Second-Half Surge Lead Men’s Basketball to 90-82 Come-Back Win Over Akron

Cameron Morse (Photo by John Vogel)
Cameron Morse (Photo by John Vogel)

Youngstown – Junior Cameron Morse scored a game-high 27 points and senior Matt Donlan added 20 points to lead the Youngstown State men's basketball team to a 90-82 come-from-behind win over Akron on Saturday night at the Beeghly Center.

Morse connected on 10-of-17 from the field and had three 3-pointers while Donlan tied a career high with six 3s to lead the Penguins (1-0) to their first win over Akron since 1994. Junior Francisco Santiago scored 15 points, including nine in the second half, and dished out seven assists.

The Penguins made 11 3-pointers, including seven in in the second half, and shot 50.8 percent from the field.

Isaiah Johnson led five Zips (0-1) scoring in double figures with 17 points while Jimond Ivey had 14 points, Kwan Cheatham, Jr. had 13 and Tavian Dunn-Martin added 12.

The Penguins, who shot 54.3 percent from the field in the second half, used a 17-4 run in the early portion of the second half to turn a seven-point deficit, 45-38, into a 55-49 lead with 14:08 to go.

Donlan and Morse hit back-to-back 3s to get within one and Morse gave the Penguins a 47-45 lead with another 3-pointer 16:39 left.

Over the next five minutes, the Penguins built their lead to 10, 65-55, on a 3-pointer by Brett Frantz midway through the half.

Akron cut the YSU lead down to one on a 3-pointer by Noah Robotham, 78-77, with 2:46 left.  The Penguins, though, scored the next six points on a pair of layups by Morse and a dunk by Rahim Williams.

Devin Haygood's alley-oop dunk from Santiago sealed the game and put the Penguins up nine, 88-79, with just 15 seconds left.

In the first half, the Zips led by as many as 11 on three different occasions and as late as 3:02 left before halftime, 41-30. Layups by Latin Davis and Morse and a jumper by Williams cut the lead down to five 41-36, at the intermission.

The Penguins visit Toledo, Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Savage Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.