Kennesaw, Ga. – Senior Kamren Belin's 15-foot jumper with 3.4 seconds left in overtime lifted the Youngstown State men's basketball team to a 74-72 come-from-behind victory over Florida International on Saturday afternoon at the KSU Convocation Center.
With the win, the Penguins improve to 2-0 for the fourth consecutive season and FIU falls to 0-2.
Belin scored a team-high 17 points, all in the second half and overtime, and led three others scoring in double figures. Senior Kendrick Perry scored 15 and sophomores Bobby Hain and Ryan Weber each scored 11. Hain also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
In the overtime, FIU's Raymond Taylor hit a 3-pointer to give the Panthers a 68-65 advantage, but Belin, who scored all nine of YSU's points in overtime, converted a four-point to push the Penguins to a 69-68 lead with 3:10 left.
Belin hit 3-pointer to give the Penguins a 72-70 lead with 2:28 left, and, after two FIU free throws tied the game, Fletcher Larson's defensive rebound on a Rakeem Buckles missed 3-point attempt gave the Penguins possession with just 39 seconds left.
In the game that featured 17 lead changes and 10 ties, the Penguins surrendered an 18-0 run late in the second half that wiped out a 50-45 YSU lead at the 12:46 mark.
Perry picked up his fourth foul at the 11:54 mark and FIU capitalized scoring 18 straight points to take a 63-50 lead with 7:54 to go.
After the teams traded baskets, the Penguins closed out the game scoring 13 straight points to force the extra period. After a 3-pointer by Belin a three-point play by Hain got the Penguins within six, 65-59, Weber drilled a 3-pointer at the 2:26 mark to get the Penguins within three, 65-62.
Junior DJ Cole made two free throws at the 1:40 and Weber converted one of two free throws to tie the game at 65-65 with 35 seconds left.
The first half saw eight lead changes and five ties and the largest lead before halftime was six points by FIU, 24-18, at the 7:34 mark. YSU never lead by more than three points in the first half.
Weber buried a 3-pointer to give the Penguins a 30-27 lead with 4:12 to go in the first before the Panthers scored seven straight to take a 34-30 lead.
Freshman Marcus Keene got the Penguins within one, 34-33, with a 3-pointer at the 1:48 mark and tied the game at 36-36 with another 3-pointer with just four seconds left before the half.
Florida International out-rebounded the Penguins, 44-33, but YSU outshot the Panthers 46.6 percent to 39.1 percent. The Penguins also made 11 3-pointers.
The Penguins close out the Kennesaw State Men's Basketball Tournament against Eastern Kentucky, Sunday, at 1 p.m.