Fast Start Lifts Penguins to 77-60 Win Over Green Bay

YSU Basketball vs Green Bay
YSU Basketball vs Green Bay

Youngstown -- The Youngstown State men's basketball team went up by 15 in nine minutes into the game and kept Green Bay at arm's length the rest of the way to win 77-60 in the opening round of the Horizon League Tournament on Tuesday at Beeghly Center.

Youngstown State (16-14) advances to play Detroit on Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern Time at Valparaiso. Green Bay finishes the season with a 15-15 record.

Sophomore guard Kendrick Perry scored 12 of YSU's first 14 points, and all five Penguins starters reached double figures in scoring. Damian Eargle led the way with 17 points and nine rebounds, five of which were on the offensive end, and DuShawn Brooks scored 16. Perry finished with 15, Ashen Ward scored 14, and Blake Allen posted 11 points.

Alec Brown was the only Phoenix player in double figures. He finished with 20 points and nine rebounds.

Youngstown State led by double digits for more than 33 minutes.

YSU blistered the nets in the early going, making 14 of its first 20 attempts from the field to lead by as many as 18 in the first half.

Perry's lay-up in traffic gave the Penguins a 14-4 lead with 15:10 remaining, and Brooks later scored 12 points in just over six minutes. His fourth 3-pointer of the period gave YSU a 38-22 lead with 7:14 left.

YSU went on to miss its next nine field-goal attempts, and Green Bay cut the margin to nine twice before the end of the half. After an Eargle free throw made the score 41-25, Green Bay scored seven straight points to make the score 41-32 on a three-point play by Brown. Eargle ended a near seven-minute scoring drought by rebounding and dunking his own miss with 28 seconds left, and YSU led by double digits the rest of the way.

Despite not hitting a field goal for nearly seven minutes, the Penguins still shot 50 percent in the opening half and went 8-for-12 from 3-point range en route to taking a 45-34 lead. Green Bay shot 46.9 percent (15-for-32) in the first half, and Brown scored 11 points as the only Phoenix player to score more than six.

Green Bay trimmed the deficit to 12 four times in the second half and trailed just 66-54 with 8:38 remaining. YSU then held the Phoenix scoreless for almost five minutes and went on a 7-0 run to take its largest lead at 73-54 with 4:04 remaining on a Brooks bucket. The teams traded buckets over the next four minutes for the final tally.

YSU shot 47.5 percent and was 10-for23 from 3-point range. Green Bay shot 45.3 percent but made just four 3-pointers and committed 17 turnovers. The Penguins finished with 13 steals, 17 assists and just seven turnovers.