Penguins blow late lead to Green Bay

YSU Basketball: Jerry Slocum

Youngstown, OH (WYTV) – The Youngstown State men’s basketball team led Green Bay by 10 points late in the second half, but could not hang on for the upset, suffering a tough 63-62 defeat to the Phoenix on Wednesday night at the Beeghly Center.

With 8:14 remaining in the contest the Penguins bulit a 58-48 lead following 10 unanswered points and had the Phoenix on the ropes. But Green Bay scored 13 consecutive points to go ahead 61-58 following a Carrington Love 3-pointer from the corner with 1:43 remaining.

YSU ended its scoring drought when Bobby Hain scored with 1:13 remaining to make the contest 61-60. The Penguins then forced Green Bay a turnover when DJ Cole stole a pass from Love with 37 seconds remaining. Cole was fouled by Keifer Sykes and made both free throws with 33.3 seconds left to put the Guins in front 62-61.

Green Bay went to Sykes for the go-ahead basket and delivered making a hanging six-foot jumper with 23 seconds left.

Down 63-62, the Penguins called timeout with 17.1 seconds remaining. On the play, Cole found some space in the middle, but his pull up 12 footer to the left side of the lane over Greg Mays hit off the back of the rim and time expired.

With the win Green Bay improves to 20-5 overall and 9-2 in the Horizon League while the Guins drop to 10-17 and 1-11.

Marucs Keene finished with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc. Keene sparked the Guins’ run in the second half with two 3-pointers, including a deep 28-foot bucket that made the margin 10, YSU’s biggest lead of the night.

Joining Keene in double figures was Shawn Amiker who had 11 while Hain and Cole had 10 each. Mays had a team-high 15 points for Green Bay.

On the night, YSU shot 45.7 percent making 21-of-46 shots while the Phoenix made 25-of-52 attempts (48.1 percent). YSU made 10-of-18 3-point shots on the night as well.

The Penguins erased a 13-point deficit with a 19-4 run late in the first half and entered the lockerroom with a 33-31 lead over the Phoenix.

The Phoenix led for more than 17 minutes and by as many as 13 after a 3-pointer by Mays with 8:55 left.

The Penguins made four of the their next five field-goal attempts and went 7-for-10 from the free-throw line over the next six minutes to take their first lead, 30-29, since the 18:35 mark.

Amiker, who scored eight points in the first half, hit a jumper and followed with a 3-pointer to get within six, and Cole added a layup to cut the deficit to 29-25 with 4:37 left.

Amiker then made three free throws to give the Penguins a 30-29 lead. After a jumper by Alfonzo McKinnie put the Phoenix back up 31-30, Shaun Stewart drained a 3-pointer with 1:20 left to finish the first half scoring.

Youngstown State made just three of its first eight shots but finished the half making eight of their final 14 attempts and shot 50 percent from the field, including four 3-pointers.

The Penguins visit Wright State, Sunday at 3 p.m. in Dayton, Ohio.

Courtesy: YSU Sports Information

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