Complete Effort Propels Penguins Past League-Leader Valpo

YSU Basketball vs Valparaiso
YSU Basketball vs Valparaiso

For the third time this season and second time at the Beeghly Center in 22 days the Youngstown State men's basketball team knocked off the Horizon-League leader. This time YSU defeated Valpo 71-53 behind a solid all-around team effort.

The victory is the first for the Penguins over the Crusaders since Jan. 15, 2000, and snaps a 14-game losing streak in the series. YSU had not beaten Valpo since it entered the Horizon League.

With the win, YSU moves into a third-place tie in the Horizon League race at 9-6 and continues to set a school mark for wins in the league. Overall, the Penguins are now 14-11. Valpo falls to 18-9 overall and 11-4 in the HL.

For the game, Kendrick Perry scored 23 points while DuShawn Brooks added 20. It was the second time this year the Penguins had two players score more than 20 points in the same game (at Penn State). Brooks also finished with nine rebounds.

In the second half, Valpo crept within seven in the first minute-and-a-half at 34-27 before YSU responded by scoring 10 points in a row to go in front 44-27 at the 14:57 mark. The Penguins went ahead 51-32 on two Perry free throws with 11:21 left. Youngstown State's biggest lead of the night was 23 at 71-48 on a layup by Chris Morgan with 1:32 left in the contest.

YSU shot 43.1 percent (25-of-58) from the field and was 16-of-20 from the free-throw line. The Guins outrebounded the Crusaders 39-29 while committing just nine turnovers. Valpo shot 31.9 percent (15-of-47) while being held to a season-low 53 points.

The Penguins played an all-around solid first half building a 32-20 lead. YSU shot 42.4 percent (14-of-33) while the Crusaders made just six field goals in 22 attempts (27.3 percent). The Guins had just two turnovers while Valpo had eight giveaways.

Valpo built a 16-12 lead with 11:37 left in the opening half before the Guins responded with a resounding 16-0 run to pull ahead 28-16 at the 2:35 mark. During the 18-point stretch, YSU made nine two-point field goals as Brooks knocked down five, Kendrick Perry had two, including a steal and break-away slam dunk and Eargle chipped in a bucket.

Brooks finished the first half with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field while Perry had 11 on 4-of-7 shooting. Edwards scored 12 of the Crusaders' 20 points.

YSU's biggest lead of the first half was 32-18 when Perry converted two free throws with 1:04 left in the half.

The Penguins outscored the Crusaders 8-2 off turnovers and 11-2 in second-chance points.

Youngstown State returns to action on Tuesday night when it visits Green Bay. Tipoff at the Resch Center is set for 8 p.m.