Green Bay, Wis. -- Senior Kelvin Bright scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and senior DeAndre Mays posted 13 points but the Youngstown State men's basketball team dropped an 81-67 decision to Green Bay in the first round of the Speedway Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship on Tuesday evening at the Resch Center.
The Penguins finish the season with an overall mark of 8-22 while the Phoenix advance to play No. 7 Detroit, Friday, at 6 p.m. at Hinkle Field House in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Penguins, who shot 51.7 percent in the second half, were able to slice an eight-point halftime deficit down to just two within the first six minutes of the half. and trailed 48-46 with 12:24 to go after a jumper by Mays.
Youngstown State, however, committed two consecutive turnovers and 3-poitners from Green Bay's Troy Cotton and Byrquis Perine, a jumper by Rahmon Fletcher and another jumper by Perine extended the Phoenix's lead to 12, 58-46, with 7:26 remaining. The Penguins went scoreless for nearly five minutes during the Green Bay 10-0 run.
Green Bay pushed its lead to as many as 15 points, 71-56, with 2:40 left and theh Penguins would not get any closer than 11 points.
The Penguins started the half strong when sophomore Ashen Ward nailed a 3-pointer to spark the Penguins and Vytas Sulskis' layup brought the Penguins within three, 36-33, less than two minutes into the stanza.
After two buckets by the Phoenix pushed the edge back to seven, 40-33, with 17:18 to go, the Penguins outscored the Phoenix 11-6 capped by Zack Rebillot's 3-point play to get within two, 46-44 with 14:07 left.
Green Bay led the first 10 minutes of the game before a steal and layup by Mays put the Guins ahead for the first time, 16-15, with 10:22 to go. Mays also nailed a jumper just prior to his layup to get the Penguins with one, 15-14.
The Phoenix responded with an 11-3 run to take a 26-19 with just over four minutes to go.
The Penguins continued to chip away at the Phoenix advantage with two free throws from Ashen Ward, a 3-pointer by Vytas Sulskis and two free throws by Sirlester Martin and trailed by just two, 28-26 with 2:10 to go.
After a layup by Green Bay's Rian Pearson gave the Phoenix a four-point edge, Zack Rebillot answered with a layup to bring the Penguins back within two, 30-28, with 1:41 to go.
However, two 3-pointers by Seth Evans and Rahmon Fletcher with under a minute-and-a-half remaining ballooned the Phoenix lead to eight points, 36-28, at the intermission. Fletcher's trey came with 15 seconds left.
For the first half, the Phoenix shot 48 percent from the field while the Penguins connected on just 35.5 percent. The Penguins outrebounded the Phoenix, 20-17, including nine offensive boards but only managed eight second-chance points.