Cameron Morse scored 18 points while Francisco Santiago and Jordan Andrews each added 13 but the Youngstown State men's basketball team dropped a tough 64-59 decision to Cleveland State on Saturday night at the Beeghly Center.
The Penguins (9-17 overall and 4-9 in the Horizon League) were never able to get any traction against the Vikings (8-18 and 3-10). CSU was led by Demonte Flannigan who scored a career-high 30 points on 10-of-13 shooting while converting 9-of-9 from the free-throw line.
In the second half the Guins were able to hang around and outscored CSU 38-32.
YSU came out quick to start the second stanza cutting an 11-point halftime decifit to 34-32 on a 3-pointer by Morse just 3:45 into the half. But CSU responded with six straight points to regain control going ahead 40-32.
The Penguins pulled within 57-52 at the 3:04 mark when Morse split a pair of free throws. However, Flannigan answered with a spinning layup to make the contest 59-52. A Morse free throw brought YSU back within 59-53 with 1:59 remaining, and the Guins had an opportunity to get within three points, but Matt Donlan missed a 3-point attempt.
Two free throws by Rob Edwards with 1:21 remaining made it a 61-53 contest before Santiago made a nifty reverse layup with 1:17 left to get YSU back within six. After Jeron Rogers and Andrews traded free throws, Donlan drilled a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left bringing YSU within 62-59.
However, with 4.3 seconds left, Flanningan knocked down two free throws for the final margin.
For the game, YSU shot 35.8 percent (19-of-53) and went 5-of-24 from beyond the 3-point arc. CSU shot 46 percent making 23-of-50 shots. The Guins outrebounded the Vikings 34-32.
In the first half, the Penguins shot just 33.3 percent (8-for-24), went 1-for-11 from 3-point range and committed 12 turnovers. The Penguins also scored a season-low 21 points in the first half
Cleveland State's Demonte Flannigan scored 16 first-half points, accounting for half of the Vikings' first-half total.
A dunk by Donlan, a 3-pointer by Andrews and jumper by Kaufman gave the Penguins a 7-6 lead with 13:51 left in the first half.
Cleveland State used a 14-2 run over the next five minutes to take an 11-point lead, 20-9, at the 8:22 mark, and led by as many as 14, 27-13, on a 3-pointer by Rob Edwards with 5:12 to go.
The Penguins trailed by double-digits the rest of the half and entered the lockerroom down 32-21.
The Penguins host UIC, Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7:05 at the Beeghly Center.