YSU Men hold off Robert Morris

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WYTV) – The YSU men’s basketball team outscored Robert Morris 14-6 in the final two-and-a-half minutes to pull out a hard fought 89-81 win over the Colonials on Tuesday night at the Sewall Center.

The Penguins (5-4) picked up their first road win of the season and first at Robert Morris since January 2001 by scoring a season best in points, knocking down a season-high 10 3-pointers and holding a 37-29 edge in rebounds.

The contest was tied at 75 with 2:34 remaining when Shawn Amiker knocked down a pair of free throws. From that point, YSU never trailed again en route to the win. That was the sixth and final tie of the evening.

RMU’s Stephan Bennett missed a shot from just inside the 3-point line and after a scramble Marcus Keene corralled the long rebound.

With 1:41 left, on its next possession, Keene came off a Bobby Hain screen and drained a 3-pointer to push the Penguin lead up to 80-75.

Keene came up big on the next defensive possession as Lucky Jones could not connect on a long 3-pointer and after RMU grabbed the rebound, Keene stole the ball and was fouled. With 1:20 left he calmly went to the line and sank the pair to push the lead to 82-75.

A deep three by RMU’s Rodney Pryor slashed the Guin lead down to 82-78 but Hain knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:06 to make the contest 84-78. After Kavon Stewart missed an open layup down the lane, Keene made two free throws with 52.1 seconds left to make the advantage YSU 86-76 and the Guins were able to put the game away.

Hain and Keene each scored 24 points in the win. Hain was 10-of-13 from the field and 4-4 of the line while also grabbing 10 rebounds. Keene was 7-of-14, including 5-of-9 from beyond the 3-point arc. He was 5-of-7 from the free-throw line as the Penguins converted 13-of-17 for the contest from the charity stripe.

Overall YSU had five players score in double figures as Amiker added 12, Shaun Stewart had 11 and Jalon Plummer finished with 10 to join Hain and Keene.

In the game, YSU was 33-of-61 from the field (54.1 percent) while RMU was 31-of-61 (50.8 percent). Of note, the Colonials shot just 34.5 percent from the floor in the second half.

Both YSU and Robert Morris were of fire from the field in the opening half as the Colonials made 21-of-32 shots (65.6 percent) while the Guins made 21-of-34 (61.8 percent). Leading RMU (2-5) in scoring was Jones who had 22.

The Penguins opened the game by making eight of their first 12 attempts and 14 of their first 20 (70 percent). On the heels of the hot shooting, the Guins scored a season first-half high 46 points.

Despite leading for almost the entire half, the Penguins allowed the Colonials to score the final 10 points in a 70-second flourish to take the lead into the locker room. After Elijah Minnie finished an alley opp dunk with seven seconds left, RMU stole the inbounds pass and Lucky Jones drained a 3-pointer as the first half horn sounded giving it a 48-46 lead at the break.

YSU had a 17-7 lead just under five minutes into the contest and was on top 37-27 later in the half when Cole knocked down a 20 footer. RMU eventually whipped out a 46-38 deficit with its 10-0 run to end the period.

The Penguins are back on the road Friday night when they take on South Dakota. Tipoff at the DakotaDome in Vermillion is set for 8 p.m. Eastern time.


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