored the final seven points of the first half and the first seven of the second half to turn a four-point edge into an 18-point cushion. The Crusaders led by double digits for the duration of the second half to improve to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in Horizon League play. Youngstown State is now 8-10 and 2-3.
Valparaiso shot 46.8 percent to YSU's 41.8 percent and outrebounded the Penguins 46-24. The Crusaders held a 12-2 scoring edge on second-chance points and a 34-24 advantage in the paint.
Alec Peters led four Valparaiso players in double figures with 17 points, and he added 15 rebounds.
Matt Donlan hit a 3-pointer on Youngstown State's opening possession to give the Penguins a 3-2 advantage, which was their only lead of the game. Valparaiso scored the next six points, but YSU rallied to tie the score at 14 on a Brett Frantz 3-pointer at the 13:19 mark.
YSU answered another Valpo run to tie the score at 24 when Morse hit a triple at the 7:41 mark. The Penguins stayed within six for the next five minutes, and the score was 34-30 with fewer than three minutes left in the opening half. Nick Davidson hit a 3-pointer for Valpo at the 2:40 mark, and the Crusaders went on to score 14 straight points on a run that stretched into the second half.
YSU's scoring drought lasted 5:43, and Valpo led 48-30 when Morse stopped it with a layup at the 17:48 mark of the second half. The closest the Penguins got was 13 on two occasions.
Youngstown State will play host to UIC on Saturday at 7 p.m. in another Horizon League doubleheader with the YSU women's team.