Hot 3-Point Start Boosts Penguins Past Notre Dame in Home Opener

YSU Basketball vs Notre Dame (Ohio)
YSU Basketball vs Notre Dame (Ohio)

Coach Jerry Slocum Postgame Video

The Youngstown State men's basketball team bolted out of the gate making 12 first-half 3-pointers and scoring 51 points before going on to earn a 80-62 win over Notre Dame (Ohio) in the home opener on Tuesday night at the Beeghly Center.

With the win, YSU starts the campaign 2-0 while Notre Dame falls to 1-1. It is the second straight season the Penguins have opened the season with two victories.

YSU opened the game making its first seven 3-pointers and 10 of its first 14 shots from the field. Of the Penguins' first four baskets, three came from inside the arc, including a dunk on the game's first possession by Damian Eargle.

Leading 9-5, the Guins went to work from the perimeter making six of their next seven shot attempts, all of which were 3-pointers.

After Notre Dame trimmed the deficit to 18-11 on a 3-pointer by Phil Biggs with 14:50 left, Blake Allen broke the game open by making three treys in a span of 55 seconds.

Ashen Ward broke up the 3-point run with a 12-footer, but the next time down the court he drilled his third triple of the first half. Allen's fourth 3-pointer of the half opened up a 43-23 cushion at the 6:04 mark and a layup by Josh Chojnacki gave the Guins their biggest lead of the opening half at 45-23. Cale Zuiker and Perry closed out the 3-point onslaught before halftime to give YSU a 51-31 lead at the break.

Youngstown State shot 48.6 percent (17-of-35) for the first half after its torrid start. Notre Dame connected at a 48 percent clip making 12-of-25 attempts. YSU had three players reach double figures in the first half with Perry scoring 16, Ward adding 14 and Brooks contributing 12. From behind the arc, the Penguins made 12-of-18 shots (66.7 percent).

In the second half, Youngstown State built two 24-point leads, the last at 66-42 with 12:05 remaining. However, the Penguins went cold allowing Notre Dame to score the next 10 points over span of 7:01. Eargle made two free throws to end the drought.

Eargle's offensive rebound of a missed 3-pointer and subsequent slam dunk was the Penguins' first field goal in more than seven-and-a-half minutes. On two occasions, NDC pulled within 14 points, but the Guins never relenquished control of the contest.

YSU was led by Kendrick Perry who scored 18 points while Ward had 17, Allen had 14 and Eargle finished with 12. Eric Dummermath had 20 to lead Notre Dame.

For the game, the Penguins converted 27-of-68 shots from the field (40 percent).

Following the hot start, YSU ended up tying the school record for 3-pointers in a game with 14. The Penguins had 14 previously at Butler last season.

YSU returns to action on Friday when it plays host to UC-Riverside. Tipoff at the Beeghly Center is set for 7:05 p.m. and is a return contest for the Penguins' trip out west in February 2010.