The Youngstown State men's basketball team made a charge in the second half, but a decisive run by Butler in the final seven minutes proved to be the difference as the Penguins dropped a 68-59 decision at the Beeghly Center on Friday night.
Kendrick Perry led the way offensively for the Penguins with 23 points while Damian Eargle had 11 and Ashen Ward had 10. For the Bulldogs, Chrishawn Hopkins scored 19 points, Jackson Aldridge had 13 while Roosevelt Jones contributed 11. Ronald Nored had 11 rebounds, eight points and had six assists to help pace the effort.
Perry scored 17 in the second half while Hopkins had 13 in the second stanza.
With the win, Butler improves to 14-12 overall and 8-6 in the Horizon League while the Penguins drop to 13-11 and 8-6 as well.
The Penguins turned up the defensive intensity to get back in the game. Trailing 40-26 at the 18:12 mark of the second half, the Guins held Butler without a field goal for more than seven minutes and were able to get with four points on four different occasions.
The first was with 12:26 left in the game when Perry's fastbreak layup made the score 40-36 and forced Butler to call a timeout.
The last time the Guins were able to get within four was when Perry answered Aldridge's 3-pointer at the 8:28 mark.
It was a six-point contest with 6:14 remaining when Butler scored eight of the next 10 points and never looked back building a 59-47 lead with 4:00 left on a basket by Hopkins.
For the game, YSU shot 41.2 percent (21-of-51) while Butler made 24-of-54 shots (44.4 percent).
YSU led 12-11 at the 12:22 mark of the first half before the Bulldogs scored 10 of the next 12 points to go in front 21-14 on a basket by Jackson Aldridge with 7:49 left.
The Penguins stemmed the tide briefly as Allen knocked down a 3-pointer pulling them within 21-17. YSU was pulled with three at 23-20 on a Ward 3-pointer at the 4:50 mark, but another Bulldog run, 10-1, spurred them to a 33-21 advantage with 1:42 left in the half. YSU scored four of the final six points to get within 35-25 at halftime.
For the half, the Penguins shot 34.8 percent (8-of-23) while Butler hit at a 48.3 percent clip making 14-of-29 shots. The Bulldogs made 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) from inside the arc.
YSU returns to action on Saturday when it plays host to Valparaiso. Tipoff at the Beeghly Center is set for 7:05 p.m.