First-Half Flurry Carries Penguins to Win Over South Dakota
The Youngstown State men's basketball team used an impressive start against South Dakota on Sunday afternoon at the Beeghly before cruising past the Coyotes 85-59. YSU led by 19 just over eight minutes into the contest and never looked back.
Kamren Belin finished with a team-high 21 points, Shawn Amiker had 20, including 15 in the second half, Kendrick Perry had 17 and Bobby Hain had 10. Sixteen of Perry's 17 points and all of Hain's points came in the first half. Amiker was 8-of-9 from the field, 4-of-5 from the line and hauled down seven rebounds in 18 minutes of action.
YSU (9-6) opened the game on fire making 10 of its first 13 shots to jump out to a 27-8 lead just over eight minutes into the contest. The ballgame was tied at four in the early going before the Guins went on a 15-2 run to seize control by taking a 19-6 lead just over five minutes into the afternoon.
With 8:30 left in the half, YSU led 32-12 before reeling off 13 straight points, highlighted by a steal and emphatic Perry slam dunk at the 5:08 mark which put the Guins on top 45-12.
The lead ballooned to 51-15, the Penguins' largest advantage of the first half, with 2:26 left as Ryan Weber connected on a 3-pointer.
YSU played a complete first half making 60 percent of its field-goal attempts (18-of-30), 50 percent from behind the 3-point arc (7-of-14), 90.9 percent from the free-throw line (10-of-11) while helping hold USD to just 26.9 percent from the field. The Guins had just three turnovers while USD had 12 in the opening stanza.
Perry had 16, Belin 13 and Hain had 10. Hain scored eight of his 10 points in the 4:36 as he, Perry and Belin combined to score the first 21 YSU points.
Belin opened the second half draining a 3-pointer to give the Guins their biggest lead of the contest at 38. But the Coyotes (3-9) made a run to get within 62-36 at one point before YSU extended the lead back to 35 following an Amiker basket at the 10:06 mark of the half.
From that point, YSU emptied the bench as more than 11 players saw seven minutes or more of action.
For the game, the Penguins shot 48.4 percent making 30-of-62 attempts and went 10-of-24 from behind the 3-point arc. USD shot 34.5 percent (20-of-58) for the game as Trey Norris had a team-high 16 points.
The win improves the Guins to 6-1 at home this season.
YSU opens Horizon League play on Thursday, Jan. 2 when it visits Milwaukee. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. Eastern time and will be carried on the HLN and 570 WBKN.