Jupnior Francisco Santiago's block and senior Brett Frantz's ensuing 3-pointer late in the second half lifted the Youngstown State men's basketball team to a 67-64 win over Cleveland State on Saturday night at the Beeghly Center.
The Penguins, who led for final 26:41 of the game, clung to a one-point lead, 58-57, before junior Cameron Morse's layup at the 4:15 mark gave put YSU up three, 60-57, at the final media timeout.
After a Frantz turnover, Santiago chased down Cleveland State's Kasheem Thomas and blocked his layup attempt. Morse grabbed the rebound and found Frantz open in the right corner at the 2:50 mark, which gave the Penguins a 63-57 cushion.
Cleveland State's Daniel Leavitt hit a 3-pointer with just under two minutes left to get the Vikings within three, 65-62, but Morse and Santiago each split a pair of free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Morse lead the Penguins (10-13, 4-6 Horizon League) with 23 points, his 29th career 20-point game and the 12th this season. Frantz had 17 on 7-of-12 shooting, including three 3-pointers.
Leading Cleveland State (6-16, 2-8 Horizon League) was Demonte Flannigan with 16 points and Bobby Word with 14. Anthony Wright added 11 points.
Youngstown State scored the first 11 points of the second half to balloon a four-point (33-29) halftime edge into a 15-point advantage, 44-29, at the 16:01 mark.
The Penguins held a double-digit lead for the seven minutes, but the Vikings used a 20-7 run from the 12:31 mark to the 4:30 mark to get within one, 58-57.
Cleveland State opened the game on a 14-2 run over the first four minutes, but the Penguins used a 10-2 run to get within four, 16-12, after a Frantz 3-pointer at the 12:24 mark.
The Penguins then scored 12 of the next 20 points and tied the game at 24-24 on a layup by Morse at the 7:09 mark. Morse's 3-pointer with 6:41 to go gave the Penguins their first lead and never surrendered it.
Youngstown State hosts Oakland, Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.