American Gets Hot from Distance to Rally for 60-56 Win over YSU

Sophomore Cameron Morse
Sophomore Cameron Morse

American made eight 3s and shot 54 percent in the second half to rally for a 60-56 victory over the Youngstown State men's basketball team on Friday evening at the Beeghly Center.

YSU led by 10 early in the second half, but American made eight of its first 12 attempts from the field in the period and outscored the Penguins 8-2 down the stretch. The Eagles were 2-for-13 from 3-point range in the first half and made 26 percent from beyond the arc in their six games coming into the night.

Jesse Reed scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lead American. Matt Donlan and Cameron Morse had 12 points apiece for Youngstown State, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped.

American led 7-4 early before a Brett Frantz 3-pointer started a 7-0 Penguins run that gave them a four-point lead after six minutes. American's Delonte Jones ended the spurt with a 3, the Eagles' second and final one of the half, and the visitors reclaimed the lead at 16-15 with 9:45 left.

Youngstown State answered with an 11-2 run, which featured 3s by Donlan, Morse and Jordan Andrews, to go ahead 26-18. A floater by Francisco Santiago got the lead to double digits for the first time at 30-20 with 1:58 left, and a long jumper by Franz put YSU up 32-22 at halftime.

The lead was 10 again after Bobby Hain made two free throws on YSU's only two attempts in the game at the 19:27 mark of the second half. American scored the next 11 points, nine of which came on 3-pointers, to go ahead 35-34, and the game was within five points the rest of the way.

Hain stopped the run with a bucket in traffic to put the Penguins ahead 36-35, and Donlan's 3-pointer with 2:35 remaining put YSU ahead 54-52. Jalen Rhea and Reed hit 3s on American's next two possessions to give the Eagles a 58-54 lead, the 15th time the lead changed in the game, with 1:23 left, and Sidney Umude's got the Penguins within a pair with 59 seconds remaining.

YSU got the stop defensively it needed for a shot to tie or take the lead, but Hain missed a 3 in the corner with eight seconds left. The clock got down to 1.5 seconds left as YSU had two fouls to give, and Rhea made two free throws for the final margin.

Youngstown State held a slight edge in shooting, 43.6 percent to 43.4 percent, and it ourebounded American 31-27. The Penguins held a 30-22 advantage in the paint.

Youngstown State will have a week off for finals before playing at Purdue on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m.