Devin Haygood scored five points in the final two minutes of overtime, and the Youngstown State men's basketball team outlasted Niagara 101-97 in a back-and-forth battle on Wednesday evening at Beeghly Center.
Cameron Morse led all scorers with 27 points, and he was joined in double figures by Francisco Santiago with 18, Jorden Kaufman with 16 and Matt Donlan with 15. Kaufman added 12 rebounds, and he hit two free throws to put the Penguins ahead 91-89 with 11 seconds left in regulation.
Kahlil Dukes' basket with 2.6 seconds remaining sent the game to overtime, where YSU prevailed. The game featured 25 times overall, including 19 times in the second half and overtime.
The Penguins led by two twice in the first minute of the extra session before a three-point play by Matt Scott gave the Purple Eagles their only lead of overtime at 96-95 with 3:53 remaining. That's what the score remained for the next two minutes until Haygood was fouled on a defensive rebound and made a pair of free throws. The sophomore forward then made a bucket on an offensive rebound with 1:16 remaining to put the Penguins ahead 99-96.
Niagara's Maurice Taylor split a pair of free throws with 20.2 seconds left to cut the deficit to two, and Rahim Williams split a pair on YSU's possession to push the lead back to three with 11.4 seconds remaining. Scott missed the tying 3-point attempt, and Haygood grabbed another rebound and made a free throw for the final margin.
Shane Gatling led the Purple Eagles with 24 points, and Dukes finished with 20 points and nine assists.
Niagara led 18-11 seven minutes into the game, but the Penguins went on an 18-7 spurt over the next five minutes to go up 29-25. Niagara's lead was seven again at 38-31 with 4:47 remaining, and the margin grew to eight at 43-35 with 1:49 left in the opening half. The Purple Eagles held a 47-42 lead at halftime.
Youngstown State began the second half on a 9-3 run to go up 51-50 and cause the first of 16 lead changes in a 19-minute stretch. The largest lead for either team was five when Morse hit a 3-pointer to put the Penguins up 70-65 at the 10:24 mark.
Youngstown State will play at Ohio State on Tuesday at 7 p.m.