Sophomore Kendrick Perry scored a game-high 23 points and the Youngstown State men's basketball team put together a solid second half to pick up a 61-54 win over Wright State on Thursday night at the Beeghly Center and earn its 10th Horizon League win in the process.
With the win, YSU improves to 15-13 overall and for the first time since joining the conference has recorded double-digits in victories. Wright State drops to 13-17 and 7-10 in the HL. The Penguins also picked up their first win over the Raiders since February 2007 snapping a nine-game losing streak.
YSU opened the second half by scoring 17 of the first 20 points. En route to a 45-32 lead at the 14:50 mark, the Guins made 6-of-8 from the field including first three 3-pointers at the outset of the half.
Twice in the final seven minutes the Raiders managed to trim the deficit to four points. The first was 51-47 with 6:34 remaining. That instance, YSU answered by scoring six straight points. The second time was 57-53 with 3:34 left. YSU closed the contest by scoring seven of the contests final eight points.
For the game, YSU shot 44.9 percent (22-of-49, but connected on 57.1 percent in the second half (12-of-21). Wright State was held to 32.1 percent (18-of-56) for the night. The Raiders shot just 25 percent in the second half making seven field goals.
Blake Allen scored 17 to join Perry in double figures. Damian Eargle had 13 rebounds and scored eight points. He also finished with five blocks and now owns the Horizon League record for blocks in league-games only and for an entire season.
Vance Hall scored 13 points and was the only Raider to reach double figures.
In the first half, neither team led by more than four points. YSU's biggest advantage of the half was at 16-12 while Wright State's was three, the final time at 5:24 left when it led 21-18.
The Penguins held a 27-24 advantage on a 3-pointer by Mike Podolsky with 2:22 left, but they did not score the remainder of the half. Wright State was able to take a 29-27 lead into halftime after Johann Mpondo converted a layup and John Balwigaire connected on a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left.
Both teams had 28 attempts, with Wright State making 11 to YSU's 10. The Raiders connected on five 3-pointers to YSU's three.
In the opening half, Eargle's third block tied the Horizon League record for most swats in league-games only and cumulative for a season. Perry had nine in in the first half while Kendall Griffin had nine for the Raiders.
The Penguins play their final game of the regular season on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. against Detroit at the Beeghly Center. Prior to the game Brooks and Ward will be honored for Senior Day.