Birmingham, Ala. – Sophomore Kendrick Perry scored a career-high 28 points and led three other Penguins scoring in double figures to lead the Youngstown State men's basketball team to a 76-69 victory over Samford (0-1) at the Pete Hanna Center on Saturday evening.
With the victory, the Penguins (1-0) won a road season opener for the first time since 2000.
The Guins also turned in a strong second-half defensive effort limiting the Bulldogs to just 37.5 percent shooting from the floor, forcing eight turnovers and grabbing 14 defensive rebounds along with five blocks by Eargle.
For the game, the Guins forced 18 turnovers that lead to 22 points.
The Guins and Bulldogs played through 12 lead changes and seven ties until the Guins started to break away.
Tied at 49 with 8:35 left in the game, layups by Ward and sophomore Josh Chojnacki and another layup by Ward gave the Guins a 55-49 lead with 6:08 to.
After a free throw by Samford's Devin McNeil, Allen drained consecutive 3-pointers to balloon the Guins' lead to 11, 61-50, with 3:46 left.
The Guins built its largest lead at 12, 64-52, after a three-point play by Perry, but Samford did not go away.
The Bulldogs chipped the Guins lead down to five, 71-66, after a Raijon Kelly 3-pointer with 32 seconds left.
Two free throws by Allen and a steal and dunk by Perry pushed the lead back to nine, 75-66, with 16 seconds left to seal the game.
In the first, Perry took control of the game early. Trailing 7-6 at the 14:56 mark, Perry drilled three straight 3-pointers spark a 13-2 run and take a 19-9 lead with 10:45 left.
Samford, who shot 56.5 percent in the first half, used its own 12-2 run to knot the game at 21-21 at the 7:30 mark, keyed by 3-pointers by Tyler Hood, Jeffrey Merritt and Kaylin Johnson.
The lead changed four more times before Samford scored the final points of the half to take a 32-29 lead into the lockerroom.
The Guins also did not score for the final 3:23 of the first half after Perry knocked down his fourth 3-pointer to put the Guins ahead, 29-28.
For the game, YSU shot 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range. The Guins also outscored the Bulldogs 26-16 in the pain.