Scorching Second Half Lifts Penguins Past Saint Francis (Pa.)
The Youngstown State men's basketball team used a strong second-half shooting performance to pick up a 75-60 victory over a pesky Saint Francis (Pa.) squad on Friday night at the Beeghly Center.
The victory improves the Penguins to 3-0 on the year while the Red Flash dip to 0-3. Four players scored in double figures with Kendrick Perry taking game-high honors with 19. Blake Allen had 18, Damian Eargle had 21 and Kamren Belin finished with 12. Stephon Whyatt scored 18 to lead Saint Francis.
YSU led by five points at halftime and was ahead by just three points at the 17:55 mark of the second half. But the Guins found a hot-shooting touch to earn their third victory on the campaign. The Penguins shot a blistering 60.7 percent from the field in the second stanza making 17-of-28 attempts.
Allen had the hot hand from behind the 3-point line. He made five 3-pointers in the second half and connected on six for the game. Allen was 6-of-12 for the game with all six conversions coming from behind the 3-point arc.
YSU was in front 31-28 before going on a 8-0 run to lead 39-28 just over two minutes later.
The Penguins then surged in front 47-32 by the 14:08 mark as Allen connected from long range. The closest the Red Flash could get was 11 (on two occasions) in the second half. YSU's biggest lead of the night was 67-46 and 69-48 with seven minutes remaining.
For the game, YSU shot 50 percent making 26-of-52 shots. The Guins were 8-of-16 from behind the 3-point line and 15-of-16 from the free-throw line. Saint Francis shot 44.6 percent making 25-of-56 attempts.
After falling behind 21-17 with 6:07 left in the first half, the Penguins closed the half on a 12-3 run to seize the momentum.
Stephen Mosley gave the Red Flash its 21-17 advantage with 6:07 left in the first half. YSU answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to go on top 23-21. Perry connected from behind the arc and then Belin had a nifty block on the defensive end before draining a trey to put the Penguins up two.
SFU tied the game on Mosley putback before two Eargle free throws gave the Penguins a 25-23 lead. Belin's dunk extended the lead to 27-23 and Perry hit a driving layup with 1.2 seconds left before the half giving the Guins a five-point halftime advantage.
For the half, YSU shot 37.5 percent to Saint Francis' 38.5 percent. The Red Flash missed its final six field goal attempts of the half to cool off. Perry had 11 in the opening half while Eargle had eight.
YSU resumes action on Monday when it plays North Dakota State in Pittsburgh. Tipoff at Duquesne's A.J. Palumbo Center is set for 4:30 p.m. The game is part of the Progressive Legends Classic.