CHICAGO, ILL (WYTV)-Junior Bobby Hain scored 19 and sophomore Osandai Vaughn recorded a career-high 18 points, but the Youngstown State men’s basketball team fell to UIC, 77-71, in the Horizon League opener for both teams, Friday, at the UIC Pavilion.
Senior DJ Cole and sophomore Marcus Keene each added 11 points and Cole was credited with eight assists.
The Penguins fall to 9-7 overall and 0-1 in the Horizon League while UIC improves to 5-11 overall and 1-0 in the league.
Leading the Flames was Jay Harris who came off the bench to score a game-high h25 points. Jake Wiegand scored 15 while Ahman Fells and Gabe Snider each added 11.
The Penguins, who led by as many as 18 points in the first half, held the lead for 35:50, but the Flames used a 19-7 run over a five minute span late in the second half to take their first lead, 64-63, after a D’Juan Miller layup at the 3:19 mark.
Cole scored six consecutive YSU points to give the Penguins an 11-point edge, 56-45, with 8:48 left in the game.
YSU did not make a field goal for more than three minutes until Vaughn’s jumper at the 5:18 mark gave the Penguins a 63-57 advantage.
The Flames answered with 14-0 run to take an eight-point lead, 71-63, with just under a minute left.
A layup by Cole and two free throws by Hain cut the deficit to four, 71-67, with 44 seconds left but the Flames made six free throws.
The Penguins shot an impressive 58.3 percent from the field in the first half and led by as many as 18 midway through the stanza.
Leading by one, 8-7, the Penguins scored the next eight points to push their lead to nine, 16-7, after three straight baskets by Hain and a jumper by senior Shawn Amiker.
After a three-point play by Harris cut the lead back down to five, Vaughn scored eight points in a 13-0 YSU run to extend the lead to 18, 29-11, at the 9:01 mark.
After Hain split a pair of free throws to give the Penguins a 35-21 lead with 2:34 to go, the Flames scored seven straight to cut the deficit to seven, 35-28. Hain made a layup with 21 seconds left to take a 37-28 lead into the lockerroom at halftime.
The Penguins visit Valparaiso, Sunday, Jan. 4, at 2:35 p.m. in Valparaiso, ind.