Toledo, Ohio – Junior Blake Allen scored a game-high 22 points and sophomore Kendrick Perry added 19 but the Youngstown State men's basketball team could not overcome a slow start and dropped an 86-77 loss to Toledo on Saturday evening at Savage Arena.
The Guins, who shot just 26.5 percent in the first half, fall to 6-4 overall while Toledo improves to 7-3.
YSU, which shot 56.3 percent and outscored Toledo, 49-47, in the second half, trailed by as many as 17 in the first half, 11 at halftime and 13 with 18 minutes left in the game, but used an 18-6 run over a four-minute span to get within one, 49-48, with 13:50 left.
Two layups by Allen and one by freshman Shawn Amiker brought the Guins within seven, 43-36, with 16:14 to go.
The Rockets built the lead back to nine, 49-40, but a jumper by Eargle, an old-fashioned three-point play by Nate Perry and a 3-pointer by Perry brought the Guins within one.
The Guins, who made 12 of their first 17 shots in the second half, were within one on two more occasions, 54-53, with 11:16 left and 56-55 at the 10:26 mark.
Toledo, though, capitalized on a technical foul called on YSU and scored 12 straight points to boost its lead back to 13, 68-55, with 7:46 remaining.
Nate Perry's second 3-pointer with 3:47 to go cut the deficit to nine, 76-67, but the Guins would not get any closer.
Allen, who scored 16 of his points in the first half, scored YSU's first eight points of the game that gave the Guins an 8-5 lead with 16:28 left before halftime.
As a matter of fact, Allen connected on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, including four 3-pointers, while the rest of the team made just 4-of-26 (15.3 percent) field-goal attempts.
A dunk by Eargle brought the Guins within one, 11-10, with 13 minutes left, but the Guins went scoreless for five minutes and missed eight straight shots during that span.
Luckily, Toledo made only one field goal and two free throws during that time and the Guins trailed by just five, 15-10, when Allen nailed a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two, 15-13, with 8:03 left.
Toledo used a 28-3 run over the next five minutes to expand its lead to 17 points, 33-16, with 3:37 left before the intermission.
The Guins made just 1-of-6 shots over during that span, but Kendrick Perry hit a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left and his dunk with two seconds left brought the Guins within 11, 39-28, at the half.
The Guins visit Akron, Monday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. at the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio,